BRUSSELS (our reporter):- The European Council and the Council of Europe has jointly reaffirmed their firm opposition against the death penality and said that they will support to any effort in this regard.
According to the joint statement on the Wold Day against the death penality. high representatives of the both organizations reaffirm their firm opposition to capital punishment at all times and in all circumstances.
The Word Day will be observed on 10 Act. They said that the death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment contrary to the right to life. Its abolition is essential to ensure respect for human dignity.
This year’s World Day is dedicated to women, said in the statement.
“Although women represent a small percentage of global death sentences, gender-based discrimination continues to impact women at all levels of the criminal justice system. In some countries, women are sentenced to death at higher rates than men for offences linked to sexual morality, such as adultery. Moreover, mitigating circumstances related to gender-based violence and abuse are rarely taken into consideration during the criminal process”, the spokesman said.
The representatives further said that abolition of the death penalty is primarily a question of political will. They welcome the fact that the number of countries that are still executing people has continued to fall.
Pakistan is also among the countries, where death penality is still continue. The EU is also trying to put pressure on Pakistan in this regard through GSP plus status for Pakistan. According to the GSP plus status, Pakistan was enjoying duty free exports on selected times in the European countries.
The statement further said that no executions took place in 176 countries during last year. Every year there are new steps towards global abolition of the death penalty. On 8 October, Sierra Leone abolished the death penalty. This year saw one more abolition in the USA: the State of Virginia. President Biden’s intention to abolish the death penalty at the federal level in the United States, as well as the moratorium on executions imposed by the US Attorney General are important steps for the future.. Armenia ratified the second optional protocol on the abolition of the death penalty, and Kazakhstan is in the process of finalising its ratification. We urge Belarus to move towards abolition.
Ending the trade in goods used in capital punishment is particularly important for eliminating the death penalty, the statement further said.
Reflecting the EU ‘Anti-Torture’ Regulation, the Council of Europe this year adopted a Recommendation that aims to stop European participation in this terrible trade (Recommendation CM/Rec(2021)2 “on measures against the trade in goods used for the death penalty, torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment”).
The joint statement further said that it will encourage all Council of Europe member states to implement it. It counts on those Council of Europe member states, which have not yet acceded to the relevant Protocols to the European Convention on Human Rights, to do so without delay. The Global Alliance for Torture-Free Trade today involves 62 states. We call on all states to join it and to step up efforts towards establishing common international standards on torture-free trade.
“In the run up to the 2022 World Congress against the Death Penalty, we will continue to support increased public debate and awareness-raising activities concerning the death penalty and its appalling impact on families and societies. We will not stop our work and our vigilance, our dialogue with those who have not yet accomplished abolition and our support to civil society and NGOs until no further death sentence is applied”, it said.