Abolition of the death penalty
Published: 12 October 2017 Author: Stefan Talmon
On 10 October 2017, the World Day against the Death Penalty, the Foreign Minister of Germany together with his colleagues from Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Slovenia and Switzerland, published the following opinion piece:
“Today, on this World Day against the Death Penalty, we reaffirm our commitment to the universal abolition of the death penalty.
On the positive side, we have been witnessing a worldwide trend towards restricting and abolishing the death penalty for decades. Of the 193 UN member states, only 36, or just under 20%, still apply the death penalty. Whereas the death penalty was still the rule in the 1980s, today it is the exception. This cruel form of punishment is now almost banished from Europe – with one exception. It is time for Belarus to also cease executions and free all of Europe from the death penalty – forever.
We note with concern, however, that some countries in the world are seriously discussing the reintroduction of the death penalty and that executions are being resumed in other countries after longstanding moratoriums. This is contrary to the global trend and to some extent contravenes international law. We call on all states to comply with their international obligations and respect the spirit of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for a progressive abolition of the death penalty. (more…)