Monday, 9 July 2007

A Violation of the Most Fundamental of Human Rights

July 9, 2007


A Violation of the Most Fundamental of Human Rights


The European Commission has put forward a proposal for 10 October as the
date for European Day against the Death Penalty in a draft Joint Declaration
to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, to be adopted
together with the Council of Europe. By establishing an officially
recognised European Day, the Commission aims to raise awareness as well as
set an example to the rest of the world.

Over half the world's countries have put an end to capital punishment in
either law or practice with 10 retaining it only for exceptional crimes such
as those carried out in war and 30 preserving it in law but having a 10 year
record of not putting it into practice. However, there remains the other
half. Last year, 3,861 people were sentenced to death in 55 countries around
the world, with 1,591 executions carried out in 25 countries. "The death
penalty is a violation of the most fundamental of human rights, namely the
right to life," said Franco Frattini, EU Vice-President and Commissioner
responsible for Freedom, Security and Justice, "Nothing justifies the death

Abolition of the death penalty is a condition of membership in either the
Council of Europe or the European Union and it is 10 years since it was last
used anywhere within the Council of Europe's 47 member countries. It is
prohibited under both the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the
European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights and the EU is working
constantly to promote abolition around the world, putting pressure on
retentionist countries. "We Europeans are the number one advocate against
the death penalty and for its universal abolition," said Commissioner for
External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita
Ferrero-Waldner, "And we will not rest until the death penalty becomes
history in every country of the world."

If successful, the Joint Declaration will be signed by the European
Parliament, the EU Presidency, the European Commission and the Council of
Europe at the International Conference in Lisbon on 9 October 2007.


Source : Tiscali

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