European and World Day against the Death Penalty : Joint statement by the High Representative on behalf of the European Union and the Secretary-General on behalf of the Council of Europe

October 11, 2021
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On the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the European Union and the Council of Europe reaffirm their firm opposition to capital punishment at all times and in all circumstances. 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. 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.

[…]  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.

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Full statement

Countries covered:

  • Algeria
  • Egypt
  • Israel
  • Jordan
  • Lebanon
  • Libya
  • Morocco
  • Palestine *
  • Syria *
  • Tunisia
Human Rights