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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Death Penalty is Inappropriate Punishment for Our Century

10.10.2013

10 October 2013
 

Today, Estonia joined the foreign ministers of the Council of Europe in a joint declaration to abolish the death penalty. The foreign ministers of the Council of Europe member states who have joined the declaration condemn the use of the death penalty and call on states to refrain from it. “The death penalty is not an appropriate punishment for our century,” stressed Foreign Minister Paet. He added that the death penalty also does not have a positive effect on crime prevention.

The Council of Europe and the European Convention on Human Rights have advanced not only the regional, but also the broader, disposition to defend the most fundamental right of the individual: the right to life. “The best example of that is the entry into force of the protocol of the European Convention on Human Rights which prohibits the death penalty under any circumstance,” said Foreign Minister Paet. The foreign ministers of the member states of the Council of Europe who have joined the declaration call on the members of the Council of Europe who have yet to ratify the protocol to do so. The foreign ministers also call on Belarus to abolish the death penalty. Belarus is the only state in Europe where the death penalty is applied. Every year, 2-5 such decisions are carried out.

Today, the death penalty is still used in 50 countries. Twenty years ago, the number was almost twice as much. “Positive developments have inspired the continuation of joint efforts to abolish the death penalty,” added Foreign Minister Paet. The termination of the death penalty in many American, African, and Asian countries confirms the international nature of this struggle and the need for strong political signals emphasizing the involvement of the entire society.

10 October is the World Day against the Death Penalty. The joint declaration of the foreign ministers of the Council of Europe was initiated by Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.

As of today, the countries which have joined the Council of Europe’s appeal to abolish the death penalty are: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Estonia, Spain, Holland, Croatia, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Latvia, Macedonia*, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Portugal, France, Sweden, Romania, Germany, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Finland, Great Britain, Switzerland, Denmark, Turkey, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and Hungary.


* Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia



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