Coinciding with the Third World Congress against the Death Penalty, taking place in Paris, European Union lawmakers in Strasbourg have approved a resolution on an immediate universal moratorium on capital punishment. The EU is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and systematically upholds this position in its relations with third countries.
The penalty is banned in the EU but still exists in 68 nations around the world. Eleven countries retain it for “special” crimes such as those committed under military law. Around thirty countries – such as Morocco and Algeria – still have the penalty but have not used it for 10 years.
According to Amnesty International’s report for 2005, more than 2,100 people were executed world-wide. More than 5,000 were sentenced to death in 53 countries. The organisation says these were only the minimum verifiable figures, and that it expects the true numbers were higher. The vast majority of all known executions occurred in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA.