Under the campaign slogan ‘Death is not justice’, European officials at a conference in Lisbon have been supporting efforts to abolish the death penalty worldwide.
This Wednesday is Europe’s first day against capital punishment.
All European Countries have banned the death penalty under the European Convention on Human Rights. But not everyone has signed its Protocol 13 — France only now.
The Secretary-General of the 47-member Council of Europe,Terry Davis, talks about this:
“Well, Protocol 13 is very important because it abolishes the death penalty not only in peacetime but also in wartime.”
A goodwill ambassador for the Council, Bianca Jagger addresses one of the human rights defence body’s observer nations:
“The United States has made some progress, and I think that the international community and the pressure of civil society has made a difference. I think that we have to continue to pressure the US.”
Poland opposed having an anti-capital-punishment day because it wants wider debate on abortion and euthanasia.
The Council of Europe calls the death penalty “a cruel punishment which does not deter crime and turns muscarriages of justice into irreversible tragedies”.