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Europe gets its anti-death penalty day despite Warsaw's opposition

Europe gets its anti-death penalty day despite Warsaw's opposition
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There will be a ‘European Day Against the Death Penalty’ despite Poland’s efforts to block such an event. Warsaw used its veto in the European Union last week to stop the day going ahead.

But the Council of Europe, a separate entity, needed just a majority rather than unanimity. It decided with 46 votes in favour out of 47 to hold the anti-death penalty day every October 10.

The death penalty is not applied in Poland, but German socialist MEP Martin Schulz quoted Polish President Lech Kaczynski as saying:

“Personally I was, I am and I remain in favour of the death penalty. A return to the death penalty in Europe is not possible today, but I hope in the future the climate will be more favourable than at present.”

But Polish conservative deputy Konrad Szymanski hit back at the criticism. He said:

“We cannot allow European censorship in the form that Mr Schulz is suggesting…if we are to debate humanitarianism then we can’t limit that to the death penalty but must also talk about abortion on demand.”

The European Parliament has called for future Polish governments to give their full support to the anti-capital punishment campaign.