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Conseil de l’Europe: 16. Weltdag géint d’Doudesstrof

Haut um 16. Weltdag géint d’Doudesstrof gouf mäi Memorandum zur Ofschafung vun der Doudesstrof eestëmmeg guttgeheescht. D’Doudesstroof bleiwt eng grausam, onmënschlech an dégradéierend Strof déi mer an eiser ziviliséierter Gesellschaft nët méi duerfen toleréieren. Op den Dag vun haut hu schon 142 Länner dës Strof de-facto ofgeschaf an dach setzen den Ablack nach weltwäit eng 22.000 Leit an de “Couloirs de la mort” a waarden op hir Executioun. Als Rapporteur général hunn ech un all d’Parlamentarier appeléiert, sech doheem géint d’Doudesstrof staark ze maachen. D’Gespréicher mat de Vertrieder aus Wäissrussland (dat eenzegt Land op eisem Kontinent dat nach exécutéiert) maache mer Hoffnung, dass och do e Moratoire an Zukunft kéint kommen, lo gëllt et derfir ze suergen dass dat ka séier geschéien!

Hei meng Interventioun de mëtteg zu Stroossbuerg:

Today we are celebrating the 16th World Day against the Death Penalty. It is a good opportunity for the Committee to reaffirm its commitment to fighting for the universal abolition of the death penalty, which is cruel, inhuman and degrading.

Although more than two-thirds (142) of the countries worldwide have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice, progress is still incomplete. Last year, almost 1000 people were executed in 23 countries. China, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are the top five executioners.

In my revised information note, I have focused on the situation in Council of Europe member States, in observer States, States whose parliaments enjoy the status of “partners for democracy”, as well as in Kazakhstan and Belarus.

Within the Council of Europe itself, there are still legal lacunae concerning the abolition ‘de jure’ of the death penalty. Russia has not abolished the death penalty in law, although it has not applied it since the country joined the organisation. It has ratified neither Protocol No 6 nor Protocol No 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights. Armenia and Azerbaijan have not ratified Protocol No. 13, either.

As regards observer States, this year, executions have been carried out in the United States and Japan. The death penalty still appears in the Israeli Criminal Code. As regards the Assembly’s “partners for democracy”, in 2018, death sentences have been given in the territories administered by the Palestinian Authority (Gaza Strip) and Jordan. New executions have been carried out and new death sentences have been pronounced in the past months in Belarus.

As the Committee’s general rapporteur I have condemned these executions and sentences. As regards Belarus, the use of the death penalty in this country continues to hinder the establishment of closer ties with our organisation. In order to shed more light on this issue, I have invited Mr Vialantsin Stefanov from the Human Rights Center Viasna in Minsk and I would like to warmly welcome him today. I understand that a member of the Belarusian National Assembly Mr Valery Voronetsky, Chair of the Standing Committee on International Relations, would like to present the views of the Belarusian authorities.

This year’s World Day against the Death Penalty focuses on the conditions of detention of people sentenced to death. The number of such people is estimated to be at least 22,000 worldwide. Some detainees spend over 20 or 30 years on death row pending their execution. Their physical and mental suffering may in some situations be linked to cases of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, which are prohibited under Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Therefore, we, in the Assembly, should remain vigilant and take all the efforts that are needed to reach the total abolition of the death penalty. We should continue to condemn any political discourse calling for the reintroduction of the death penalty in the Council of Europe area and any new execution or any new death sentence passed in the countries having an established cooperation with our Organisation. I call on our colleagues from these countries to promote a full abolition of this sentence.

The statement that I am proposing today reaffirms the Committee’s engagement in the fight against the death penalty. In relation to the main theme of the 16th World Day against the Death Penalty, it also recalls that Council of Europe member States should not return or extradite individuals to countries where they might risk being placed on death row.

I hope that the Committee will back my draft declaration and I would also like to ask you to declassify my revised information note in order to make it accessible to the public.

Yves Cruchten
(Rapporteur-général sur l’Abolition de la peine de mort)

 

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