Joint Declaration on the European and World Day against the Death Penalty

Joint Declaration by the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, 10 October 2018

On the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the Council of Europe and the European Union (EU) reiterate their strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances and for all cases. The death penalty is an affront to human dignity. It constitutes cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and is contrary to the right to life. The death penalty has no established deterrent effect and it makes judicial errors irreversible.

All EU and Council of Europe Member States have abolished the death penalty. Abolition in law or practice is a pre-condition of Council of Europe membership and the absolute ban on the death penalty in all circumstances is entrenched in both Protocols No 6 and No 13 of the European Convention on Human Rights and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.  We call on those European states that have not yet done so to ratify them.

We also reiterate our call to the authorities in Belarus, the only country on the European continent still using the death penalty, to introduce a moratorium as a decisive step towards aligning the country with pan-European standards.

On a global level, the Council of Europe and the EU will continue to work towards the abolition of the death penalty. We will support the upcoming Resolution of the UN General Assembly on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty and the EU and Belgium will host the 7th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Brussels at the end of February 2019.

Pending the introduction of a moratorium, the Council of Europe and the EU urge those countries still applying the death penalty to commute any remaining death sentences to prison terms and, in any case, to ensure that conditions of detention respect human dignity. In line with international law, those countries shall not carry out executions on minors, on pregnant women, or on people with mental illness or intellectual disabilities. Furthermore, using the death penalty on people convicted of economic crimes, on people who are themselves victims of serious crimes such as marital rape and whose acts - motivated by genuine self-defence - result in the incidental death of another person cannot be justified. Member States should refrain from supporting, through mutual legal assistance or other forms of cooperation, the drug policies of countries where drug offences may be sanctioned with the death penalty.

Member States should continue taking effective measures to prevent their involvement, however indirect, in the use of the death penalty by third countries, such as by adopting measures that prevent the trade in goods that could subsequently be used to carry out executions. In this context, the Council of Europe and the EU will continue promoting the “Global Alliance to end trade in goods used for capital punishment and torture”.

欧洲联盟外交和安全政策高级代表和欧洲理事会秘书长在欧洲和世界反对死刑日的联合声明,2018年10月10日

在欧洲和世界反死刑日,欧洲理事会和欧洲联盟(欧盟)重申强烈反对任何情况下的死刑。死刑是对人类尊严的侮辱。它构成残忍、不人道和有辱人格的待遇,与生命权相悖。死刑没有威慑效果,并使司法上的错误不可逆转。

所有欧盟和欧洲理事会成员国都废除了死刑。法律或实践中废除死刑是满足欧洲理事会成员国资格的先决条件,在所有情况下绝对禁止死刑都在《欧洲人权公约》和《欧盟基本权利宪章》的第6号和第13号议定书中得到确立。我们呼吁那些尚未批准这两份文件的欧洲国家批准它们。

我们还再次呼吁白俄罗斯政府暂停使用死刑,以作为使该国与泛欧标准保持一致的决定性步骤。白俄罗斯是欧洲大陆唯一仍在使用死刑的国家。

在全球范围内,欧洲理事会和欧盟将继续努力废除死刑。我们将支持关于暂停使用死刑的联合国大会决议。欧盟和比利时将于2019年2月底在布鲁塞尔主办第七届世界反对死刑大会。

在死缓制度尚未普及之前,欧洲理事会和欧盟敦促那些仍在执行死刑的国家将任何剩余的死刑判决减为监禁,并在任何情况下确保关押中尊重人的尊严。根据国际法,这些国家不得对未成年人、孕妇或精神疾病或智障人士进行处决。此外,对被判犯有经济罪的人使用死刑,对于自己是婚内强奸等严重罪行的受害者,并且其行为以真正的自卫为动机而导致他人偶然死亡使用死刑,都是不合理的。成员国应避免通过司法协助或其他形式的合作,支持毒品犯罪可能被判处死刑的国家的毒品政策。

成员国应继续采取有效措施,防止它们参与第三国使用死刑,即便是间接参与,例如采取措施防止随后可能用于执行死刑的货物贸易。在这方面,欧洲理事会和欧盟将继续推动“终止用于死刑和酷刑的货物贸易全球联盟”。

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