INTERNATIONAL: Organizations Around the World Focus on Death Penalty Concerns

On October 10, the European Union commemorated World Day Against the Death Penalty, coinciding with events around the world challenging the use of capital punishment. Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe released a statement, noting, “Voices in favor of the death penalty within some parts of society, including in our continent, show that there is a continuous need to spell out why the death penalty runs contrary to the right to life and to human dignity.” Around the world, 140 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice, while only 58 countries retain it. On October 8, the EU’s work in educating the public about the risks of executing the innocent was recognized at the 10th anniversary of Witness to Innocence in Philadelphia. Antonio de Lecea (pictured), the Principal Advisor for Economic and Financial Affairs of the EU Delegation to the U.S., accepted the award. See below for more events.

A statement calling for a moratorium on executions was released by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. It was addressed to member states of the Organization of American States that still use the death penalty. The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty launched an initiative focusing on the use of capital punishment in the Caribbean.

(EU Press Release, Oct. 10, 2013 (Brussels)). See International.