Local EU Statement on World and European Day against the Death Penalty (10/10/2012)

The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Iraq

"The EU Delegation to Iraq is concerned at the significant increase in the use of the death penalty in Iraq over the past year. Capital punishment violates the most fundamental of human rights, and all evidence shows that the death penalty does not deter violent crime.

The EU Delegation calls on the Government of Iraq to cease all use of the death penalty and to accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at the complete abolition of the death penalty, and urges the Government of Iraq to introduce a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, with a view to its eventual abolition. Pending the introduction of a moratorium, the EU Delegation calls on the Government of Iraq to adhere to the international minimum standards for the use of the death penalty.

Under the international minimum standards, capital punishment should be restricted to the most serious crimes. The death penalty should only be imposed in the case of clear and compelling evidence, and it should never be used in cases where convictions were based on confessions that may have been coerced. It should not be imposed on minors, and an effective right to appeal must be ensured. The Iraqi penal code allows for a wide application of capital punishment. In this context, the EU Delegation welcomes the efforts by the Iraqi authorities to reduce the number of offences subject to the death penalty."