Delegation of the European Union to the Council of Europe

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Once again, the EU restates its unequivocal opposition, and its condemnation of, the application of capital punishment in all times and any circumstance. The death penalty is incompatible with human dignity and no convincing evidence of its deterrent effect has ever been presented.

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25 November marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, one of the most devastating human rights violations against women and girls around the world. Empowerment of women and girls requires vigorous efforts to bring significant changes in their lives. To this end the European Union and the United Nations have embarked on the Spotlight Initiative, a ray of light in this ongoing fight. On the International Day, the EU institutions are lit up in orange as part of the UNiTE campaign, to symbolize a brighter future without violence.

The EU expects the Turkish authorities to respect the standards of the European Convention on Human Rights and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights, including the independence of the judiciary, pre-trial detention as well as the principle of presumption of innocence.

The EU welcomes the Secretary General’s sixteenth consolidated report on the conflict in Georgia. The EU reaffirms its firm support for the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders.

On the occasion of the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the EU speaks out for freedom of speech and calls for international obligations to protect journalists and investigate abuses to be upheld by State authorities, within and outside the EU.

On the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists, the European Union commends the work of journalists in uncovering abuses of power, shining a light on corruption and human right violations, and questioning received opinion, often putting themselves at risk of intimidation, violence and death. An independent and free media is the basis of a participatory and pluralist democracy, and a tool to make governments accountable for their actions.

We reiterate our unequivocal opposition to capital punishment in all places and in all circumstances. There is no argument in favour of the death penalty.

It is indeed a hallmark achievement of this Organization, that the whole area of the Council of Europe is free of the death penalty. The EU and all its Member States share this pride. And we share the deep conviction that the death penalty is incompatible with human rights, violates human dignity, does not deter crime and it is an inhuman, degrading and irreversible punishment. It constitutes a violation of the human rights we collectively committed ourselves to uphold.

EU-Azerbaijan Subcommittee on Justice, Freedom, Security and Human Rights and Democracy meets

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