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The European Union Delegation to Iraq issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Iraq on the occasion of the World Day against the Death Penalty, 10 October 2017
On the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, the European Union and its Member States reaffirm their strong and unequivocal opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances and for all cases. The death penalty represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity, both enshrined as fundamentals rights in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as restated in today’s Joint Declaration by the European Union High Representative and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe. Furthermore, it does not act as a deterrent to crime and renders miscarriages of justice irreversible.
The EU calls on Iraqi authorities to ensure respect for international standards that provide safeguards for the rights of those facing the death penalty; including that it is used only for the most serious crimes and that fair trial and due process is ensured throughout. Last month 42 persons accused of terrorist crimes were executed in the Nasiriyah Central Prison. We were particularly concerned by the lack of transparency concerning the identity of the executed individuals and the exact grounds for their execution. We call on the Iraqi authorities to ensure fair legal and judicial proceedings, including in all the cases that are conducted under the antiterrorist legislation.