The European Union and its Member States hold a strong and principled position against the death penalty, in all circumstances and for all cases. This position stems from the universal and fundamental right to life. It is also embedded in “human dignity” of every human being, even of someone who has committed the most atrocious crime.
The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) is planning a number of events for the 14th World Day against the Death Penalty, focusing this year on the death penalty and terrorism. On this day abolitionists will be drawing attention to the application of the death penalty for terrorism-related offences, to reduce death sentences and executions. While opposing the death penalty absolutely, abolitionists are committed to see existing international human rights standards implemented. Among these is the requirement of fair trials.
It will also be a good time to stress the role of parliamentarians with the recent creation of a resource "Parliamentarians and the abolition of the death penalty" (available in English, French and Arabic). Parliamentarians have an essential role in the process of abolition or extension of the scope of the death penalty, including for crimes like terrorism. They are at the heart of the adoption of national legislation and in most countries, the final decision rests with parliament, which must approve the law. Often abolitionist parliamentarians find themselves isolated and facing tensions related to terrorism within their parliament.
The WCADP comprises more than 150 human rights organizations, professional associations and provides materials for the World Day in 7 languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Farsi.