Imagine growing up knowing your mother or father was sentenced to death and executed. Would this provoke a strong sense of justice as you develop as an adult? Today, as we celebrate the World Day against Death Penalty, we use our voice to advocate against the death penalty. We are reminded not only of the rights of prisoners but also of their children and families. Those who stay behind.
While 106 countries have already abolished the death penalty for all crimes, there were still 20 countries carrying out executions last year.
The European Union (EU), its Member States and Norway stand united to strongly oppose capital punishment in all circumstances and for all cases. Indeed, all these countries have abolished the death penalty.
There are no arguments in favour of using the death penalty. In fact, it has no deterrent effect on crime. When applied, the death penalty makes any judicial error irreversible. When not applied, it keeps convicts in a permanent state of mental terror, which in itself constitutes cruel and inhuman behaviour. The draft UN resolution aimed at installing a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty deserves our unwavering support.
We have welcomed Malawi’s stance, practicing a moratorium on the death penalty since 1992. However, despite this, Malawi courts continue to pronounce the death sentence. As much as Europe has taken a stance against violence against people living with albinism, perpetrators, convicted for killing persons with albinism, can in our opinion not be deterred from committing future crimes in this manner.
We encourage the Government of Malawi, not only to maintain its de facto moratorium on the use of the death penalty, but ask it to consider abolition in the near future.
To us, EU, its Member States and Norway, the death penalty constitutes an affront to human dignity, a cruel and degrading punishment.
We will continue encouraging its abolition until the last man, the last woman, however heinous their crime, has stepped out of death row - alive.