The Ambassadors of the European Union and the 27 Member States of the European Union reiterate the EU’s strong opposition to the death penalty around the world and call for its final abolition in the Republic of Korea. The Ambassadors recognise and welcome the de-facto moratorium on the implementation of executions since 1998, but note that around sixty people are still under sentence of death in Korea, and that the legal provisions for capital punishment continue to be in place.
The Ambassadors recall that the National Human Rights Commission of Korea recommended that the Republic of Korea accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, declare an official moratorium on the implementation of executions and take gradual measures to abolish the death penalty.
The Ambassadors welcome the Constitutional Court’s upcoming assessment of the constitutionality of the death penalty in the Republic of Korea. The EU will be following closely the Constitutional Court’s deliberations showing its strong commitment against the death penalty, while welcoming the amicus curiae briefs submitted to the Court by Amnesty International and the International Commission Against the Death Penalty.
Capital punishment is inhumane and degrading - not only to those sentenced but also to everyone involved. No compelling evidence exists that capital punishment serves as a deterrent to crime. The death penalty also allows judicial errors to become irreversible and fatal. The European Union expresses its strong and unequivocal opposition to capital punishment at all times and in all circumstances.