European Union External Action

Statement by the Spokesperson on the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty and recent executions in Pakistan

Bruxelles, 17/03/2015 - 23:36, UNIQUE ID: 150317_02
Statements by the Spokesperson

At least 39 people have been executed in Pakistan since December 2014, when the government lifted a moratorium on executions in place since 2008. This includes 12 convicts this morning. Contrary to the Government of Pakistan's stated policy that only clearly identified terrorists would be executed, convicts not sentenced on terrorist charges are now being executed.

The European Union is opposed to capital punishment in all cases and without exception, and has consistently called for its universal abolition. The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment, which fails to act as a deterrent against crime and which makes any miscarriage of justice irreversible.

The EU calls on Pakistan to reinstitute the moratorium and to respect fully all its international obligations, in particular the principle of fair trial. The EU also recalls that Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Pakistan is a party, specifically prohibits the use of the death sentence for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age.

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