To mark the World Day against the Death Penalty, the EU Delegation to the UN in Geneva, CinéONU, Amnesty International and the Geneva Film Festival on Human Rights (FIFDH) organised on 20 October a thematic film and debate evening. The 2015 British mystery documentary 'The fear of 13' tells a story of Nick Yarris, who spent over 20 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit. The screening was followed by a debate with Mr. Yarris himself, as well as with Ms. Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Federation and Member of the International Commission against the Death Penalty. Ms. Manon Schick, Director of Amnesty International Switzerland, moderated the discussion.
The Council adopted the "country and regional issues" part of the EU annual report on human rights and democracy in the world in 2015 which complements the thematic part of the report published on 20 June 2016.
In 2015, the EU continued defending and promoting human rights, inclusive and democratic societies.
The universal abolition of the death penalty is one of the core objectives of the European Union in the field of Human Rights. Despite long-term improvements regarding the abolitionist cause – there are now 141 formally or nominally abolitionist states – the balance of the year 2015 is somewhat bleak. Old moratoria were challenged, debates on the reinstatement of the death penalty in several countries resurfaced, and the number of executions recorded in the last year - 1634 executions - has been the highest since the 1990’s.