Motion for a resolution - B7-0545/2010Motion for a resolution

MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the World Day Against the Death Penalty


to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy
pursuant to Rule 110(2) of the Rules of Procedure

Marie-Christine Vergiat, Søren Bo Søndergaard, Sabine Lösing, Rui Tavares, Bairbre de Brún, Thomas Händel, Ilda Figueiredo on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B7-0541/2010

Procedure : 2010/2855(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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European Parliament resolution on the World Day Against the Death Penalty

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on the abolition of the death penalty and the need for an immediate moratorium on executions in those countries where the death penalty is still applied,

–   having regard to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/149 of 18 December 2007 calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty (on the report of the Third Committee (A/62/439/Add.2), and the 63/168 calling on the implementation of the 2007 General Assembly resolution 62/149 adopted by the UNGA on 18 December 2008,

–   having regard to UN Secretary General report on moratoriums on the use of the death penalty on 11 August 2010,

–   having regard to the UN Secretary General report on the question of the death penalty on 16 July 2010,

–   having regard to the speech of the High Representative/VP of the Commission she delivered in plenary on 16th June 2010 on Human Rights recalling that the abolition on death penalty world wide was a priority for the EU,

–   having regard to the declaration by EP President Jerzy Buzek of 19 October 2009: concerning a strong appeal for the abolition of capital punishment,

–   having regard to the final declaration adopted by the 4th World Congress against the Death Penalty, held in Geneva from 24 to 26 February 2010, which calls for universal abolition of the death penalty,

–   having regard to the updated and revised version of the EU Guidelines on the Death Penalty, adopted by the Council on 16 June 2008,

–   having regard to the establishment of a European Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October each year,

–   having regard to Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A. whereas the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and violates the right to life, as declared in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

B.  whereas there is no evidence that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments,

C. whereas evidence shows that the death penalty first and foremost affects underprivileged people,

D. whereas the European Union is strongly committed to the abolition of the death penalty,

E.  whereas the provisions of Protocol No. 6 of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, prohibit Council of Europe Member States from applying the death penalty,

F.  whereas over 20 000 men, women and children are on death rows around the world (Amnesty International Report, 2006),

G. whereas the EU works towards moratoria of the application of the death penalty and, in due course, abolition and ratification of the relevant international UN and other instruments (in particular Optional Protocol n° 2 to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides for the abolition of the death penalty),

H. whereas, in spite of claims by the most senior members of the Iranian judiciary, Iran is still imposing the sentence of stoning for the crime of 'adultery', as in the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, and of Zahra Bahrami, which was highlighted in her televised 'confessions' on 11 August 2010; whereas the 18-year-old Ebrahim Hamidi was sentenced to death in August 2010 on charges of sodomy allegedly committed when he was only 16 years old and on the basis of a confession which he claims was obtained under torture,

I.   whereas China significantly continues to use capital punishment; whereas Shaikh Akmal a British citizen has been executed for drug trafficking in December 2009,

J.   whereas the Presidential Council of Iraq has recently ratified the death sentences of at least 900 prisoners including women and children; whereas the lack of justice in Iraq today must be viewed in the context of an almost absolute collapse of law and order since the US/UK invasion, including war crimes, atrocities, killings of civilians by mercenaries and military forces of the US occupation,

K. whereas rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by the death penalty in Saudi Arabia; whereas it is applied by beheading and the bodies are sometimes then crucified as in the case of Yemeni Nachéri Shaaban, who was killed last June,

L.  whereas in September 23 Teresa Lewis, was executed in USA by injection despite she was borderline to mental disability,

M. whereas the afro-American prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, also named the ‘voice of the voiceless’, who is on death row since 1982 following an unfair and racially-motivated trial, can be singled out as a representative of all the thousands of people worldwide who are sentenced to death,

N. whereas Amnesty International's report about Mumia Abu-Jamal from 2000 calls for a new trial because of the previous racially-motivated trial with insufficient legal guarantees which condemn him,

1.  Condemns all executions wherever they take place; strongly calls on the EU and its Member States to enforce the implementation of the UN resolution on a universal moratorium on executions with a view to total abolition in all states which still practise the death penalty;

2.  Calls on the EU Presidency to encourage those remaining countries which have not signed and ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to do so, and those Member States that have not signed Protocol No 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights on the death penalty to do so;

3.  Recalls that the full abolition of the death penalty remains one of the main objectives of the EU Human Rights policy; this target will only be achieved by close cooperation between states, cooperation, education, awareness-raising, efficiency and effectiveness;

4.  Call to the EU Member States, together with its cross-regional partners, will again decide to introduce a follow-up resolution on the death penalty at UNGA65;

5.  Calls upon the retentionist participating States to encourage the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights and OSCE Missions, in co-operation with the Council of Europe, to conduct awareness-raising activities against recourse to the death penalty, particularly with the media, law enforcement officials, policy-makers and the general public;

6.  Further encourages the activities of non-governmental organisations working for the abolition of the death penalty;

7.  Commits to monitoring the issue of the abolition of the death penalty and to considering possible initiatives;

8.  Express its concern about the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal and calls for the case to be reconsidered in order to ensure him a new and fair trial;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the High Representative, the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States, the UN Secretary-General, and the President of the UN General Assembly and the governments of the UN Member States.