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Human Rights: Launching the European Day Against the Death Penalty (19 June)

The Commission is proposing a draft Joint Declaration to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, to be adopted together with the Council of Europe, regarding the establishment of a European Day against the Death Penalty, on 10 October of each year.
Commissioner Frattini stated that:

"The death penalty is a violation of the most fundamental of human rights, namely the right to life. Nothing justifies the death penalty, whether it is considered effective in combating crime or not. Such practice is ethically unacceptable, cruel, legally wrong and can all too often lead to innocent people being killed where no redress is possible. There are a growing number of countries abolishing the death penalty. I felt great emotion at Monday's Conference 'Africa for Life', for African Justice Ministers, at the 'Community of Sant'Egidio' and this has renewed my hope and enthusiasm in pursuing the fight against capital punishment. By creating a European Day against the death penalty we are showing our resolve and commitment to not stop fighting this practice until it is abolished worldwide".

The Commissioner for External Relations and Neighborhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, added that:

"The continued existence and application of the death penalty in many parts of the world remains a serious concern for us. This is why its abolition is a top human rights priority in our relations with third countries and in international fora, like the United Nations. We Europeans are the number one advocate against the death penalty and for its universal abolition. And we will not rest until the death penalty becomes history in every country of the world.