UN HUMAN RIGHTS CHIEF URGES INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY TO MAINTAIN MOMENTUM TOWARDS ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY
14 December 2009
Following is the statement of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, on the 20th anniversary of Death Penalty Optional Protocol, which will be commemorated on 15 December:
GENEVA -- "Today we mark the 20th anniversary of the adoption of a key treaty that aims to bring about the abolition of the death penalty. The treaty – known as the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – provides States with the means of signaling their commitment to the abolition of the death penalty.
The 72 states which have ratified the Optional Protocol since 15 December 1989 are under an obligation not to execute anybody who has been sentenced to death, to take all necessary steps to definitively abolish the death penalty, and to report on what they have done to this effect. In addition, they must not extradite individuals to a country where they would face the death penalty, nor can they reintroduce it in their own. Ratification of the optional protocol, as well as similar regional instruments in Europe and in the Americas, thus draws a firm line under the use of the death penalty.
I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those States that have abolished the death penalty.
Learn more about the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/AboutUs/Pages/HighCommissioner.aspx
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