South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Published in The Daily Star on Oct. 10 ::

Ambassadors of the European Union (EU) countries in Dhaka yesterday reiterated their call for the complete abolition of death penalty and establishing a moratorium on executions in Bangladesh.

“The European Union reaffirms its absolute opposition to the use of the death penalty,” said a joint note issued by the envoys marking the European and the World Day against the Death Penalty that falls on October 10.

The European Union hoped that Bangladesh, as a member of the United Nations, will take all necessary actions to implement the UN resolutions, and thereby fully contribute to the enhancement of fundamental rights and human dignity in the world.

The abolition of capital punishment constitutes a crucial step towards guaranteeing respect for human rights and protection of human dignity, reads the joint letter.

The diplomats recalled the United Nations General Assembly Resolution 62/149 of December 18, 2007, further reaffirmed by Resolutions 63/168 of December 18, 2008, 65/206 of December 21, 2010 and 67/176 of December 20, 2012, calling upon states which still maintain the death penalty to abolish it completely and, in the meantime, to establish a moratorium on executions.

Despite a global trend towards abolition of capital punishment, the number of states which still maintain death penalty in their legal systems remains alarming, the diplomats observed.

“The death penalty concerns everyone’s right to life, which forms the most fundamental, inherent and inalienable human right affirmed by multiple international instruments, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

It is essential to realise that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the exercise of death penalty is irreparable and irreversible, said the letter.

“The State, with its particular responsibility as the ultimate guarantor of all persons’ human rights, should not deprive anyone of his or her life,” the letter mentioned.

The signatories to the letter are Chargé d’ Affaires of the Delegation of the European Union Frédéric Maduraud, Ambassador of Denmark Hanne Fugl Eskjær, Ambassador of France Michel Trinquier, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Germany Dr Ferdinand von Weyhe, Ambassador of Italy Giorgio Guglielmino, Ambassador of The Netherlands Gerben de Jong, Ambassador of Spain Luis Tejada Chacón, Chargé d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Sweden Karin McDonald and British High Commissioner Robert Gibson.