Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement today (10 October) on the occasion of the World Day against the Death Penalty:
The death penalty is a cruel and irreversible punishment which Germany categorically rejects. It not only violates the right to life but is also incompatible with the dignity of the individual.
Although there is an international trend towards suspending and abolishing the death penalty, more than 50 states continue to impose it. Just a handful of countries are responsible for the vast majority of executions.
Our goal is to abolish this relic from the past once and for all.
To this end, we will bring together governments and civil society in Berlin next year for the largest international forum on this issue: the 8th World Congress against the Death Penalty.
The World Congress against the Death Penalty will take place in Berlin from 16 November 2022. It will bring together politicians, human rights defenders, survivors, artists and academics. The aim is to support the work done by local stakeholders, persuade states to make concrete commitments and mobilise the public.
In Europe, Belarus is the only country to use the death penalty. International observers estimate that most executions last year were carried out in China. Although China itself does not publish any figures, Amnesty International believes that thousands of death sentences are imposed and carried out in the country every year. Iran carried out in excess of 246 executions last year.
Working to abolish the death penalty is a priority of German human rights policy. Germany, together with its partners in the European Union, is therefore actively campaigning against the death penalty, including in international fora such as the United Nations or the OSCE.