Günter Nooke, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement today (9 October) prior to the World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October:
"This year marks the sixth anniversary of the World Day Against the Death Penalty, which is also the European Day against the Death Penalty. The right to life was expressly protected in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We will shortly be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Declaration's adoption by the UN General Assembly. This anniversary should inspire us to do all we can to achieve the global abolition of capital punishment.
For years now Germany, along with its EU partners, has campaigned vigorously for the abolition of the death penalty. The adoption last year by the General Assembly of the resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty was a major success.
I strongly welcome the fact that this year Albania, Argentina, the Cook Islands and Uzbekistan have completely abolished capital punishment. However, many countries continue to hand down death sentences, in some cases carrying out highly cruel forms of execution or punishing persons by death who were minors at the time their crimes were committed, as happens in Iran for example. We must condemn such practices in the strongest possible terms."