Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on executions in the USA

07.12.2020 - Press release

Dr Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (7 December) on the executions that have already taken place in the United States at federal level and those that are planned.

I am deeply sorry about both the five planned executions and the eight that have already been carried out in the United States at federal level in recent months. The execution of the death penalty in the United States goes against the global trend. Capital punishment is increasingly being abolished. Fewer than 60 countries still apply the death penalty. I therefore strongly urge the US administration to refrain from carrying out the planned executions and once again to honour the de‑facto moratorium on capital punishment.

The German Government is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances, as it is a brutal and inhumane form of punishment. That is why we have been campaigning actively for many years, alongside our partners in the EU, for it to be abolished around the world. The death penalty means that miscarriages of justice cannot be rectified. Furthermore, it has been proven that capital punishment does not serve as a deterrent.

Background information

Since July 2020, death sentences have been carried out in the United States at federal level for the first time since 2003. Worldwide, the number of countries that impose the death penalty is falling. Only a few weeks ago, 120 countries in the United Nations General Assembly supported the resolution on a moratorium on capital punishment co‑initiated by the EU.


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