Council of Europe Calls for Total Abolition of Death Penalty
Council of Europe ministers meeting in Rome to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights, called Saturday for the Europe-wide abolition of the death penalty.
"The prime objective of the Council of Europe and the European Union is to totally eradicate the death penalty from the European continent," said Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini, the acting head of the Council's ministerial committee.
A "solemn declaration" to this effect will be made at the next ministerial meeting in Strasbourg on November 9.
The resolution condemned torture, as well as the use of systematic rape and summary executions notable in times of conflict which lead to serious abuses of human rights.
Ministers from the 41-member Council of Europe pressed Albania, Russia and Turkey to ratify the protocol abolishing the death penalty. The three member states currently have a moratorium on public executions.
Poland has also yet to ratify the protocol, even though it has introduced legislation abolishing the death penalty.
Ministers also invited other countries such as Cyprus and Malta, which retained the death penalty on their statutes for acts committed in times of war, to scrap the measure – ROME (AFP)
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