Human rights - World Day Against the Death Penalty (10 October 2017)

On the occasion of the 15th World Day Against the Death Penalty and the 40th anniversary of the last execution in France, France reaffirms its attachment to the universal abolition of the death penalty.

France is opposed to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances. It is committed to the universal abolition of this unjust, inhumane and ineffective punishment and calls on all states that still impose the death penalty to establish a moratorium with a view toward its definitive abolition.

We therefore welcome the decision by Mongolia, in effect since July 1, 2017, to definitively abolish the death penalty, as well as the commitment to abolish it made by Gambian President Adama Barrow before the United Nations on September 21. We also welcome the abolition in 2016 of the death penalty for all crimes in Benin and in Nauru and the adoption by Guinea of a new criminal code that no longer provides for this punishment.

We want to signal our concern at the continued use of the death penalty, notably in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq and the United States, and at the resumption of executions in Nigeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Jordan. France is also concerned about the determination of the Philippine authorities to reintroduce the death penalty, following its abolition in 2016.

To mark this occasion, a series of televised interviews will be held at the Quai d’Orsay on October 10 from 6:00 pm and will be broadcast live on social media. These discussions will focus on the issue of the death penalty and poverty and will include testimonies from Shreya Rastogi, an Indian lawyer, Joaquin José Martinez, a former death row inmate in the United States who was exonerated, Taieb Bessadok, the lawyer of Maher Manaï, a Tunisian who had been sentenced to death and Urbain Yamaego, Coordinator of the Coalition Against the Death Penalty in Burkina Faso. This event can be followed on Facebook.

A conference open to the public involving these same speakers will also be hosted in the morning by the French National Council of Bars, in partnership with the association “Together Against the Death Penalty,” the International Organization of La Francophonie, and the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

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