originally by: Ghana News
published: 9th October 2010
Despite a marked trend towards abolition and restriction of the use of capital punishment in most countries, numbers and manner of death penalty application worldwide remain alarming.
The European Union (EU) said in a statement to mark October 10 as the World and European Day against the Death Penalty that it was continuing efforts to achieve universal abolition of death penalty.
It said while 139 countries – more than two-thirds of the countries of the world – were abolitionist in law or practice, still at least 5,679 executions were carried out last year. The EU said where capital punishment remained in force, there were serious problems with regard to the respect of international norms and standards.
“This makes abolitionist initiatives the more important. The planned death penalty resolution during 65th UN General Assembly this autumn is expected to manifest further progress in the global trend towards global abolition which is truly cross-regional,” it said.
The EU said there was a worldwide trend towards abolition of the death penalty. In 2009, at least 5,679 executions were carried out, down from a minimum of 5,735 in 2008 and a minimum of 5,851 in 2007. Between 1993 and 2009, the number of countries that abolished the death penalty by law for all crimes, grew from 55 to 97.
The abolition of the death penalty is one of the thematic priorities in the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), which is with over 30 projects supported so far the lead source of funding for abolitionist projects worldwide.