EU Presidency speaks out on death sentences in Ethiopia

December 28th, 2009 | by addis portal |

The following is a statement by the Swedish Presidency of European Union:

European Union Swedish Presidency logoThe Presidency of the European Union expresses its deep concern over the death sentences imposed on five persons in the Ginbot 7 trials by the Federal High Court of Ethiopia. The Presidency recalls the European Union’s longstanding opposition to the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances and has consistently called for its universal abolition.

The Presidency underlines that the European Union considers this punishment cruel and inhuman. It has not been found to act as a deterrent, and any miscarriage of justice represents an irreparable and irreversible loss of human life. Consequently, the death penalty is abolished throughout the European Union. In cases where the death penalty is maintained, internationally recognised minimum standards must be respected. These include all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial and adequate representation.

The Presidency of the European Union calls on the Government of Ethiopia to abolish the death penalty. Noting that only one execution has been carried out in Ethiopia since 1998, the Presidency urges the Government to uphold this moratorium on executions in accordance with General Assembly resolutions 62/149 and 63/138, and, accordingly, to refrain from executing the death sentences imposed in the Ginbot 7 trials.

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