Vienna, 9 October 2012 Press release

Spindelegger: “Reinforcing the global trend against the death penalty”

Austria’s Foreign Minister on the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty on 10 October

Vienna, 9 October 2012 – “Almost one third of all countries worldwide still accept the death penalty as an option of legal punishment. This is shocking and should incite us to push ahead the fight against capital punishment with vigour. I urge all states to finally abolish this inhuman and cruel punishment”, Vice-Chancellor and Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said on the occasion of today’s World Day Against the Death Penalty.

According to reports of Amnesty International, death sentences were still legally permitted in 67 states worldwide in 2011; 20 countries actually performed executions. “The intensive efforts of persuasion in dialogue with states that still have not abolished the death penalty plays an important role in Austria‘s foreign policy. It is essential that the global trend of the past few years that goes towards abolishing capital punishment be reinforced and that an increasing number of states be persuaded to abolish capital punishment by law or at least in practice“, the Foreign Minister said.

“Austria takes its commitment seriously and makes every effort both on European and international level to bring about the complete abolition of the death penalty. The civil society, too, has a decisive role in the joint fight against capital punishment”, Spindelegger said.

“The death penalty is inhuman and degrading. It violates the right to life – consequently it cannot be accepted by states that have undertaken the obligation to respect human dignity without compromise”, the Foreign Minister concluded.

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