UN steadily showing support to end death penalty – AI

Global support for abolishing the death penalty is rising, Amnesty International (AI) said after the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) voted overwhelmingly in favour of a moratorium on the use of the penalty.

It is the fourth time such resolution would be passed by the plenary session of the UNGA since 2007.

AI made this known in a press statement copied to the Ghana News agency on Friday.

It noted that 111 states voted for the resolution, an increase of two from the last vote in 2010.

“Today’s vote reaffirmed the clear worldwide trend of moving away from the use of the death penalty. There are now140 countries worldwide that are abolitionist in law or practice,” the statement quoted Jose Luis Diaz, AI’s representative at the United Nations in New York as saying.

“Although the UNGA vote is not legally binding, it does express the will of the international community and is a strong signal from the world body.

“The death penalty is the ultimate form of cruel and inhuman punishment; we oppose its use in all circumstances,” the statement added.

It said the new votes in favour included Central African Republic, Chad, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Tunisia.

It said as a further positive sign, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia moved from opposition to abstention.

AI expressed regret that regrettably, Bahrain, Dominica and Oman changed their abstention to a vote against the resolution, while Maldives, Namibia and Sri Lanka went from a vote in favour to abstention.

“The final tally was 111 in favour, 41 against with 34 abstentions,” the statement said. GNA

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