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DEATH PENALTY: MAJORITY OF STATES CONTINUE TO SUPPORT UN CALL FOR MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS AT COMMITTEE VOTE

November 18, 2020:

An overwhelming majority of states continued to support a UN call to halt executions on 17 November 2020, when the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) considered a draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
A total of 120 UN member states voted in favour of the proposal, while 39 voted against the proposal and 24 abstained at the vote. This resolution was proposed by Mexico and Switzerland on behalf of an Inter-Regional Task Force of member states and co-sponsored by 77 states.
For the first time, Djibouti, Lebanon and South Korea positively changed their vote to support the resolution. Congo (Republic of), Democratic Republic of the Congo, eSwatini, Guinea, Nauru, the Philippines and Sierra Leone once again voted in favour, after they did not do so in December 2018; Zimbabwe returned to abstention, from vote against. Nine countries negatively changed their votes, with Dominica, Libya and Pakistan switching from voting in favour to against and Niger and Solomon Islands to abstaining; Antigua and Barbuda, South Sudan, Tonga and Uganda – countries that had all abstained at the vote in December 2018 – voted against the resolution. Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Gabon, Palau, Somalia and Vanuatu were not present at the vote, although they had voted in favour in December 2018.
Since 2007, the UNGA has adopted seven resolutions calling for the establishment of a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, with increased cross-regional support. UN General Assembly resolutions carry considerable moral and political weight and the continued consideration of resolutions on this issue has kept scrutiny on the use of this cruel punishment as a human rights priority for the international community.
The overall number of votes in favour of these resolutions has risen from 104 in 2007 to 121 in 2018, results that reflect the global trend recorded in state practice. The number of countries classified as abolitionist for all crimes has, in fact, also grown from 90 in 2007 to the current figure of 106. In 2019, executions were recorded in a minority of countries – 20 in total. Of these executing countries, 13 were “persistent” executioners, meaning that they carried out executions every year in the previous five years. Since the adoption of the last UNGA moratorium resolution in 2018, progress towards abolition continued to be recorded in all regions. Chad abolished the death penalty in the Penal Code in June 2020 and in the USA, New Hampshire and Colorado became the 21st and 22nd states to abolish the death penalty for all crimes; and the Governor of California – the US state with the highest number of people under sentence of death nationally – established a moratorium on executions. Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Malaysia and Gambia continued to observe official moratoriums on executions; Barbados removed the mandatory death penalty. Angola and the State of Palestine acceded to, while Armenia and Kazakhstan signed, the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty – committing irreversibly to the abolition of the death penalty under international law.
Following the voting at the Third Committee, the plenary session of the UN General Assembly is expected to endorse the eighth draft resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in mid-December.

(Source: Amnesty, 17/11/2020)

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BANGLADESH: DEATH PENALTY OF THREE UPHELD FOR MURDERING PREGNANT WOMAN
IRAQ EXECUTES 21 CONVICTED OF ‘TERRORISM’ AT NOTORIOUS NASIRIYAH PRISON
UK - Professor Roger Hood, one of the founders of the international movement for the abolition of the death penalty, passed away.
IRAN: PRISONER EXECUTED AT TAYBAD PRISON FOR DRUG CHARGES
YEMEN: REBEL-RUN COURT SENTENCES 21 TO DEATH FOR SPYING FOR SAUDI-LED COALITION
IRAN: 400 YEARS IMPRISONMENT AND 787 LASHES FOR 53 RIGHTS DEFENDERS
PAKISTAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING WARDEN
SINGAPORE: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING PREGNANT WIFE, DAUGHTER
MALI: JIHADIST CHIEF, 14 OTHERS, SENTENCED TO DEATH
BANGLADESH: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING STUDENT IN KHULNA
IRAN - Zaman Fadaii was lashed 80 times for drinking communion wine
IRAN - ABAN, International People’s Tribunal Established to Investigate Iran Atrocities.
USA - Federal. Lawyers for Lisa Montgomery Contract COVID-19 During Prison Visits, Seek Stay of Execution.
USA - Bill Pelke, a pioneer of US abolitionism, and a friend of Hands Off Cain, died.
EGYPT: TEN EXECUTIONS CARRIED OUT IN MINYA
NIGERIA: TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING FOR ROBBERY IN EKITI
IRAN - Kurdish Political Prisoner Zeinab Jalalian Transferred to Jail Far Away From Family
COVID EMERGENCY: RITA BERNARDINI IS ON HUNGER STRIKE FOR AMNESTY, INDULT, SPECIAL EARLY RELEASE
GAZA: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH BY DEIR AL-BALAH COURT FOR MURDER
IRAN - Nasrin Sotoudeh has tested positive for the coronavirus
IRAN: TWO YOUNG MEN FLOGGED IN PUBLIC FOR THEFT
BANGLADESH: BILL SEEKING DEATH SENTENCE FOR RAPE LANDS IN PARLIAMENT
UAE: DEATH PENALTY FOR FORCED SEX WITH A MINOR, 'HONOR CRIMES'
USA: WHAT BIDEN’S WIN MEANS FOR CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND THE DEATH PENALTY
INDIA: COURT SENTENCES MAN TO DEATH FOR MURDERS
USA - What Biden’s Win Means for Criminal Justice and the Death Penalty
USA - United Nations. U.S. Death Penalty Criticized by U.N. Human Rights Council.
IRAN: PRISONER EXECUTED IN RASHT CENTRAL PRISON FOR MURDER

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