06 October 2005 :Hands Off Cain’s “2005 Report – The Death Penalty Worldwide”, edited in its Spanish edition by HOC board member Begoña R. Antigüedad, was presented in Madrid at the Spanish Senate.
During the course of the presentation, HOC Treasurer Elisabetta Zamparutti denounced the “European Union’s incapacity” to engage itself in the adoption at the United Nations of a moratorium on capital executions, put into practice in 2004 by 25 of the 58 states retaining the death penalty.
Of these 58 states, 44 are “dictatorial or authoritarian regimes”, which carried out 98.8% of the world’s executions. The county in which the death penalty is put most at use is China, with at least 5,000 executions. Amongst those states classed as “liberal democracies” it is noteworthy to mention the situation in the United States, which put to death 59 people in 2004, confirming the tendency in place in recent years diminishing the number of executions as well as capital sentences.
Considering the EU’s incapacity towards the institution of a moratorium, Zamparutti underlined the necessity of “building a coalition of states opposing the death penalty which would enable the UN General Assembly to reach a universal moratorium on executions”.
Contributing to the presentation, President of the Senate Javier Rojo declared that “at 60 years since the signing of the United Nations Charter it’s not possible to continue executing people whilst fighting for the affirmation of international rights”.
For Jordí Xuclà, spokesperson for the Convergencia i Uniò party at the Chamber’s Foreign Affairs Commission, “the biggest hope for the definitive abolition of capital punishment is presented by Africa”, considering that “of the 53 African states only three carried out executions”. The Spanish deputy, engaged in forming a Parliamentary intergroup for the moratorium, urged his country’s government to continue the fight against the death penalty on all fronts, particularly at the United Nations.
(Sources: Efe, 04/10/2005)