OSCE: EU statement on death penalty in the USA

Finnish Presidency of the Council of the European Union

Permanent Council No. 622
27 July 2006

EU Statement on Death Penalty in the USA

The EU reiterates its longstanding and firm opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances. The EU considers that abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and the progressive development of human rights.

While aiming for the universal abolition of the death penalty, we seek a moratorium in all countries which retain capital punishment as a first step towards this end.

The EU is therefore concerned about imminent breaches of de-facto moratoria in the States of South Dakota and Montana. The EU has learned that Mr. Elijah Page is to be executed in the week of 28 August. This would break a 60 year de-facto moratorium in South Dakota. The EU has equally learned that Mr. David Dawson is to be executed on 11 August. This would break an 8 year de-facto moratorium in Montana.

The EU would like to make an urgent appeal to the competent authorities in the States of South Dakota and Montana to continue the moratoria on the death penalty and urges them to grant clemency to Mr. Page and Mr. Dawson.

The EU trusts that the federal authorities will ensure that the competent State authorities will be informed of this statement.

The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia   and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, EFTA country Norway, member of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this statement.