UN countries back ending death penalty

2012-11-20 11:00

New York - A record 110 countries on Monday backed a resolution voted every two years at a UN General Assembly committee calling for the abolition of the death penalty.

The vote tears apart traditional alliances at the United Nations. The United States, Japan, China, Iran, India, North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe were among 39 countries to oppose the non-binding resolution in the assembly's rights committee. Thirty-six countries abstained.

Israel voted against its strong US-ally to join European Union nations, Australia, Brazil and South Africa among major countries backing the motion.

Norway, which played a leading role campaigning for the resolution, said on its Twitter account that the increased support was a "great result".

At the last vote in 2010, 107 countries backed the resolution.

Thousands put to death in China

France's new Socialist government has launched a campaign with other abolitionist states to get the full General Assembly to pass a resolution in December calling for a death penalty moratorium. Though such a resolution would be non-binding, diplomats say it would increase moral pressure.

A world congress against the death penalty is to be held in Madrid in June.

According to the United Nations, about 150 countries have either abolished capital punishment or have instituted a moratorium.

Amnesty International says that China executed "thousands" of prisoners in 2011 though exact figures are hard to determine. It says that other countries put to death at least 680 people with Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia major users of capital punishment.

Amnesty says that progress is slowly being made however. Even in the United States, Illinois last year became the 16th US state to abolish the death penalty.

  • fredster.mania.5 - 2012-11-20 11:18

    watch your crime rate rise

      stephen.branley - 2012-11-20 18:30

      All research suggests that the death penalty does not reduce crime. Your argument is invalid.

  • sandy.sutherland.58 - 2012-11-20 11:29

    I wonder if we can start a petition to ship the offenders off to these countries that vote for this - let them spend their taxes keeping these devil spawns alive!

      cmaxfield1 - 2012-11-20 17:46

      In the United States it is actually more expensive to put someone to death then life in prison. I thought this was common knowledge...

  • sarah.bouttell - 2012-11-20 11:42

    ja ja, it's only an extra three countries compared to the last figures. Further to that, do you really thing backward arsed countries like Iran/Afghanistan really give a damn about the attempted resolution? Please, they are still stoning rape victims to death, and letting the rapist walk free in society. Toothless puppy much?

  • ronnie.duplessis.7 - 2012-11-20 12:09

    Our Life sentences’ have risen 2400% since 1995 isn’t that scary enough just bring back the death penalty. Saudi Arabia is not the best example when it comes to Human rights, but they do one thing very well, public executions, and look at their crime rate.

      lj.roos - 2012-11-20 13:23

      The problem is that European states do not take into account the types of communities in question. Some socio-economical groups are just more violent, and less culturally peaceful than others, that's a very crappy, but very real, fact of life. What laws would be efficient for one society, will not necessarily be good for another.

      lj.roos - 2012-11-20 13:24

      There's a variable in anything, everywhere..

  • exc0wb0y - 2012-11-20 13:50

    Jesus Christ! So none of you actually cares if an innocent person gets executed right? How about that? Imagine if someone close to you (or yourself) gets the dead penalty even if innocent! Will you still think the same? And public executions? How do you think a dead body hanging in the middle of a square is going to affect a young child's psyche? Spreading fear is not the solution to a problem. First get your facts, than start blabbing, you ignorant idiots!

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