The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided on 26 September 2007, to declare a ''European Day against the Death Penalty,'' which is held annually on 10 October.
The Council of Europe has been a pioneer in the abolition process which has made Europe a de facto death-penalty-free zone since 1997.
The day is a European contribution to the World Day against the Death Penalty, which is held annually on the same day.
Capital punishment is inhumane and unnecessary. Experience has also shown that it does not serve as a deterrent to crime. No legal system is flawless; any miscarriage of justice could lead to the tragic loss of an innocent life.
Abolition of the death penalty throughout Europe, and beyond, is an objective common to all our member states. No execution has taken place in our member states in the last fifteen years.
The European Union and the Council of Europe encourage all European States which have not yet abolished the death penalty de jure under all circumstances, to do so by ratifying the relevant protocols to the European Convention on Human Rights. (more...)
On this 10 October 2012, European and World Day against the death penalty, and in support of the joint statement of Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Ms Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy, the Committee of Ministers wishes to reaffirm its unequivocal opposition to the death penalty, in all places and in all circumstances. (more...)