Spanish PM calls for worldwide moratorium on death penalty

08:19, October 08, 2010      

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Spanish Prime Minister, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, called for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty on Thursday.

Zapatero was speaking at the International Commission against the Death Penalty, which was founded in Madrid on Thursday with the aim of bringing an end to the death penalty within five years.

The prime minister was present in the inaugural act along with former UNESCO chief Federico Mayor Zaragoza, in an act that coincided with the World and European days against the death penalty.

"It is not a punishment, it is a horror," said Zapatero, who added that the year 2015 had been chosen as it coincided with the date for the fulfilment of the United Nations' Millennium Objectives.

"Those objectives would not be well articulated if the battle for a moratorium and the abolition (of the death penalty) were not also on the agenda," he said.

"The day that the death penalty disappears from the final country and the final nation, humanity will be more dignified, people will have more freedom and civilization will begin a period of greater richness."

"We are all going to work to achieve the moratorium on the death penalty in 2015," added the Spanish prime minister.

The commission will have 10 members, among them Bill Richardson, governer of the U.S. state of New Mexico, who abolished the punishment in his state in 2009, and former Italian Prime Minister, Giuliano Amato.

Former French Justice Minister Robert Badinter and former Algerian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohammed Bedjaouri and Argentinean Rodolfo Mattarollo are also on the commission, as are the ex-president of the Helvetian Confederation, Ruth Dreifuss and former prime minister of Haiti, Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis.

The president of the Commission for Human Rights in Pakistan, Asma Jahangir, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour and Turkish philosopher, Ioanna Kucuradi made up the final members.

Source: Xinhua


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