GENEVA (22 December 2014) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein on Monday expressed deep regret at the lifting of the moratorium on the death penalty in Pakistan and Jordan in recent days, stressing that no judiciary – anywhere – can be infallible.
“It is very unfortunate that Pakistan and Jordan have resumed executions, reversing the moratoria on the death penalty that they had commendably put in place in 2008 and 2006 respectively,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “This is particularly disappointing given that just last week, a record 117 States voted in the UN General Assembly in favour of an international moratorium on the use of the death penalty.”
Globally, around 160 States have either abolished the death penalty, or do not practice it, and the number has been steadily growing in recent years. Zeid welcomed this positive trend, stressing that no justice system, no matter how robust, can guarantee against wrongful convictions.
“The crime rate, historically, is not lowered by the imposition of capital punishment,” he said. “Instead, shocking cases emerge, with tragic frequency, of the execution of people who are subsequently proven innocent – including in well-functioning legal systems.”
The High Commissioner urged the Governments of Pakistan and Jordan to re-impose the moratoria on the death penalty.
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