​​​​​​​​Feature stories


Death row ‘reserved for the poor’
Death row ‘reserved for the poor’
For those executed despite never having committed a crime, the death penalty is the ultimate injustice. What compounds it is that only poor people – denied access to legal safeguards that could have mitigated the punishment – are ever sentenced to death.
16 October 2018
An entire life sentenced to death
An entire life sentenced to death
On World Day against the Death Penalty, 10 October, we look at the gender-based biases and the intersectional discrimination that lead women to death row.
10 October 2018
Death penalty and transparency –  what
Death penalty and transparency – what's to hide?
“The death penalty has no place in the 21st century,” says UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, at a UN Human Rights Office event on the lack of transparency in in how the death penalty is carried-out in countries that execute.
26 October 2017
No room for death penalty in 21st century, says UN official, citing decline in support for capital punishment
No room for death penalty in 21st century, says UN official, citing decline in support for capital punishment
Ahead of the launch of a new book on the global trend away from the death penalty, the UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights said that there has been a decline in the number of countries upholding capital punishment in the last 40 years.
3 November 2015
UN chief concerned by rising number of executions in Iran
UN chief concerned by rising number of executions in Iran
Expressing his “deep sadness” at the recent execution by Iran of two juvenile offenders, UN Secretary-General noted with concern the alarming increase in executions in the country over the last decade.
19 October 2015
On World Day against Death Penalty, UN says practice deters neither drug crimes nor abuse
On World Day against Death Penalty, UN says practice deters neither drug crimes nor abuse
The death penalty does not deter drug crimes, nor does it protect people from drug abuse, said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in his message for the World Day Against the Death Penalty, 10 October.
11 October 2015
Death penalty victims’ families deserve respect, panellists say
Death penalty victims’ families deserve respect, panellists say
As more nations move toward abolishing the death penalty, more needs to be done to ensure the rights and needs of victims and their families are met, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Mr. Ban’s statement was part of the event Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Voices of Victims’ Families, an event which took place during the UN General Assembly in New York.
2 October 2015
At event on moving away from the death penalty, Ban stresses need to respect rights of victims’ families
At event on moving away from the death penalty, Ban stresses need to respect rights of victims’ families
As more nations move toward abolishing the death penalty, more needs to be done to ensure the rights and needs of victims and their families are met, said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Mr. Ban’s statement was part of the event Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Voices of Victims’ Families, an event which took place during the UN General Assembly in New York.
30 September 2015
UN marks World Day against Death Penalty with strong calls to end
UN marks World Day against Death Penalty with strong calls to end 'cruel practice'
The continuing application of the death penalty is a “cruel practice” that undermines human dignity, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said as he urged Member States to “reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights” and impose moratoriums on executions.
10 October 2014
World must continue to strive for abolition of death penalty, says senior UN official
World must continue to strive for abolition of death penalty, says senior UN official
As long as the death penalty exists, there will be a need to advocate against it, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, declared today at the launch of a new United Nations publication aimed at raising awareness on the abolition of capital punishment.
9 October 2014
‘Death penalty has no place in 21st century,’ declares UN chief
‘Death penalty has no place in 21st century,’ declares UN chief
The death penalty has no place in the 21st century, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared, calling on all States take concrete steps towards abolishing or no longer practicing this form of punishment.
2 July 2014