Executions in Japan: 'Our fight against the death penalty must go on'

"I am saddened and shocked that Japan, an observer State with the Council of Europe, continues to apply the death penalty: three executions have taken place this year, the last one on 11 November, just one month after the Federation of Japanese Bar Associations formally rejected this penalty. The resumption of executions is all the more unacceptable in that those sentenced to death are warned only a few hours before their execution and their families and lawyers are notified only after the event", said Mr Alain Destexhe (Belgium, Alliance of Democrats and Liberals for Europe), chair of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights.

"Even though 140 countries throughout the world have already abolished this cruel, inhuman and pointless punishment in law or in practice, our fight against capital punishment must go on. The Council of Europe should strive even more for its abolition in its dealings with third countries with which structured cooperation has been established".