Parliamentary Assembly

Position of the Parliamentary Assembly as regards the Council of Europe member and observer countries which have not abolished the death penalty

Doc. 10152
26 April 2004

Motion for a recommendation
presented by Mrs Wohlwend and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

In the last ten years, the Parliamentary Assembly has adopted no less than five resolutions and four recommendations on the abolition of the death penalty, implacably reiterating its total opposition to the death penalty, which it considers as an act of torture and an inhuman and degrading punishment, and therefore a grave violation of human rights.

At present, all Council of Europe member States are party to Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention on Human Rights on the abolition of the death penalty, with the sole exception of Russia, which nevertheless signed it on 16 April 1997.

Significantly, less than two years after its opening for signature, 42 of the Council of Europe's 45 member States have already signed Protocol No. 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances. 24 States have ratified it. Only Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia have still not signed it.

At European level, just one of the Council of Europe's 45 member States has still not formally abolished the death penalty, namely Russia. Russia has had a moratorium on the death penalty in place for 8 years now. However, some Russian political leaders continue to issue frequent calls for the moratorium to be lifted, and recently they have called for the reintroduction of the death penalty for the instigators of terrorist acts.

Regarding the countries enjoying observer status with the Council of Europe, the Assembly has asked Japan and the United States on two occasions, in 2001 and 2003, to introduce an immediate moratorium on executions and to take the necessary steps to abolish the death penalty. Once again, the Assembly can but note that its calls have not been acted upon and that Japan and the United States continue to apply the death penalty and infringe their fundamental obligation to respect human rights, as set forth in statutory Resolution (93) 26.

            In the light of the afore-going, the Assembly considers that dialogue with the States concerned must be resumed as a matter of urgency and further action should be undertaken in order to promote the standards of the Council of Europe effectively. It also asks the Committee of Ministers to give concrete follow-up to its previous recommendations.

Signed [1]:
Wohlwend, Liechtenstein, EPP/CD
Akçam, Turkey, EPP/CD
Ates, Turkey, SOC
Azevedo, Portugal, EPP/CD
Bartumeu Cassany, Andorra, SOC
Budin, Italy, SOC
Chiliman, Romania, LDR
Fedorov, Russia, EDG
Gündüz S., Turkey, LDR
Jaskiernia, Poland, SOC
Jurgens, Netherlands, SOC
Kroll, Poland, EPP/CD
Marty, Switzerland, LDR
McNamara, United Kingdom, SOC
Moldovan, Romania, SOC
Pehrson, Sweden, LDR
Sharandin, Russia, EDG
Shybko, Ukraine, SOC



Socialist Group
Group of the European People’s Party
European Democratic Group
Liberal, Democratic and Reformers’ Group
Group of the Unified European Left
Not registered in a group