Sophie Wilmès reaffirms the Belgian commitment to the universal abolition of the death penalty: “A cruel punishment and an unacceptable violation of human dignity”

This year, World Day focuses on women, although they represent only a small percentage of those facing the death penalty.

“In some countries, women are more often sentenced to death than men for crimes relating to sexual morals, such as adultery. In addition, the mitigating circumstances related to gender-based violence and abuse are rarely taken into account. during the criminal proceedings “, points out Sophie Wilmès. “The death penalty therefore violates not only the right to life, but also other human rights such as the right to equality and non-discrimination. It remains above all a cruel punishment and a violation. unacceptable to human dignity, ”adds the Minister.

Last Friday, the Human Rights Council adopted a new resolution, co-presented by Belgium, which addresses the issue of transparency in the application of the death penalty.

This resolution “calls on countries that have not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure transparency in the imposition and enforcement of this sentence, including in their methods of enforcement, and calls on countries that are still secret executions to end this practice, “the SPF Foreign Affairs said. It has been supported by some 60 countries.

With this initiative, Belgium, candidate for a seat on the Human Rights Council for the period 2023-2025, is part of the objective of a complete abolition of the death penalty for all crimes in the world. , punctuates the press release.

The death penalty was abolished in our country in 1996, but the last execution dates back to 1950.

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