CM/AS(2007)Rec1760 prov 8 January 20071
985 Meeting, 31 January 2007
4 Human Rights
4.6 Position of the Parliamentary Assembly as regards the Council of Europe member and observer states which have not abolished the death penalty
Parliamentary Assembly Recommendation 1760 (2006)
Item to be prepared by the Rapporteur Group on Human Rights (GR-H) at its meeting on 18 January 2007
1. The Committee of Ministers has duly considered Recommendation 1760 (2006) reflecting the position of the Parliamentary Assembly as regards the Council of Europe member and observer states which have not abolished the death penalty.
2. The Committee of Ministers wishes to reiterate its firm opposition to the death penalty which constitutes an inhuman punishment in contradiction with the fundamental right to life which everyone must enjoy. Acknowledging with satisfaction the growing and irreversible trend towards universal abolition, it recalls that the death penalty has been de facto abolished on the European continent since 1997. It notes that all member states, with the exception of the Russian Federation, have ratified Protocol No. 6 to the ECHR prohibiting recourse to the capital punishment in time of peace. It welcomes the rapidly growing number of states having ratified Protocol No. 13 to the ECHR which prohibits the death penalty at all times. The Committee has repeatedly urged the Russian Federation to ratify Protocol No. 6, thus making the continent a de jure death penalty free zone, and will continue to follow progress towards ratification. Moreover, it promotes ratification of Protocol No. 13 by those states not having ratified it yet.
3. As expressed in its reply to the Assembly’s Recommendation 1627 (2003), the Committee of Ministers commends the Parliamentary Assembly's sustained determination, and fully supports its initiatives, to enter into informed debate with the legislative bodies of two observer states, Japan and the United States of America (USA).
4. In response to paragraph 9, the Committee of Ministers has requested its Chairperson to transmit Resolution 1349 (2003) to the governments of Japan and the USA and, in doing so, to call on them to intensify dialogue with the Committee on the question of the death penalty. The Chair will stress the Council of Europe’s attachment to this vital issue and highlight the extensive experience of the Organisation in this field, which might be drawn upon to achieve a moratorium on executions and subsequent abolition. The Chairperson will also draw attention to the obligation for observer states to meet the requirements of Statutory Resolution (93) 26, the additional criteria adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 7 July 1999, and relevant international legal standards.
5. As regards the further country specific recommendations made by the Assembly, the Committee of Ministers is able to convey to the Assembly the following elements based on information provided by the delegations of the three member states concerned: Albania [to be completed]; Azerbaijan [to be completed]; Latvia [to be completed]2.
6. The Committee of Ministers will inform the Parliamentary Assembly about further developments.
Note 1 This document has been classified restricted at the date of issue. Unless the Committee of Ministers decides otherwise, it will be declassified according to the rules set up in Resolution Res(2001)6 on access to Council of Europe documents.
Note 2 The delegations concerned are invited to provide the Secretariat with further information in due time before the GR-H meeting of 18 January 2007.