Statement by the Committee of Ministers

on the recent executions in the United States of America

(Adopted by the Committee of Ministers on 12 February 2014
at the 1191st meeting of the Ministers’ Deputies)

The Committee of Ministers deplores the executions which have been recently carried out in the United States of America.

The Committee of Ministers is deeply shocked to learn about the circumstances under which one death sentence was carried out in the State of Ohio on 16 January 2014.

The Committee of Ministers expresses deep concern about the fact that in Texas, despite the efforts of the Federal government, an execution of a Mexican citizen was carried out although his rights under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which the United States is a party, were not respected in breach of an undisputed international obligation, as appears from the judgment of the International Court of Justice of 31 March 2004 in the case of Avena and other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America).

At the same time, the Committee welcomes as a step in the right direction the moratorium on the application of the death penalty decided yesterday by the Governor of the State of Washington.

The Committee of Ministers calls on the USA authorities to put an end to this inhumane practice with the establishment of a moratorium on the use of death penalty as a first step towards its abolition and to respect the values and principles of the Council of Europe.

The Committee of Ministers reiterates its unequivocal opposition to capital punishment in all places and in all circumstances. As a matter of principle, it remains determined to continue its efforts towards global abolition of this inhumane practice.


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