France in favor of abolishment of death penalty: envoy

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Ambassador Nicolas Galey says proud to support JPP in its initiatives

ISLAMABAD, OCT 13 /DNA/ – Ambassador of France to Pakistan Nicolas Galey has said France, like its European partners and dozens of countries around the world, many of which represented here firmly opposed to the death penalty in all places and all circumstances.

He expressed these views during a function organized at the French residence.

He said this on the occasion of the 21st World Day against the Death Penalty. He thanked the JPP people for their presence and screening of a documentary.

Ambassador Galey said, his country supported unequivocally the dynamics of the movement in favor of the universal abolition of the death penalty. In 2002 four new States joined this movement (Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone and Central African Republic). The adoption in December 2022 by a historic number of 125 States, of the United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for a universal moratorium on the death penalty is a real progress.

‘Despite this progress, executions continue. In 2022 the number of executions reached highest in five years 883 persons, in 20 countries, were executed that is plus 53% compared to the previous year.

France deplores this trend and calls on these countries to observe moratorium like Pakistan since 2019 – with a view to definitely abolishing the death penalty. In this regard, we call on all states to ratify the second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. As we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights signed in Paris on 10 December, 1948, France is more than ever committed against the death penalty.

The ambassador said the Capital punishment is a cruel and unjust punishment. In 1948 exactly one century before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted, Victor Hugo, then a member of the French National Assembly tried to pass a law abolishing the death penalty and uttered these words; “ The death penalty is the special and eternal sign of barbarism. The right of life and death belongs only to God”.

He said as for the supposed exemplary nature of capital punishment it is an illusion and a lie, demonstrated by so many international statistics. They show that many countries that practice capital punishment have a very high crime rate, sometimes among the highest in the world, when criminality is considerably lower in those that have abolished it.

Ambassador Galey added, France strongly believed that justice cannot give to human beings the power of death on other human beings, not only because judicial processes are fallible but essentially because the death penalty is not an implementation of justice; it is a manifestation of vengeance and vengeance is the opposite of justice and of civilization.

He said he was proud to share this conviction against the death penalty with JPP, which is leading a courageous, vigorous and determined action against the capital punishment.

 ‘It is an honour for the French embassy to have contributed to the development of short videos including the one which has been screened’, the ambassador concluded.

Ms Sara Belal from the JPP in her speech thanked the French embassy for supporting their initiatives. She also briefed the audience about the background of the short film and an historical perspective of the death penalty, especially in the context of Pakistani laws.=DNA