"Stepping Back From Capital Punishment," is the title of an OpEd published in the New York Times. It's written by Mohammed Bedjaoui, Ruth Dreifuss, and Federico Mayor. Bedjaoui is a former judge at the International Court of Justice; Dreifuss, a former president of the Swiss Confederation; and, Mayor a former minister of education and science of Spain. They are members of the International Commission against the Death Penalty.
Yet in the first month of 2013, Saudi Arabia beheaded nine people. In recent weeks, Yemen has sentenced a juvenile offender to death, fueling hunger strikes by scores of imprisoned children. Iran has reportedly begun imposing death sentences for petty criminals accused of robbery.
Such developments make for grim reading. However, we at the International Commission against the Death Penalty — an independent body opposed to capital punishment in all cases — remain hopeful. It is clear that the world is becoming an increasingly lonely place for states that practice executions.
The United Nations call for a moratorium on executions is underpinned by a global trend toward abolition that has dramatically gathered pace in recent years. One hundred and five countries have repealed capital punishment in their laws and others no longer carry out executions.
According to the United Nations, over 150 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.
Related posts are in the international index.