On the seventh anniversary of the World Day Against the Death Penalty and the third anniversary of the European Day Against the Death Penalty, Foreign Office Minister Jeremy Browne said:
“I reaffirm the UK’s opposition to the death penalty in all circumstances. The death penalty fundamentally undermines human dignity. There is no conclusive evidence to suggest that it holds any value as a deterrent.
“The UK will continue its efforts across the world to achieve global abolition. Where this cannot be achieved in the short term, our aim is to reduce the numbers of executions carried out and the types of crime to which it applies.
“I welcome several positive developments this year: in July the Court of Appeal in Kenya ruled the mandatory death penalty for murder unconstitutional; in January, Mongolia introduced a moratorium on executions, and just last month the Supreme Court in Uganda commuted the sentences of 167 prisoners on death row to life imprisonment. It is also an encouraging start that China has expressed its intention to reduce the numbers of crimes eligible for the death penalty from 68 to 55.
“We continue to join the EU and others in the call to all remaining retentionist states to establish a moratorium on executions, and hope to see increased support this autumn for the cross-regional initiative in the UN General Assembly calling for a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty.”