The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe decided on 26 September 2007, to declare a ''European Day against the Death Penalty,'' which is held annually on 10 October. The Council of Europe has been a pioneer in the abolition process which has made Europe a de facto death-penalty-free zone since 1997. The day is a European contribution to the World Day against the Death Penalty, which is held annually on the same day.

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EU/Council of Europe Strasbourg 9 October 2019
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Marija Pejčinović Burić and Federica Mogherini    ©European Union

Marija Pejčinović Burić and Federica Mogherini ©European Union

The European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Federica Mogherini, and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Marija Pejčinović Burić, have published a joint statement to mark the European and World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October.

The statement underlines both organisations’ firm opposition to the death penalty at all times and in all circumstances. It calls upon those Council of Europe member states which have not yet acceded to Protocols No 6 and 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights to do so without delay and once again urges Belarus to abolish the death penalty.