The European Union Delegation issues the following statement in agreement with the EU Heads of Mission in Kenya:
We welcome the decision of H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta to commute death sentences in Kenya to life imprisonment.
The EU considers capital punishment to be a cruel and inhuman punishment, which fails to provide deterrence to criminal behaviour and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity. All of the European Union’s Member States have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and worldwide abolition represents one of the main objectives of the EU’s human rights policy. The EU also welcomes the recent steps taken by the African Union towards the adoption of an Additional Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Abolition of the Death Penalty.
President Kenyatta’s action reaffirms Kenya’s position as one of the large and growing majority of countries around the world to have ended the use of the death penalty in law or in practice. As of December 2015, 140 countries (more than 2/3 of the countries of the world) were abolitionist: 102 abolitionist for all crimes, 6 abolitionist for ordinary crimes and 32 abolitionist in practice. This year three countries – Guinea, Mongolia and Nauru – have completely abolished the death penalty for all crimes. As friends of Kenya, it is our hope that President Kenyatta’s decision will turn out to be an important step towards the de jure abolishment of capital punishment in Kenya as well.
This statement has been issued by the following Heads of Mission in Kenya:
· European Union
· Czech Republic
· United Kingdom