[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jul 12 12:02:52 CDT 2004
EU 'very clear' against death penalty in talks with Iraqi FM
The European Union sent a "very clear" message to Iraqi Foreign Minister
Hoshyar Zebari Monday against use of the death penalty, the EU's Dutch
"Our policy will not change: we are opposed to capital punishment," Dutch
Foreign Minister Bernard Bot told a news conference alongside Zebari.
"We hope to continue dialogue on this issue, but I think that the message
has been very clear as far as the European Union is concerned," Bot said.
Many Iraqis have demanded the death penalty, which was abolished by the
US-led coalition before it returned power to an Iraqi administration a
fortnight ago, against Saddam Hussein and other top figures of the old
Zebari said "I fully understand" the EU position, explaining he personally
had been a campaigner against capital punishment.
"The democratic and free Iraq that we aspire to establish should also be
free of any clauses of the death penalty in its law," said the Iraqi
minister, who spoke in English.
"On the other hand, we are facing a serious security and terrorist
challenge to the new order. These people who are fighting Iraqis, who are
killing innocent Iraqis, are senseless and out of human conscience," he
"There is a need for the new government to be more decisive and tougher in
its actions to bring the security situation under its control."
(source: Agence France Presse)
Iraq rejects EU appeal for revocation of death penalty
Iraq on Monday turned down the European Union (EU)'s request for the
revocation of the death penalty in the war-torn country.
After meeting EU foreign ministers here, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar
al-Zibari said: "It (abolition of the death penalty) is a difficult and
tough decision, and it is very sensitive."
"The situation in Iraq is serious. Terrorists are killing innocent
people...and the death penalty in effect can deter these people," he said.
Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot, in his capacity as president of the EU
Council, said after meeting Zibari: "We made clear that we hope for
dialogue on the issue."
The abolition of the death penalty would directly link with the fate of
former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi Interim government
recently announced that the death penalty is being restored in Iraq.
Zibari said Iraq fully understands the EU's position on the issue, but it
was "senseless" to talk about "human conscience" under current
circumstances in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Zibari said he had also asked the EU, the largest donor of
humanitarian aid to Iraq, to give more political and economic assistance
including helping the government build administrative institutions and
restore service sectors. He also urged the EU to open an office in
Zibari arrived in Brussels earlier Monday in place of Iraqi Prime Minister
Iyad Allawi who was forced to cancel his scheduled meeting with EU foreign
ministers due to the volatile situation inhis country.
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