As we celebrate today, October 10th, the European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the Portuguese Government joins the countless appeals to abolish capital punishment everywhere.
Portugal was a pioneering country in the abolishment of the death penalty, and is opposed to the application of this form of punishment under any circumstances. The death penalty is a violation of the human right to life, consecrated since 1948 in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as completely disrespectful of human dignity. It is irreversible and does not have a proven dissuading effect.
Portugal will continue to strive, in the United Nations as well as in other international instances, for the definitive repeal of capital punishment. Portugal has been one of the sturdiest supporters of the UNGA resolution on a moratorium of the death penalty from its inception in 2007. We take heart in the growing number of supporters this resolution has accrued, an indication that the movement for the abolishment of the death penalty is transversal to all regions and continents. We hope that the resolution slated to be presented this fall at the UNGA may receive even more significant support.
In the year when we celebrate the 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the 40 years of Portugal’s accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, the Portuguese Government reiterates its appeal to all countries that have not yet established a moratorium on the death penalty to do so, as a first step towards its full abolition.