Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2010-10-06-Speech-3-033"

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"Madam President, the motion for a resolution that we are debating today sets out our categorical opposition to the death penalty. There are simply no excuses for States coldly and deliberately exterminating defenceless people in their charge. The death penalty is therefore a crime in itself. It is often more than that, however. When people who have been sentenced to death are waiting for years in wretched conditions, the death penalty is also a form of torture. When the death penalty is used to make people frightened to rise up against oppression and dictatorship, as we have seen in Iran, for example, the death penalty is also a form of terrorism. As Mrs Lochbihler quite rightly said, the African-American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal is today a symbol in the fight for the abolition of the death penalty – ‘the voice of the voiceless’, as he was called when he was charged with the murder of a white police officer in 1981 and sentenced to death. For nearly 30 years, this man has been sitting on death row following a trial characterised by errors and shortcomings and with racist undertones. It is therefore also fitting for the motion for a resolution to highlight the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal as one of the specific cases on which to focus in the coming period, among other things, by representatives of the EU taking up the case with the US authorities, the US administration and, of course, the US President too. This example is no less important because it comes from the United States, which is, of course, the EU’s ally in many areas – in fact, it is perhaps more important, because in the fight against the death penalty, there is no room for double standards. In the fight against the death penalty, only one standard applies: an unconditional ‘no’ to the death penalty."@en1

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