We have added our name to a joint statement to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council’s 44th session, along with 51 other members of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, is a coalition of anti-death penalty organisations working together towards global abolition of the death penalty. Reprieve is a member.
The joint statement calls for a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty during the COVID-19 pandemic as the restricted access to prisons and the restrictions on court proceedings risk inadequate legal representation and could lead to unfair trials.
The imposition of the death penalty following an unfair trial is a breach of international human rights law.
The UN Human Rights Council is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system made up of 47 States responsible for the promotion and protection of human rights worldwide. It has the ability to discuss all thematic human rights issues and situations that require its attention throughout the year. We believe that the use of the death penalty during the COVID-19 pandemic needs to be discussed and it should call for a moratorium immediately.