The death penalty and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

August 2021

The signatory organizations are convinced that the death penalty is incompatible with the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which is a peremptory norm of international law (jus cogens) and should thus be abolished. The death penalty is only tolerated by international law and standards to the extent that it may only be imposed for the most serious crimes and applied in a way that causes the least possible suffering. However, the signatory organizations believe that from the sentencing to the execution, the death penalty inevitably causes physical harm and psychological suffering amounting to torture or ill-treatments.

The present position paper documents the extent to which international and regional organisation have already recognised a violation of the absolution prohibitionof torture in the application and imposition of the death penalty.

Signatory organizations:

1. Paris Bar Association; 2. Bar Association of Puerto Rico (BAPR); 3. Nigerian Coalition Against the Death Penalty (CONICOPEM); 4. Capital Punishment Justice Project (CJPJ); 5. Tunisian Coalition Against the Death Penalty (CTCPM); 6. Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM); 7. International Federation of ACAT (FIACAT); 8. International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH); 9. International Rehabilitation Council for Torture Victims (IRCT); 10. Iran Human Rights (IHR); 11. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT); 12. Parliamentarians for Global Action (PGA); 13. Redress; 14. Syndicat national des agents de la formation et de l'éducation du Niger (SYNAFEN) ; 15. World Coalition Against Death Penalty (WCADP) ; 16. Witness to Innocence (WTI).