French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday commemorated the 40th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in France at the Pantheon, promising to “relaunch the fight for the universal abolition” of the death penalty.
“As part of the French presidency of the European Union (in the first half of 2022), we will organize, with the NGO Together against the death penalty (Together against the death penalty), a meeting in Paris at the highest level, bringing together civil societies from countries that still apply the death penalty […], in order to convince their leaders of the importance and the urgency of abolishing it, ”he declared.
Macron recalled that in 1981, France was “the 35th state to abolish the death penalty”. He added: “106 states have so far taken this route, while another 50 have a de jure or de facto moratorium on executions.”
But he noted with regret that “483 executions” were carried out worldwide in 2020, adding that the number was “almost certainly an underestimate”. He described the executions as “483 state assassinations committed by 33 regimes, most of which share a taste for despotism, a rejection of the universality of human rights.”
Macron spoke 40 years to the day, France has officially abolished the death penalty, under the then socialist president, François Mitterrand.
To mark this anniversary, former Minister of Justice Robert Badinter, the architect of the abolition of the death penalty in France, gave a passionate speech alongside Macron, calling for universal abolition.
“I want to share with you my absolute conviction that the death penalty must be eliminated from the whole world because it is a shame for humanity”, he declared. “The death penalty does not protect society, it dishonors it. “
>> Robert Badinter, the lawyer who fought to end the death penalty in France