The Delegation of the European Union (EU) issues the following statement in agreement with the Embassies of France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Romania and the UK High Commission, the Embassies of Norway and Switzerland, as well as the High Commissions of Canada and Australia.
The Government of Sri Lanka has recently taken measures towards resuming executions and bringing an end to Sri Lanka's 43-year moratorium on the death penalty as part of its stepped up anti-drug policy. While acknowledging that combatting the proliferation of drugs is a serious challenge for countries around the world, and that action to counter the illicit drug trade is important and necessary, the evidence does not support the argument that the death penalty is an effective deterrent. We are ready to share our experiences in addressing the threat posed by drugs.
More than two-thirds of countries around the world, with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds, have either abolished the death penalty or do not practise it. The death penalty is an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity.
We call on the Sri Lankan Government to maintain its moratorium on the death penalty in line with its vote at the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in December 2018.