Joint Statement on the execution of Matthew Reese in the US

OSCE Permanent Council no. 1353, 03 February 2022.

Mr. Chair,

I have the honor to deliver this statement on behalf of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, as well as my own country Switzerland.

Our countries categorically reject the application of the death penalty under all circum-stances and everywhere in the world. We are convinced that capital punishment is not only contrary to the right to life, but also cruel and discriminatory. It seriously violates human dignity and amounts to torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. Moreover, as numerous studies show, capital punishment has no proven deterrent effect.

We deplore the recent two executions, which took place on 27 and 28 January in the US States of Oklahoma and Alabama respectively.

We find it particularly concerning that the mental conditions of the two men executed were not taken into consideration for clemency, despite the urgent appeals made by various states, including some of our countries, to the relevant authorities in this regard prior to the executions.

While welcoming the current moratorium on federal executions, we reiterate our call on the US government to work towards its abolition and to encourage all states in the country still applying the death penalty to impose a moratorium on executions.

In addition, we reinforce our call to completely free the OSCE region from the death penalty.

Thank you, Mr. Chair.