Biennial High-Level Panel Discussion on the Question of the Death Penalty. NB8 Finland (28.02.2023)

52nd session of the Human Rights Council

Biennial High-Level Panel Discussion on the Question of the Death Penalty.

A Nordic-Baltic Statement Delivered by Ambassador Kirsti Kauppi, Permanent Representative of Finland.

28 February 2023

Mr. President,

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Nordic-Baltic countries; Estonia, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden and my country Finland.

Crimes must be met with consequences. However, taking a life is never the answer. We call on all states to abolish the death penalty.

We commend the countries and states that have recently abolished the death penalty or actively moved towards it. We call for immediate moratoria on executions, leading to abolition, as well as restricting the use of the death penalty to the minimum, only to the “most serious crimes” in accordance with international law.

We are alarmed by the lack of transparency on the death penalty in various countries and call upon States to provide public, disaggregated data on death sentences. Increased attention to the gender dimension of the death penalty is necessary.

States have the obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights of all. Not meeting due process and fair trial guarantees or causing additional suffering in the execution of the death penalty can amount to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, among other violations. In accordance with international human rights law, children must always be exempted from the death penalty.

Lastly, exercising human rights, such as freedoms of religion and belief, of expression, or belonging to the LGBTQI+ community, must never be punishable by death.

Thank you.