Amnesty International applauds European calls for federal moratorium on death penalty

'The increasing number of executions in the United States is of grave concern to the international community, including the member states of the European Union,' said AIUSA Executive Director William F. Schulz. 'The United States regards itself as a bastion of human rights, yet continues to expand and accelerate use of the death penalty.'

The letter restates that the European Union is firmly committed to the abolition of the death penalty and stresses that the Garza case is a decisive case that threatens a breach of the de facto 37 year moratorium on federal executions.

Amnesty International, the world's largest human rights organisation, has been campaigning to highlight the impact of use of the death penalty on the United States' relationships abroad. In a report released this week, Amnesty International details the cases of 10 of the 87 foreign citizens on death row in the USA. In almost every case, arresting authorities breached the provisions of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations by failing to promptly inform detainees of their consular rights. Article 36 of the Vienna Convention is a reciprocal guarantee of the right to consular assistance that also protects U.S. citizens arrested abroad.

Amnesty International opposes all executions unconditionally. AIUSA's National Program to Abolish the Death Penalty conducts public education and mobilises activists to eliminate capital punishment.

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