Calling upon the Arab Countries to Implement the UN Resolution 62/149 on the Establishment of a Moratorium on the Death Penalty
1. We, the representatives of the Arab civil society and the Arab coalitions challenging the death penalty, have met in Alexandria, the Arab Republic of Egypt, from 12 to 14 May 2008 at the kind invitation of the Swedish Institute in Alexandria and in partnership with Penal Reform International [PRI], in corporation with Amman Centre for Human Rights Studies [ACHRS] and MAAT Centre for Lawyers and Constitutional Studies, with the participation of representatives from the Cairo EC delegation, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Arab League and Amnesty International, for discussion and consultation on the implementation of the United Nations Recommendation 62/149 of 23 December 2007 concerning the establishment of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty;
2. Convinced that the death penalty is a violation of the most fundamental human right, i.e. the right to life; and that it did not succeed in any country in deterring criminality or in preventing it;
3. Believe that the death penalty amounts to torture and is a cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. It contravenes the principle that consecrates the sanctity of human life. Life is God given and he alone could take it back.
4. Note with regret that the Arab judicial systems are abusively using the death penalty at the time most countries are abandoning it.
7. Note with concern that the Arab legislations prescribing death penalty are ambiguous and leave room for wide interpretation in the categorization of acts punishable by death, such as organized crime, terrorism, treat to state security and other crimes of political nature.
- “(a) Respect[ing] international standards that provide safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, in particular the minimum standards, as set out in the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/50 of 25 May 1984;
- (b) Provide[ing] the Secretary-General with information relating to the use of capital punishment and the observance of the safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty;
- (c) Progressively restrict[ing] the use of the death penalty and reduce[ing] the number of offences for which it may be imposed;
- (d) Establish[ing] a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty”.