The European Union and other diplomatic missions on Monday sought verification from the Sri Lankan government on its stand to resume executions after a rise in crime. In a joint statement, the EU delegation and the embassies of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Canada and Norway said they have written to Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena regarding the issue.
There is a rising crime wave in Sri Lanka, including gang-related killings, narcotics, robberies and sex crimes, leading to a public outcry demanding executions. The government has responded by saying it will execute prisoners who have allegedly taken advantage of a moratorium on executions to continue their drug trade from prison. Sri Lanka last executed a prisoner in 1976 and has since maintained a moratorium.
“The mentioned diplomatic missions have made known in their letter that they strongly and unequivocally oppose capital punishment in all circumstances and in all cases,” the joint statement said.
“The death penalty is incompatible with human dignity, does not have any proven deterrent effect, and allows judicial errors to become fatal and irreversible,” it said, requesting that Sri Lanka’s government maintain the moratorium.