The spokesperson of the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission, Catherine Ashton, issued the following statement today:
The High Representative strongly deplores the execution of Abdel Karim Muhamed Haza’a today in Yemen. The European Union had, along with international partners, called for the suspension of the death sentence in order to gather more information on the case, notably regarding the age of the executed.
International treaties to which Yemen is a party, as well as Yemen’s penal law, specifically prohibit the execution of anyone convicted of committing a crime when he is under the age of 18. Capital punishment represents an irreversible loss of human life and should never be carried out if there remains any credible doubt about the age of the accused.
The EU opposes the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances and calls for a global moratorium as a first step towards its universal abolition. Given the number of young offenders currently on death row in Yemen, the High Representative calls on the Yemeni government to respect its obligations under international human rights law and to take seriously the dialogue with the international community on this issue.