Plenary speech on the death penalty in Indonesia

Marietje
Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group Mr President, we strongly condemn this week’s cruel executions by firing squad of eight people in Indonesia, seven of whom were not even Indonesian citizens. Not only has the European Union, along with Australia, strongly appealed to the authorities not to go ahead with the executions, the EU also offered assistance to the Indonesian authorities in tackling drug trafficking. Punishing convicted criminals can be done in more humane ways and must always be preceded by a fair trial. We call for a halt to all pending executions in Indonesia. Colleagues, it is quite ironic, and actually shameful that on the day that we heard the appalling news of Indonesia’s executions, Viktor Orbán, whose party still remains a member of the PPE Group, suggested that the death penalty would be reinstated in Hungary. Such proposals are entirely inappropriate. As Mr Orbán knows very well, the death penalty is banned in Europe. I think we should be proud of that, as well as of our international efforts to end the death penalty, to limit its application and to seek countries putting a moratorium on this cruel and inhumane punishment. We have set the bar, as Europe, and intend to keep it rising, as liberal democracies. It would strengthen the voice of democracies in making appeals to countries such as Indonesia if the United States would stand side by side with Europe and would also outlaw the death penalty. We will – and we must – continue our efforts globally by working with governments and civil society organisations to ensure that the death penalty will soon belong to the past.