16th World Day Against the Death Penalty: Living conditions on death row

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On 10 October 2018, the 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty aims at raising awareness on the inhumane living conditions of people sentenced to death.

As a member of the Steering Committee of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, FIDH continues to relentlessly fight against this archaic, inhuman and degrading punishment.

The conditions of detention of the people sentenced to death might differ from one country to another, but affect us all.
From solitary confinement in the United States, to the overcrowded prisons in several countries in Africa and Asia, the living conditions for the people sentenced tend to dehumanize and take away the dignity of individuals. Very often, death row prisoners become human beings on which the society does not invest anymore, as if, even before being executed, they were no longer alive, they were no longer considered as « human beings ».

In addition, death row prisoners have very little contact with their family and lawyers, as the access to death row is often very limited. Therefore, the conditions of detention affect not only the person sentenced to death but also the families, relatives and legal team.

The death penalty in practice

• 107 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes
• 7 countries have abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes
• 28 countries are abolitionist in practice
• 56 countries are retentionist
• 23 countries carried out executions in 2017
• In 2017, the top five executioners were China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan.

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