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[JURIST] UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein [official profile] reaffirmed the UN's long-standing position against the death penalty Wednesday and urged [statement] member states to end its use. In his opening statement at the biennial high-level panel discussion on the death penalty, Zeid condemned [press release] the practice by pointing to its infringement on human dignity. He went on to explain that the weight of impending death reaches beyond those sentenced and into the lives of the prisoner's children and other family members. He raised several implications with the death penalty and the ban on cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, one of which was the lengthy mental anguish associated with prisoners on death row. Zeid stated that the use of the penalty likely violated the prohibition on torture, and had the potential to go against international human rights law. He ended by calling on member stated to abolish the death penalty completely.
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