Forty years later, France wants to extend its conquest of civilization throughout the world and will launch an initiative for the universal abolition of the death penalty, as announced by Emmanuel Macron, who wants to make it the leitmotif of the next presidency of EU by Paris.
Macron was on the side of Robert Badinter, the “father” of the abolition of the death penalty in France, who on October 9, 1981, in the first months of François Mitterrand’s socialist presidency as Minister of Justice, passed the landmark decision.
The articulation of the initiative, as announced by the French president himself, envisions a “summit” in early 2022 to persuade countries still applying the death penalty to drop it.
“The death penalty is destined to disappear all over the world, as it is a disgrace to humanity,” warned Badinter, 93, they wrote.
And, under the dome of the Pantheon in Paris, where the 40th anniversary of the conquest of French civilization was celebrated, the concluding words of the former Minister of Justice “Long live universal abolition!” gave way to a storm of applause and emotion among the 200 guests present.
Macron praised “his passion, never changed by time, and his ability to be indignant.”
“The revolution you brought is anchored in the life of the French nation,” Macron said.
The abolition of the death penalty was a pledge of Mitterrand’s election campaign, which kept that promise in the first months of his term after the guillotine ended in the attic that October 9, four years after his last execution.
“France, in 1981, became the 35th country to abolish the death penalty,” Macron recalled.
To date, that number has risen to 106, with another 50 complying with a “de facto” or legal moratorium on executions.
“But the battle for universal abolition is more current than ever,” Macron added.
This is because right-wing extremist Eric Zemmour states that he is philosophically in favor of a return to the death penalty.
Macron recalled that there were 483 executions worldwide in 2020.
“483 state assassinations, committed by 33 political regimes that for the most part have a common taste for despotism for denying the universality of human rights, but not only,” Macron said.
For this reason, under the French EU presidency, France will host the UN General Assembly against the death penalty in Paris, a summit at the highest level with the civil societies of countries still applying the death penalty, or a moratorium to convince them of the urgency of its removal.
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