The Portuguese government congratulates the authorities of Benin for the approval by the Beninese National Assembly on 5 June of a new Penal Code whereby the death penalty is abolished.

Portugal commends Benin on this important step towards the universal abolition of the death penalty, hoping that this decision may motivate other countries, both in the African continent and elsewhere, to follow its path.

Capital punishment is a violation of the right to life and disrespectful of human dignity, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, and in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966.

Portugal has abolished the death penalty over 150 years ago, is opposed to its application under any circumstances, and repudiates any arguments to justify it. Portugal will continue to strive for the universal abolition of capital punishment.

Lisbon, 15 june 2018

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