On 10 October 2021, European and World Day against the Death Penalty, the Deputy Protector of Citizens Natasa Tanjević PhD, said that World and European Day against the Death Penalty was a very important date in the field of human rights protection and promotion, because it recalls the importance of protecting human life and human dignity. She added that the accepting Protocol no. 6 directly led to the increase in the number of abolitionist countries in Europe to the European Convention on Human Rights, which recommends the abolition of the death penalty in national criminal law. Ms. Tanjević stated as well that its abolition was considered necessary for the protection of human dignity, as well as for the progressive development of human rights.
The death penalty was abolished in Serbia in 2002, and was last executed in 1992. In recent years, the issue of the introduction of the death penalty has been raised in the public from time to time, and citizens’ attitude correlates with cases of monstrous violence against children and domestic violence, as well as the organized crimes that justifiably cause great condemnation and public upset and demand the most severe punishment. Such attitudes require a continuous indication of why the restoration of the death penalty would be unacceptable.
The stance against the death penalty stems from the universal and fundamental right to life. The right to life is an innate right and the state is obliged to protect and respect it, not to take it away. It is also woven into the human dignity of every human being, including the perpetrators of the most heinous crimes, Ms. Tanjević has stressed out.
It should also be borne in mind that there is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty is preventive overall. In countries that apply the death penalty, the crime rate is not lower than the crime rate in the countries that abolished it, nor has there been an increase in serious crime in some countries after the abolition of the death penalty. Finally, one should keep in mind a possible miscarriage of justice, for which an innocent person could be sentenced to death.
By celebrating 10th October, the countries, organizations and people across the globe confirm their commitment to abolishing death penalty in the countries in which it still exists and their determination not to allow its restoration in countries that have already abolished it.
The Constitution of the Republic of Serbia declares human life inviolable and the Protector of Citizens remains determined in his position that the reintroduction of the death penalty should never be allowed.