The European Union condemns the recent executions of two Tibetans, Mr Lobsang Gyaltsen and Mr Loyak. On the basis of its principled opposition to the death penalty, the EU, on 8 May 2009, called for a commutation of the death sentences handed down by Lhasa Intermediate People’s Court to several Tibetans, among them Mr Lobsang Gyaltsen and Mr Loyak, following the Lhasa riots in March 2008.
The EU respects China’s right to bring those responsible for the violence to justice but reaffirms its longstanding opposition to the use of the death penalty under all circumstances. The EU also recalls that in case the death penalty is maintained, internationally recognised minimum standards must be respected. These include all possible safeguards to ensure a fair trial and adequate representation. The EU reiterates its concerns about the conditions under which the trials were conducted, especially with regard to whether due process and other safeguards for a fair trial were respected.
The EU calls on China to commute all sentences of death imposed on persons for their alleged involvement in the Lhasa riots in March 2008.
The EU continues to call on the Chinese authorities to abolish the death penalty completely and, as a first step, to establish a moratorium as urged by the United Nations General Assembly in its resolutions 62/149 and 63/168.
The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration.
* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.