Statements made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson (Paris, May 3, 2013)

United States – Abolition of the death penalty by the state of Maryland
Statement issued by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs - World Press Freedom Day (May 3, 2013)


United States – Abolition of the death penalty by the state of Maryland

France welcomes the abolition of the death penalty by the state of Maryland, following ratification by Governor Martin O’Malley of the bill passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate in March. Maryland thereby becomes the 18th U.S. state to put an end to this inhuman punishment.

France reaffirms its firm and constant opposition to the use of the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances. It believes that the abolition of the death penalty is fundamental to the protection of human dignity: This is the thrust of the campaign for the universal abolition of the death penalty launched in October by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Lastly, France renews its appeal for the introduction of a universal moratorium with a view toward the definitive abolition of the death penalty.

 

Statement issued by Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs - World Press Freedom Day (May 3, 2013)

On this World Press Freedom Day, I would like to pay tribute to all journalists around the world who strive to uphold the duty to provide information and establish the truth, sometimes at the risk of their own lives.

Since the beginning of 2013, 19 journalists have been killed while carrying out their work. Reporters without Borders described 2012 – with 90 journalists killed last year - as the worst year since its first report in 1995. I would like in particular to pay tribute to the memory of our compatriots Olivier Voisin and Yves Debay who were killed during the last few months in Syria. 

Because the freedom of expression and the freedom of the press are fundamental rights which must be universally respected, the freedom to exercise the profession of journalism is one of the priorities of our human rights policy. The 21st session of the UN Human Rights Council on September 27 enabled us to adopt a new resolution on the protection of journalists in armed conflict.

We have a duty – and this day reminds us of that – to protect those who work to ensure the freedom of our information.