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Farron calls on prime minister to do more about death penalty abroad

January 3, 2016 5:01 PM
In The Guardian

Tim Farron - Saudia Arabia

The UK foreign office has released a statement.

A spokeswoman said: "The UK opposes the death penalty in all circumstances and in every country. The death penalty undermines human dignity and there is no evidence that it works as a deterrent.

"The foreign decretary regularly raises human rights issues with his counterparts in countries of concern, including Saudi Arabia. We seek to build strong and mature relationships so that we can be candid with each other about those areas on which we do not agree, including on human rights."

The Liberal Democrat leader, Tim Farron, responded to news of the executions by describing capital punishment as abhorrent, and called on the prime minister to do more to pressure foreign governments into abolishing the death penalty.

Farron said: "I utterly condemn Saudi Arabia for the execution of 47 people including the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. Capital punishment is utterly abhorrent and the prime minister needs to turn round to our 'ally' and tell them capital punishment is wrong.

"In 2014, 90 people were beheaded in the kingdom, the highest in two decades. In just two days they have killed 47 people.

"Britain must live our values and criticise nations like Saudi Arabia that continue this heinous and barbarous punishment."