UN chief Ban calls for end of death penalty

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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has called for the death penalty to be abolished. Ban told a panel on the issue convened on Wednesday by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. "The taking of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict on another, even when backed by legal process," Ban said.

Since the General Assembly endorsed a call for a death penalty moratorium in 2007, several nations have abolished the death penalty, including Argentina, Burundi, Gabon, Latvia, Togo and Uzbekistan.

The UN says 150 nations have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it. Ban said he was especially concerned that the death penalty is still used for juvenile offenders, and 32 nations use it for drug-related offences.

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