Campaign against EU execution drugs exports will remember Troy Davis

Liberal Democrat European justice & human rights spokeswoman Sarah Ludford MEP has condemned the possibly imminent and highly controversial execution of US death row prisoner Troy Davis. Not only is his conviction very unsafe but he is set to be killed by lethal injection with a cocktail of drugs including one apparently manufactured by a European company.

Mr Davis was sentenced to death in 1991 for the murder of an off-duty policeman in Georgia despite many doubts surrounding the evidence for his guilt. A last appeal to the State Board of Pardons and Paroles in the US state of Georgia for clemency was denied on Tuesday and Mr Davis is due to be executed tonight barring a final plea to the Supreme Court.

Sarah Ludford
"The shocking determination to kill Troy Davis when so many doubts surround his conviction strongly makes the case against the medieval injustice of the death penalty."

"I successfully lobbied UK Business Secretary Vince Cable to stop the export of the execution drug sodium thiopental to death penalty states like Georgia. But loopholes remain such that pharmaceuticals made by European companies can be grotesquely hijacked from their legitimate use for anaesthesia or epilepsy treatment into a state death machine."

"So I am now pushing through the European Parliament for an EU-wide export ban on 'execution drugs'. We may not save Troy Davis but we can remember him by campaigning to end European complicity in such injustice."

Note to Editors:

The text of a Written Declaration( the European Parliament equivalent of a Westminster Early Day Motion tabled by Sarah Ludford MEP against the export of 'execution drugs') is as follows:

Written declaration on the Export of Drugs used for the Death Penalty in Third Countries

The European Parliament

- having regard to Articles 6 of the Treaty on European Union Council Regulation (EC) 1236/2005 and Article 2 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union

- having regard to Rule 123 of its Rules of Procedure

A. whereas the EU has been a global leader in advocating the abolition of the death penalty

B. whereas theUnited Statesis currently experiencing a shortage of drugs that certain states use to execute people by lethal injection

C. whereas drugs used in lethal injections are currently not included in Annex III of Council Regulation (EC) 1236/2005 (items subject to prior export authorisation) leaving European pharmaceutical companies free to supply these drugs to third countries that use them in executions

1. Calls on the Commission to immediately place on Annex III of Council Regulation (EC) 1236/2005 drugs including but not limited to Sodium Thiopental and Pentobarbital that are sourced in the EU and that can be used in executions in third countries;

2. Urges the Commission to regularly review and if necessary revise the aforementioned Regulation's Annexes;

3. Instructs its President to forward this declaration together with the names of the signatories to the Commission the Council and the Parliaments of the Member States

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