40 years fighting the death penalty – highlights

Highlights from our 40-year fight for abolition


Amnesty holds an international conference in Sweden on the death penalty, leading to the Declaration of Stockholm, the first international manifesto calling on all governments to abolish the death penalty. This work contributes to our winning the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize. ©Amnesty International


We publish our first global statistical report on the death penalty. From this point, we become a key global authority on monitoring and reporting on death sentences and executions carried out by governments worldwide. © Amnesty International


During the French presidential elections, Amnesty France engages in an intense mobilisation campaign directed at presidential candidates and others to abolish the death penalty in France. François Mitterrand wins the election and abolishes capital punishment later that year. © Getty Images


Thanks to the vocal support of Amnesty and others, four of the Sharpeville Six (pictured) are finally released from prison, followed by the other two in 1992. The six South African protesters had been spared execution earlier in 1988 when their death sentences were commuted. © Independent Print Limited


In November, Amnesty, along with other organizations and anti-death penalty activist Sister Helen Prejean (4th from left), delivers more than 5 million signatures to the UN, calling for a global freeze on executions. The UN adopts its first ever resolution on this in December. © UN Photo/Paulo Filgueiras


Uzbekistan abolishes the death penalty for all crimes, following decades of campaigning and advocacy by Amnesty, local and international partners. © Amnesty International


Intense campaigning and advocacy by the Amnesty group in Guinea (pictured) together with local partners, results in members of parliament voting in a new criminal code that removes the death sentence from the list of applicable punishments. © Amnesty International


Mongolia’s parliament adopts a new criminal code, consigning the death penalty to history. This historic milestone comes after 21 years of relentless campaigning by Amnesty Mongolia and supporters. © Amnesty International Mongolia


As of September 2017, 141 countries around the world have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. With your help, we won’t need another 40 years to reach Amnesty’s goal of ending the death penalty for good. © Amnesty International

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