COLOMBO, Sri Lanka – The European Union is urging Sri Lanka not to end its four-decade moratorium on the death penalty, saying capital punishment is not an effective deterrent to counter illicit drugs and related crimes.
Monday's statement from the EU comes a week after Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena announced that dates have been set for the country's first executions in 43 years amid rising alarm over drug-related crimes.
Sri Lanka last executed a prisoner in 1976. Currently, 1,299 prisoners are on death row, including 48 convicted of drug offenses
Authorities have intensified a crackdown on narcotics to deter smugglers from using the Indian Ocean island nation as a transit point for distribution in the region.