UK Death Penalty Strategy

Thank you for following up with your concerns on the Foreign Office's work to end the use of the death penalty.

Unfortunately, I understand from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that you have been misinformed by Reprieve. The Government has not abandoned or de-prioritised its pursuit of the global abolition of the death penalty. The Government's opposition to the death penalty is clear. As the Prime Minister recently said: "We condemn and do not support the death penalty in any circumstances and that includes Saudi Arabia. We always make representations on the death penalty." This is part of the day-to-day work of diplomatic missions to all countries who retain the death penalty FCO Ministers take all appropriate opportunities to urge penal reform and the abolition of the death penalty with our counterparts overseas.

The FCO has been clear that, under its new approach to human rights, it will pursue human rights in their universality - a more ambitious and coherent approach. It is for that reason that the FCO is not publishing a new strategy specific to the death penalty. The Government has also been clear that its bilateral and multilateral support to global efforts to abolish the death penalty will continue to form an important part of its overall human rights work. That work will continue to be documented in the FCO's Annual Human Rights Report.

I hope this clarifies the situation.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.