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Europeans call for end to death penalty

BERN, Switzerland, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- At the behest of Switzerland, Swiss and European newspapers published a joint call Wednesday for a worldwide end to capital punishment.

Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter and his counterparts in five neighboring countries reaffirmed their commitment to join forces to abolish the death penalty, Swissinfo.ch reported.

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"As representatives of countries that uphold the same shared values, we join together in a united appeal for the abolition of the death penalty -- a practice for which there can no longer be any justification in the 21st century," said the foreign ministers of Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and Liechtenstein.

Their statement said more than 130 nations have abolished the death penalty or placed a moratorium on it while only about 50 countries still use it, including the United States.

Wednesday was the 10th World Day Against the Death Penalty.

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