Australia Joins Nations Against Death Penalty

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By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 20, 2012 5:46 PM EST

Australia, along with 109 other nations, on Tuesday supported a resolution at the UN General Assembly urging for the elimination of the death penalty. The declaration is voted upon every two years by member-nations.

Thirty-nine countries, among them the United States, Japan, China, Iran, India, North Korea and Syria, voted against the non-binding resolution in the assembly's rights committee. Thirty-six other countries, meantime, abstained.

Apart from Australia, those which supported the abolition include Israel, the European Union nations, Brazil and South Africa.

At the last vote two years ago, 107 countries backed the resolution. The uptick in the number of support was a "great result," according to nation Norway's Twitter account, which gave off a large amount of time to generate supporters for the abolition.

In June 2013, a world congress against the death penalty will be held in Madrid, Spain.

The Australian reported, citing Amnesty International, that China alone in 2011 had put to death thousands" of prisoners, without detailing exact numbers.

Other nations using the severe form of capital punishment include Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

About 150 countries have eradicated using capital punishment, according to the United Nations. In 2011, the state of Illinois in the United States became the 16th US state to abolish the death penalty.

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