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Record backing expected for UN anti-death penalty vote

Published on Dec 20, 2012 8:35 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - A record number of countries are expected to back a UN General Assembly call for a moratorium on capital punishment on Thursday, diplomats said.

The vote held every two years now sees the likes of the United States, Japan, China, Iran and Iraq stuck in a shrinking minority as pressure grows for an end to executions.

About 150 countries now have at least a moratorium on capital punishment and just 21 were reported to have carried out executions in 2011, according to rights groups.

European nations have pressed hard for votes backing a moratorium at the UN vote. Norway's ambassador Geir Pedersen said there could be 112 or 113 countries in favor this year, up from 107 in 2010.

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