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Record number back UN vote against death penalty

Published on Nov 20, 2012 11:49 AM

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - A record 110 countries have backed a resolution voted every two years at a UN General Assembly committee calling for the abolition of the death penalty.

The vote tears apart traditional alliances at the United Nations. The United States, Japan, China, Iran, India, North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe were among 39 countries to oppose the non-binding resolution in the assembly's rights committee on Monday. Thirty-six countries abstained.

Israel voted against its strong US-ally to join European Union nations, Australia, Brazil and South Africa among major countries backing the motion.

Norway, which played a leading role campaigning for the resolution, said on its Twitter account that the increased support was a "great result". At the last vote in 2010, 107 countries backed the resolution.

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