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Ukraine: Parliament Ratifies Human Rights Convention

Kyiv, 18 July 1997 (RFE/RL) - Ukraine's Parliament has ratified the European Human Rights convention but passed over a protocol banning the death penalty.

Parliament in a session late last night approved the convention which is aimed at safeguarding human rights.

Legislators however did not vote on a protocol that would abolish capital punishment. The action reflects an ongoing debate in Ukraine on the issue.

Ukraine pledged to abolish capital punishment when it joined the Council of Europe in November 1995 but, according to the Interior Ministry, last year carried out the death penalty some 170 times. No convicts were put to death this year. Local newspaper reports say there are currently about 135 prisoners with death sentences in Ukraine's jails.