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Abolition Of Death Penalty In Russia Requires Long Public Awareness Campaign - Russian Diplomat

MOSCOW. Sept 24 (Interfax) - Russia would like to abolish the death penalty but the idea is not being broadly supported among the public, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin.

"As far as the long-term legislation is concerned, the question as to whether Russia would sign the Protocol N6 (abolition of the death penalty in peaceful time) and the Protocol N14 (the reform of the European Court of Human Rights) to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms will remain a politically sensitive issue," he said at the Federation Council the day earlier. The text of his speech was posted on the Russian Foreign Ministry's website on Wednesday.

"Because the Russian public still perceives the death penalty as an effective deterrent preventing grave crimes, the ratification of the Protocol N6 will require a further painstaking awareness campaign by all branches of the Russian power and the media," the deputy minister said.

"As for the Protocol N14, the uncompleted reform of the Russian judicial and law enforcement system is one of the factors that hampers all 47 nations that are members of the Council of Europe to reach a consensus of Russia's accession," the Russian diplomat said.

"This involves a continued dialogue with CE partners in looking for possible ways of exercising the provisions of the Protocol N14," he said.

"However, this will not happen unless Russia ratifies this protocol as all other 46 CE members did," Karasin said.