When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Geopolitics

Death Penalty: Europe Restricts Export Of Drug Used In American Lethal Injections

Exclusive: Pushed by human rights groups, the European Union is set to ban the sale to the United States of one of the main active substances needed for lethal injections. Sodium thiopental is already in short supply, and executions are now set to be furt

Lethal injection room in California's San Quentin State Prison
Lethal injection room in California's San Quentin State Prison
Guido Bohsem

BERLIN - The European Union is set to restrict the sale to the United States of one of the main active substances needed for lethal injections. According to information obtained by the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the export of sodium thiopental will only be possible by special permission, beginning Friday, posing a major problem for the US justice system.

The Official Journal of the European Union (OJ) is to publish a new, uniform set of authorized export regulations, valid for all short or intermediate-acting barbituric acids. One of them is the easy-to-use and fast-working anesthetic sodium thiopental, which is used to execute criminals in the states of Ohio and Washington. In 33 other states, sodium thiopental is a key ingredient in other toxic cocktails used to kill inmates.

Approximately 100 people are executed by American authorities every year. But in the past few months, supplies of the drug have become scarce. The only manufacturer based in the US, Hospira, is unwilling to continue to make its product available for lethal injections, and under American law it is not allowed to simply change the injection "recipe." To do that, a complicated approval procedure is required. So authorities -- who have been postponing executions as a result of the difficulty in finding supplies -- have been seeking other sources such as those in the EU.

Anti-death penalty and other human rights groups have pushed for the EU decision to now require special permission to export to countries outside of Europe. The most prominent supporter of the move is Germany's Minister of Economy and head of the Free Democratic Party (FDP), Philipp Rösler. In an earlier role as Minister of Health he had written to German manufacturers of sodium thiopental to encourage them not to sell the drug to the US.

After changing jobs, he introduced to the Commission a bill to create a regulation valid Europe-wide that would effectively prevent the export of thiopental to the US. Initially, the proposal met with resistance from other states, but it has now been approved by the majority of the 27 member states.

Read the original article in German

Photo - Wikipedia

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Geopolitics

Modi Is Wrong: Russia's War Also Creates Real Risks For India

By shrugging aside Russia’s aggression, India has shown indifference to fears that China could follow Russia’s example.

Photo of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visits Russia

Anita Inder Singh*

-OpEd-

NEW DELHI — India is wrong to dismiss Russia’s war in Ukraine as Europe’s problem. The illegality and destructiveness of the invasion, and consequential food and energy crises, have global ramifications.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

Sign up to our free daily newsletter.

This explains why 143 out of the 193 member-states of the UN General Assembly voted against recognizing Russia’s illegal annexation of four Ukrainian regions after holding sham referenda there. Ninety-three voted in favor of expelling Russia from the UN Human Rights Council.

India has abstained from every vote in the UN condemning Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. The reason? Moscow is India’s top arms supplier and some 70% of India’s military platforms are of Russian origin.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest