The United Nations on Saturday called on countries to end the use of capital punishment or impose a moratorium on it, a day after four convicts in the 2012 Delhi gangrape and murder case were hanged to death at the Tihar Jail on Friday, PTI reported.

The convicts – Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma and Pawan Gupta – were executed seven years after the crime, which had led to massive protests across the nation.

“Our position has been clear, is that we call on all states to halt the use of capital punishment or at least put a moratorium on this,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a daily press briefing on Friday.

Death warrants for the convicts had been issued for the fourth time as they had taken turns to file multiple petitions in the last few months in an attempt to escape the death penalty.

Mukesh Singh, Akshay Thakur, Vinay Sharma, Pawan Gupta and two others – a juvenile who was released after spending three years in a juvenile detention centre, and main accused Ram Singh, who died in prison – raped and brutally assaulted a 23-year-old physiotherapy student in Delhi on December 16, 2012. Weeks later, on December 29, the woman died at a hospital in Singapore. Her death led to several protests and more conversation about crimes against women. It also led to some changes in law.

Scores of people had gathered outside the Tihar Jail ahead of the hanging. Some people carried posters thanking the judiciary.

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After Delhi gangrape convicts’ execution, a reminder: death penalty does not ensure women’s safety