Σάββατο, 9 Οκτωβρίου 2010

“Death is not justice” - 8th World Day Against the Death Penalty


Death penalty is state-sponsored murder
On 10 October 2010, the 8th World Day Against the Death Penalty is dedicated to the USA which executed 52 people and handed down 106 death sentences in 2009.The USA is one of the few federalist countries which give the states the power to legislate on the issue of the death penalty. At present there are 15 abolitionist states and 35 retentionist states in the USA, although among retentionist states, 10 have not carried out any executions for at least 10 years.In recent years, abolitionist measures have be spreading throughout the nation, which is clearly divided on the issue. According to Amnesty International, death sentences in the USA reached
a high in 1994 but have dropped over 60 percent in the past decade. In 2009, New Mexico became the 15th state to legislatively abolish the death penalty.It is hoped that this world day will strengthen the trend towards abolition in the USA and also the trend towards universal abolition. It is an opportunity to publicly oppose the use of this inhuman, cruel and degrading punishment and to support those in the USA who are fighting for its abolition.
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EU Foreign Affairs Minister May Raise Death Penalty With President Obama

European Union Foreign Affairs Minister May Raise Death Penalty With President Obama

By Martin Banks - 7th October 2010

“Several countries have abolished the death penalty”
Edward McMillan-Scott

EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has been urged to raise the case of death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal with the Obama administration

The demand comes as parliament prepared to vote on a resolution on the death penalty on Thursday.

Speaking in a parliamentary debate on Wednesday to mark "World day against the death penalty," Danish MEP Søren Søndergaard said he "deplored" the practice of execution by states of "defenceless" people in custody and raised the case of Abu-Jamal.

"The death penalty itself is a crime. But it is often more than that; waiting on death row in miserable conditions for years is torture. Capital punishment is also a form of terror, used to frighten people from resisting oppression and dictatorship."

"African-American journalist Mumia Abu-Jamal - the voice of the voiceless - is a key symbol of struggle against the death penalty.

"For nearly 30 years he has sat on death row, convicted in a trial notable for its errors and racism.

"High representative Ashton should raise the case with US authorities - in the fight against the death penalty there is no room for double standards. In the fight against the death penalty there applies only one standard: unconditional rejection."

Further comment came from Dutch ALDE MEP Marietje Schaake who said, "No EU member state provides for the death penalty in its statutes and so we can assume the leadership as a global player to address this inhumane form of punishment.

"Whether in our relations with the United States or Iran, we call for the abolition or moratorium on the death penalty in all its forms."

"The EU has repeatedly and strongly committed itself to abolishing the death penalty. It also means the EU has a responsibility in providing shelter for people who risk the death penalty when exercising their human rights such as freedom of expression or peaceful opposition.

"In Iran even children face the death penalty. We need to spare no means to prevent this from happening."

Parliament vice president and ALDE MEP Edward McMillan-Scott said, "Death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights and its use is cruel, inhumane and degrading. Hence it is unworthy of democratic countries, such as Japan, Taiwan or the USA."

"Of those countries still killing human beings, the worst offender is China which executes an estimated 5000 people each year - more than the rest of the world put together. This does not include groups such as Falun Gong practitioners, of whom more than 3,000 have died under torture since the persecution by the regime began in 1999 nor those who are killed for their vital organs."

McMillan-Scott added, "Several hundred people have been saved from the death penalty worldwide as a result of funding from this EU programme. Several countries have abolished the death penalty or established moratoria in recent years as a result of EU pressure."

Meanwhile, Eduard Kukan, EPP spokesman on parliament's report on the death penalty issue, said, "The position at the forefront of the struggle against the death penalty forces the EU to constantly raise awareness on the abolition of the death penalty both in bilateral negotiations as well as in international fora".

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Council of Europe exhibition in Minsk to mark the World Day against the Death Penalty
Description: Minsk is to host an exhibition of one hundred posters selected as part of the 2010 Poster4Tomorrow (*) competition, which this year is being sponsored by the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, with the focus on abolition of the death penalty.“Death is not justice” is also the slogan of the Council of Europe campaign to rally European citizens around the cause of abolition. “Through this exhibition, we want to make the public understand why capital punishment is inhumane and wrong, why it has been abolished in many countries worldwide and why that trend should continue,” said the Secretary General.The Council of Europe has been a driving force in the movement to abolish the death penalty: capital punishment has not been used in Europe since 1997, with the exception, to date, of Belarus. Its abolition in Belarus would allow the country to move closer to Council of Europe human rights standards.The exhibition follows a round table held on 23 September, where the Council of Europe and the Belarusian authorities discussed the introduction of a moratorium on the death penalty in the country.The exhibition will be held simultaneously in over 30 cities worldwide (including at the United Nations in New York and the European Parliament in Brussels) to mark World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October.In Minsk, the exhibition will be open to the public, free of charge, from 9 October to 11 December 2010.




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