World Day: inventiveness against the death penalty
These initiatives, organised by both international organisations (particularly local Amnesty International and ACAT offices) and smaller groups or individuals, raised awareness and informed the public about the reality of the death penalty across the world.
This year, the organisers again showed great originality in attracting the attention of the public and the media.
For example, Amnesty Peru’s initiative was broadcast live on a national television channel. The exhibition of the different methods of execution was a response to a draft Peruvian law which aims to broaden the scope of use of the death penalty. It was a real success, attracting both the general public and journalists.
The organisation hammered home the following message: “Instead of putting more emphasis on the use of the death penalty, why not remove it completely from the Penal Code. The most important thing is to remember that killing is killing.”
Action in Denmark was also commented upon by a dozen local media outlets. The ‘Imagine this was your last meal’ display was set up in 38 different towns with the participation of a number of restaurants.
Similarly, mobilisation was widely covered by the media in Asia, particularly in South Korea and Taiwan, where many press reports dealt with the event.
Africa also witnessed strong mobilisation. No fewer than 11 countries responded to the call for initiatives from the World Coalition.
Across the world, press conferences, film and debate evenings, exhibitions, vigils, brochure distribution and so on denounced and condemned use of the death penalty.
The 2007 World Day focused on a draft UN resolution for a universal moratorium on the death penalty. To encourage the vote of the resolution, the World Coalition circulated an international petition calling for a moratorium on executions.
These initiatives ensured that the document was widely circulated in many languages: the Taiwanese and Mongol organisers, for example, decided to translate it into Chinese and Mongol.
The World Coalition will hand the petition over to the United Nations in early November to support voting in favour of the universal moratorium resolution at the UN General Assembly.
The petition signing campaign hasn’t finished yet so there’s still time to sign on the web site!
The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty would like to thank all the participants again for their involvement in the 5th World Day Against the Death Penalty.