800 cities light up for life
The international day “Cities for Life – Cities Against the Death Penalty” is organised by the Community of Sant’Egidio and supported by the World Coalition and the European Union. It takes place every year on the anniversary of the day Tuscany abolished the death penalty in 1786. It was the first time a state decided to do away with capital punishment.
Last year, the event happened as representatives from the nations of the world were debating a text calling to suspend executions worldwide.
“The approval of the resolution for a moratorium on capital punishment on December 18, 2007 by the United Nations General Assembly was a historical passage of enormous moral value. We will not miss any occasion or event to emphasise the assertion of a justice capable of always respecting life, of a justice without death,” said Carlo Santoro of the Community of Sant’Egidio.
“Actions to awaken public opinion”
According to him, Cities for Life is an important occasion given to local administrations and civil society to join in the large movement towards the abolition of the death penalty.
The 2007 edition recorded the participation of 760 cities, including 35 capitals such as Madrid (photo), which made it one of the largest international initiatives to stop all executions globally. More than 800 cities have so far registered their participation in this year’s event.
“Many municipalities are already preparing cultural initiatives and actions to awaken public opinion in association with the Community of Sant’Egidio and connected organisations in Italy and in other countries,” Santoro said.
The Community of Sant’Egidio is still welcoming new participating cities for the November 30 international day. It offers support to local representatives in the organisation of their event and offers them visibility by including their city in the campaign’s Roll of Honour and on a dedicated section on its website, www.citiesforlife.net.