“Academics can enable activists with technology”
What is the International Academic Network for the Abolition of Capital Punishment about?
The idea is to bring together research projects and publications. You can find articles on the death penalty in English; you can find French-language ones in France; in Spanish, you cannot find anything. We need to disseminate these publications through books, of course, but also through the web portal Academicsforabolition.net, for free, while maintaining high academic quality. We want to include historic documents too. We also have an agreement with the Toledo school of translation to produce a brochure in Arabic.
You have just had a debate with anti-death penalty activists. What do they expect from academics?
Activists expect to be helped. We can give them the foundations of a political idea. For example, we have been working on the links between public opinion and the death penalty. We can give activists technology for the life and the development of the action for a moratorium and abolition.
And what do you expect from the activists?
What we need most at the moment is passion, especially in order to know what’s going on outside the European fortress. President Zapatero clearly linked the death penalty to the millennium objectives – the fight against poverty, for human rights, violence against women… We need to address these issues together, not isolate the fight against the death penalty from that against violence and for the respect of human rights.