Saturday, October 10, 2009

7th World Day against the Death Penalty

Initiatives of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty mark the 7th World
Day against the Death Penalty on Saturday, 10 October 2009. Every year since
2003 abolitionists have organized events around the world on this day to say No to
the death penalty. This year, across five continents, petitions, round tables,
discussions, debates and exhibitions are planned. To see the complete program of
scheduled events, visit:

The World Coalition against the death penalty decided to devote the 2009 edition of
World Day to the theme “teaching abolition”. By encouraging debates on the death
penalty on 10th October, the members of the World Coalition would like pupils and
students to understand the state of the world they are living in: the severity, and
sometimes cruelty, but also the beauty of the human rights ideal. The aim is for them
to acquire fundamental knowledge and understand why the death penalty is an attack
on basic rights.

This campaign will focus on teaching abolition to the citizens throughout the world
and particularly students between 14 and 18 years of age. Several mobilization tools
have been developed and are available on the World coalition website: a
pedagogical guide and a law school curriculum on Capital punishment.

Every year the world takes another step towards universal abolition. In 2009: new
countries have abolished the death penalty -Burundi, Togo, the State of New Mexico
(USA); or commuted all death sentences –Kenya, Morocco; others have reduced the
range of crimes punishable by death –Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and Nicaragua and
Brazil have ratified the UN Protocol to abolish the death penalty. Today 139 States
have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.

On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the
child, the World Coalition calls on the four countries which are still executing
juvenile offenders: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen, to stop their executions. A
Petition to End All Juvenile Executions is available on the World Coalition website.
According to Amnesty International, 24 juvenile offenders were executed between
January 2007 and June 2009.

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty
Created in Rome in 2002, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty brings together 99
bar associations, trade unions, local governments and non-governmental organizations. It
aims at strengthening the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty and
at contributing to put an end to death sentences and executions. In 2003, The WCADP has
established the World Day against the Death Penalty on 10 October. This event is followed
all aver the world and especially in countries that continue to use the death penalty. It is
now also officially the European Day against Death Penalty.

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