11th World Day against the Death Penalty : Stop Crime, Not Lives

Press release
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On the occasion of the 11th World Day against the Death Penalty, FIDH and its member organisations, throughout the world, mobilise for a universal abolition.

On this occasion, FIDH, published an op-ed co-signed by Robert Badinter (Former French Justice Minsiter), Florence Bellivier (President of the World Coalition Against Death Penalt), et Karim Lahidji, (FIDH President) :

“Long live death!” is how Franco’s militias sometimes celebrated their victories during the 1930s Spanish civil war. Yes, there have always been – and remain – those States that champion death over life, barbarism over reason. And what better symbol of this outmoded ideology than the death penalty?

As you read this, 58 States around the globe – both developed and developing, democracies and dictatorships – continue to legally condemn their citizens to death. In 2012, twenty one of these states acted out this power to kill. Just as the highest contempt that is held for a murderer is based on their taking from their victim that which is most precious, these States violate the most fundamental and cherished right held by their subjects: the right to life. [...] »

See the rest of the op-ed published for the 11th World Day against the Death Penalty.

USA : FIDH publishes today, together with its member organisation in the US, CCR, a report entitled « Discrimination, Torture, and Execution: A Human Rights Analysis of the Death Penalty in California and Louisiana ».
Through an International law analysis, the report documents the pervasive racial discrimination in the death penalty legal process, the inhuman conditions on death row and concludes that these two states’ use of the death penalty violates fundamental human rights.

TUNISIA : Yesterday, the Tunisian Coaliton against the Death Penalty, together with FIDH and Amnesty International Tunisia, adressed an open letter to the tunisian political parties (in French), and particulary to those of the Troïka. The organisations invite the political parties to take position on the abolition of the death penalty and to commit themselves in favor of the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol of the International Pact on Civil and Politcal Rights aiming for the abolition of the death penalty.
A moratorium on the executions is in force since 1991 in Tunisa, however people are still being sentenced to death in conformity with the tunisian Criminal Code. Since the begining of the political transition in Tunisia, FIDH and its partners have called, repeatedly, on the political leaders to mobilize themselves on this topic.
IRAN : The change of administration in the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) and taking of office by a new president on 3 August 2013 has not brought any change as far as the death penalty is concerned. Between the 14 June presidential election and 1 October, more than 200 people have reportedly been executed, including three people who were probably younger than 18 at the time of the alleged crimes.
Against this backdrop, FIDH and its member organisation, LDDHI, have decided to publish a report which analyses the new penal laws in force in Iran that are consistently invoked to violate the right to life and to execute child offenders. Coinciding with 10 October 2013, World Day against the Death Penalty, this report aims to serve as an update on the current state of application of the death penalty in the IRI.
AFRICA : On the african continent, only 10 of the 54 States ratified the Second Optional Protocol of the International Pact on Civil and Political Rights, aiming for the abolition of the death penalty. African abolitionists speak on this issue.

This year, the World Day Against the Death Penalty focuses on the Caribbean. In this region of 25 States, 15 States still have not abolished the death penalty, even though no execution has been carried outsince 2008.

See the compilation of FIDH and leagues press releases on the Death Penalty from 2010 to 2013.
See also the special dossier of the FIDH website on the 5th World Congress against the Death Penalty.

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