Donations to the Community of Sant'Egidio are tax deductible
under current regulations

Also this year it can target the 5x1000 to the Community of Sant'Egidio
Write the number 80191770587 in the tax return

Andrea Riccardi: on the web

Andrea Riccardi: on social networks

Andrea Riccardi: press review

change language
you are in: no death penalty - news contacting usnewsletterlink

Support The Community

November 30 2008 | LEBANON


Draft law abolishing death penalty soon to be issued on TV

printable version



Public Must Wait for Full Abolition Plan

Mona Alami

BEIRUT, Nov 25 (IPS) - The Lebanese government will use television to gain maximum attention for its plan to abolish the death penalty, giving one station the first right to question Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar about the details of an abolition bill which will be eventually presented to parliament.

"In the coming weeks, the minister will unveil the draft law on a TV station which has been granted exclusive broadcasting rights," the office of the justice ministry told IPS. The ministry refused to discuss the proposed law until this interview has been granted. No official date has been set for the parliamentary debate.

News of plans to abolish the death penalty was first made public on Oct. 10, the World Day against the Death Penalty.

On the same day, Najjar informed the cabinet of the details. A brief official press statement said then that the proposal was to replace the death penalty with life imprisonment with hard labour.

Abolishing the death penalty was in line with Lebanon's religious and humanitarian values, as well as its legal culture, Najjar said at the time.

"Preventive measures are more effective than the death penalty in reducing crime," he said.

The abolition bill comes after years of campaigning by anti-death penalty activists.

"I am confident that it is only a matter of time before the law is passed," Walid Sleybi, head of the Lebanese Association for Civil Rights, told IPS.

"Society should not be allowed to sit back and look at the killing of people, even if they are found guilty of a crime. A crime should never be punished by another crime.

"Recent studies have shown that capital punishment does not contribute to curbing crime levels. On the contrary, people tend to resort to violence when they see the state itself committing the ultimate crime."

Sleybi has long struggled to implement civil rights initiatives in Lebanon, promoting non-violent movements and battling against sectarianism with fellow-activist Ugarit Younan. In 1997, Sleybi published the book The Death Penalty Kills, a critique of capital punishment.

In 2004, the movement against capital punishment, which includes seven MPs such as long-time activist Ghassan Mokhaiber, also proposed a bill to abolish the death penalty. However, the adverse political situation after the 2005 assassination of prime minister Rafik Hariri and the ensuing paralysis of parliament until recently prevented it ever being put to a vote.

"We have new hope now that parliament is reconvening on a regular basis," Sleybi said.

He added that executions in Lebanon had often been tied to politics.

"Presidents have often used the death penalty as an instrument to reaffirm power and control over the state, especially after the civil war, which lasted from 1975 to 1990. This was best illustrated during the term of President Elias Hrawi (1989 to 1998), which witnessed the highest number of executions," Sleybi said.

"The political and sectarian dimension of executions in Lebanon was further demonstrated in the execution of mass murderer Ahmad Mansour in 2004."

The accused, a Shia, was found guilty of killing eight people at the UNESCO building in Beirut, seven of whom were Christian. He was sentenced to death by the judges, who accused Mansour of orchestrating a sectarian hate-crime.

In an effort to maintain a fragile balance in a country with 18 recognised religious groups, Badih Hamadeh, a Sunni convicted of killing three members of the Lebanese army intelligence during an attempted arrest in South Lebanon in 2002, and Remy Zaatar, a Christian convicted of murdering two civil defence colleagues in 2000, were also executed on the same day as Mansour, at the Roumieh prison in Beirut's suburbs.

The sentences were carried out in violation of a 1998 de facto moratorium on the death penalty, which was put into effect following pressure from the European Commission after the hanging of two men convicted of murder in a public square in the northern town of Tabarja in the same year.

The executions were broadcast by television stations in Lebanon and the two bodies were left on display for a few hours.

Since the country's independence in 1943, 51 death sentences have been carried out, while many have been suspended or remain pending. Only men were executed from 1947 to 2001, 45 percent of whom were between the ages of 19 and 27. Thirty-four were hanged and 14 shot, said Sleybi.

During the civil war, capital punishment was temporarily put on hold.

In May 2007, the U.N. Security Council authorised the setting up of a special tribunal to try suspects in the assassination of Hariri.

Lebanon had agreed that the tribunal's maximum sentence would be life imprisonment and not the death penalty.

October 25 2016


October 15 2016

Human rights activist asks Pope to discuss the death penalty with Lukashenka

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus", has sent a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to touch upon the issue of capital punishment during his meeting with President Lukashenka.
October 10 2016
October 10,14th World Day Against the Death Penalty

On the 14th world day against the death penalty a conference entitled "No Justice Without Life" will be held in Japan

July 2 2016
Address and the Final Ceremony by Mario Marazziti. Nobel Peace Prize Room, City Hall. June 23rd 2016

CITIES FOR LIFE – CITIES AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo

by Mario Marazziti
June 25 2016

Pope Francis: “Death penalty is unacceptable”

Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
all related news

October 24 2016
New York Times

The Death Penalty, Nearing Its End
June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
May 23 2016

Malaysian death row convict loses final appeal in Singapore
May 23 2016

Vescovo filippino: È presto per giudicare il contraddittorio Duterte. No alla pena di morte
May 14 2016

Pfizer blocca i farmaci per la pena di morte negli Usa
all press-related

Motion Grafic "cities for life" 2012 -
Motion Grafic cities for life FR -
Promo Engl 2013 citiesforlife -

65 visits

226 visits

45 visits

48 visits

52 visits
all the related media