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November 11 2009 | KYRGYZSTAN


Parliament rejects to undersign the UN II Optional Protocol banning the death penalty

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Kyrgyz lawmakers reject death penalty ban


BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan _ Lawmakers in Kyrgyzstan voted Wednesday to reject a United Nations protocol banning the death penalty in a move sharply criticized by human rights activists.

The decision not to adopt the optional protocol to the 1989 U.N. covenant on civil rights signals that the former Soviet nation may be set to reverse recent reforms that led to the removal of the death penalty from its statute books.

Kyrgyzstan, an impoverished, predominantly Muslim Central Asian nation, imposed a moratorium on executions in 1998 and abolished the death penalty in its 2007 constitution.

But the rejection of the U.N. protocol could lead to reinstatement of the death penalty. Backers say capital punishment would help combat crime and save the government money spent on prisoners serving life sentences.

Proposals to reinstate the death penalty have picked up steam in Kyrgyzstan in recent months, with one top-ranking security official suggesting that executions could be carried out in public.

Government-backed Ak Zhol party lawmaker Askar Salymbekov said his faction's decision to vote against the U.N. protocol reflected public opinion. «Around 80 percent to 90 percent of our population is for imposing the death penalty,» he said.

Rights activists say the move is unconstitutional and could lead to backsliding on democracy.

«The introduction of the death penalty would be a threat to everybody who lives in our country,» said Tolekan Ismailov, executive director of the Citizens Against Corruption rights group. «If Kyrgyzstan takes this step, it will be condemned by many international organizations.»

While the death penalty remains on the books in some other former Soviet nations, Belarus is the only one in which it is still carried out. Others, including Russia, have banned it or imposed moratoriums to meet requirements for membership in the Council of Europe, a human rights body.

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

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

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by Mario Marazziti
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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
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"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

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