TOKYO - Iwao Hakamada won his last match in a courtroom and today he is alive to tell his story: the Japanese former boxer, alongside Mario Marazziti, Chairman of the Committee on Human Rights of the House, took part in a conference, organized by the Community of Sant'Egidio in Tokyo, on the death penalty in Asia.
Hakamada, 78, was released on March 26 after 48 years in prison, 46 of them in the death row. A detention by Guinness world record. Thanks to DNA evidence the prisoner had obtained a new trial and his release: he was not the one who exterminated a family of four, a crime for which in 1968 he was sentenced to be hanged.
The Conference of Sant'Egidio in Tokyo, and the other one organized by the Trastevere Community in Manila, are part of the international campaign 'There is no justice without life'. "Asia remains the continent where the death penalty continues to maintain the highest number of victims, although there are significant signs of openness on the part of some governments and civil society", said Marco Impagliazzo, president of the organization .
"The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, which currently includes 150 international organizations, was established in 2002 at the headquarters of our Community in Trastevere", Impagliazzo stated, adding that the words of Pope Francis against the death penalty "encourage us to continue on the path undertaken and to insist that the issue of a moratorium on executions is revived and approved in the General Assembly of the United Nations being held in New York". (October 23, 2014)