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June 21 2016 | OSLO, NORWAY

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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In an interview on the Radio Vaticana Carlo Santoro explains that the "Cities for Life" campaign launched by the Community in 2002 has managed to create a net of international cities to support the abolition of the death penalty. He defines this as a "globalisation of hope" which allows the cities, the civil society, the local churches and other religions to join the campaign for the abolition of the death penalty.
The abolitionist movement has come a long way in the last 30 years, and much of it is due to the "Cities for Life - Ciites against the death penalty" campaign. This is an extraordinary event that over the years has joined local administrations and civil societies all over the world. Together with the World Day, on October 10, this is the most widespread world mobilisation against the death penalty. So far, more than 2.000 cities make up this net. 80 of them are state capitals. The Community of Sant'Egidio convenes the international day "Cities for Life - Cities against the death penalty" on November 30. This day marks the anniversary of the first abolition de iure of the death penalty by a European state, the Great Duchy of Tuscany, in 1786.  
In the afternoon of June 23, between 18.00 and 19.00, the closing ceremony will take place in Oslo's Town Hall. The session will be especially devoted to the Cities for Life campaign. The mayor of Paris and mayors of several Italian cities –in order to highlight what the first country to abolish the death penalty in 1786 was– will attend the event. 
 
As for the Congresses of Ministers of Justices, earlier this year the ninth edition was held. The title of the congress was "No justice without life", and both abolitionist and retentionist countries attend the congresses. The method used there is that of constructive discussions. The Congress has a public session and a private session, which allows for a deep discussion on issues related to justice.  Several interesting countries sent their ministers to the congress: Sri Lanka, Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Mozambique, South Africa, Central African Republic, Guinea, Bissau, Rwanda, Burundi, Niger, Philippines, Indonesia, Lesotho, Cape Verde, Kenya, Somalia, Congo, Salvador, Costa Rica, Panama, Principe… 
 
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