Tuesday, 10 October 2006

Global protest against failure of justice

Thousands of people around the world will today condemn the death penalty as a "failure of justice" at activities for the World Day Against the Death Penalty.

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) said thousands of people will join activities on every continent to call for a world without executions.

Amnesty International (AI) said in its World Day statement that "the countries that use the death penalty do so in a manifestly unfair manner in violation of international laws and standards".

It said AI and the WCADP "want to bring attention to the appallingly low standards of justice used in the application of capital punishment in many countries".

"This is another compelling reason why the world must turn its back on state judicial killings," AI said.

The human rights organisation said "the death penalty is never acceptable and every execution constitutes an extreme violation of the right to life".

World Day activities will highlight five failures, in the judicial systems of China, Iran, Nigerian, Saudi Arabia and the USA:

  • China has executed people who were later proven to be innocent after the alleged murder victim reappeared alive and well.
  • Iran is one of only two countries which currently execute child offenders -- the other being Pakistan.
  • In Saudi Arabia foreign nationals face discrimination and disadvantage from the judicial system, often being tried in a language they do not understand.
  • The USA has sentenced individuals to death who clearly suffered from mental health disabilities.
    In Nigeria a woman was sentenced to death after a trial at which she had no legal representation.

AI said: "To take human life after such appallingly low standards of justice makes the case for the abolition of death penalty all the more compelling and urgent."

The WCADP has an activist kit, posters and graphics available from its website.

Related stories:
Call to action on 10 October -- 04 September, 2006

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