10 October is the World Day against death penalty
The World Coalition against death penalty proclaimed 10 October 2003 the World Day against death penalty. Henceforth 10 October of every year will be devoted to the intensification of the international movement for the absolute abolition of death penalty in all countries.
The World Coalition turns to all organizations and activists of human rights protection movement with the appeal to do their best for drawing the attention of public to this problem. The Coalition plans to conduct more than 100 actions in 20 countries of 5 continents.
In particular, the World Coalition proposes:
- to organize the peaceful assemblies near the buildings of diplomatic representatives of the countries that still apply death penalty;
- to distribute the letters and other correspondence concerning the pardon of the persons, who were condemned to death penalty;
- to organize meetings, debates and round tables concerning death penalty.
The World Coalition, in its turn, organizes the 24-hour Internet-demonstration on its web page for all countries, which apply death penalty, demanding to suspend the execution of the verdicts and to abolish death penalty for all crimes. The goal of this action is the collection of more than a million signatures for the prohibition of death penalty and to send these signatures to the governments of the countries, which apply death penalty.
The World Coalition against death penalty was created in May 2002 in Rome. The Coalition unites 150 famous activists and non-governmental international organizations, which took part in the first world congress against death penalty (Strasbourg, 2001).
More detailed information about the World Day against death penalty and the World Coalition against death penalty may be found on the Internet-page of this organization: and on the page of the European Coalition against death penalty: (http://gbr.ecadp.org)
According to the information of the agency «Associated Press», representatives of the European Union declared that they would apply all diplomatic methods to impel China, Iran, the USA, Japan and other countries to prohibit death penalty. The European Union actively cooperates with other countries, such as Mexico and Canada, as well as with all members of the Council of Europe. The European Union also intends to celebrate the first World Day against death penalty. The official representatives of the European Union told that they realized fully that it would not be easy to persuade Washington and Tokyo to make some steps in this direction. «This is a complicated and delicate sphere», said Daniel Smadja, the head of the department of human rights of the European Commission. «We must not lose hope. We will achieve the positive result, but the process will be slow».
We want to remind that, according to the decision of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine of 29 December 1999, death penalty was acknowledged to be an unconstitutional punishment. Later this kind of punishment was excluded from the new Criminal Code of Ukraine. Besides, in November 2002 Ukraine signed Protocol No. 13 of the European Convention on the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms, which concerned the abolition of death penalty in any circumstances.
Secretariat of the Council of Ukrainian human rights protecting organizations