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October 2014 Newsletter, N.17
International Commission Against the Death Penalty

ICDP Commissioners and the 12th World Day against the Death Penalty

ICDP Commissioners observed the 12th World Day against the Death Penalty, on 10 October, by participating in several events organized in Geneva, Beirut and Madrid.

On 10 October, ICDP Commissioners Ruth Dreifuss and Hanne Sophie Greve met with ten members of the UN Human Rights Committee led by its Chairperson Sir Nigel Rodley to discuss issues related to the abolition of the death penalty and areas of mutual cooperation. Commissioner Greve also met with permanent missions based in Geneva. In Beirut, Commissioner Ibrahim Najjar participated in a Conference which discussed the abolition of the death penalty in Lebanon.

Earlier, on 9 October 2014, Commissioner Hanne Sophie Greve participated in a panel discussion at an event organized by the EU Delegation and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the UN in Geneva titled “Justice that kills – the Death Penalty in the 21st Century”.

Moreover, on 8 October, ICDP President Federico Mayor participated in an event organized in Madrid by the International Academic Network against capital punishment and the University of Castilla-La Mancha.

Please read our full statement for further information.

Executions of six men in Afghanistan

ICDP Commissioners wrote an Open Letter to the President of Afghanistan, Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, expressing their deep concern at the reported executions, by hanging, of six men. Reports suggest that the executions were carried out on 8 October 2014. Among the six men, five men were convicted of armed robbery and gang rape, and one man was charged for multiple charges, including kidnapping and murders.

These executions raise particular concerns as it represents one of the first acts undertaken by Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai after assuming the office of President of Afghanistan.

Please read our Open Letter.

Execution of Reyhaneh Jabbari by authorities in Iran

On 25 October 2014, Iranian national Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed by authorities in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

On 7 July 2007, Reyhaneh Jabbari reportedly stabbed Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi fatally after he offered to hire her to redesign his office and then took her to a residence, where, according to her, he attempted to sexually assault her. Ms. Jabbari reportedly confessed to the murder shortly after her arrest, though she stated that she had committed it in self-defence.

For further information, please read our statement.

Pope Francis calls for the abolition of the death penalty

Pope Francis made a strong call to abolish capital punishment during a speech on 23 October.

In an audience with delegates from the International Association of Penal Law, the Pope termed capital punishment as “penal populism” that promises to solve society’s problems by punishing crime instead of pursuing social justice. During his speech, Pope Francis called on “all Christians and people of goodwill … to fight for the abolition of the death penalty be it legal or illegal, in all of its forms.”

Please read our statement for further information.

Opinion Piece: “Political leadership is key for a world moving away from the death penalty”

An Opinion piece titled “Political leadership is key for a world moving away from the death penalty” by ICDP President Federico Mayor, ICDP Commissioners Bill Richardson, Ibrahim Najjar, Ruth Dreifuss, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Louise Arbour, Giuliano Amato, Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis, Robert Badinter, Asma Jahangir, Ioanna Kuçuradi and Hanne Sophie Greve was published on “Other news” on 10 October 2014, on the occasion of the World Day against the Death Penalty.

Click here for the PDF.

Upcoming event

On 10-11 November, ICDP Commissioner Ioanna Kuçuradi will participate as a speaker in the 3rd Jakarta Human Rights Dialogue on the Abolition of the Death Penalty in the ASEAN Region. The event is organized by the Indonesian Representative to ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia, with the support of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Union.
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