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The European Day against Death Penalty

More than 200 people have signed the protest against death penalty in Belarus.

170 persons signed the petition in defence of Fatima Hussein Al-Badi, said yesterday late evening Agnieszka Śmiłek of ELSA Rzeszów, an organiser of the European Day against Death Penalty. Rzeszów was one of the several cities and towns where the events commemorating the European Day against Death Penalty were held.

The two street stands set up in Warsaw by the Horizon Group, Amnesty International and the Forensic Student Research Group, University of Warsaw, attracted many visitors throughout the day. ‘Actually, we don’t have to invite people in, they are coming by themselves’, reported Paulina Michnowicz, a member of the Group. Most of the visitors signed the petitions. Some wanted to sign a more general protest against death penalty. This year, no such document was submitted at the street stands. However, a declaration against death penalty can be endorsed online at www.przeciwkarzesmierci.blox.pl.

As in previous years, also proponents of death penalty came to the stands. This year, the organisers planned an activity for them as well: the supporters were given an opportunity to write down their key arguments for the capital penalty. Only few did so. The presented arguments will be individually answered by the organisers on the blog www.przeciwkarzesmierci.blox.pl.

‘Death penalty is not a political issue, for me it is solely a human rights issue’, argued during the evening discussion in the auditorium of the Old Library of the University of Warsaw Wojciech Hermeliński, judge of the Constitutional Tribunal. ‘Poland may do much in the field of death penalty, if only in the neighbouring Belarus. That’s why, apart from signing petitions for leaders of the countries that still accept legal killings, we should also raise the issue before our government’, adds Draginja Nadazdin, Director, Amnesty International Poland. Ms Nadazdin reminded us that Poland was still to ratify the two international instruments against death penalty: Protocol No. 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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