World cities to declare against death penalty
Faith and humanitarian groups in more than 300 cities around the world will be organizing events calling for the abolition of the death penalty next Wednesday, 30 November 2005, reports Independent Catholic News.
The ëCities for Life - Cities Against the Death Penalty' event celebrates the anniversary of the first abolition of capital punishment by law in a European state, the Great Duchy of Tuscany in 1786.
The initiative ? now at its fourth year - is promoted by the Community of Sant'Egidio and supported by the main international human rights organizations, gathered in the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (including Amnesty International, Ensemble contre la Peine de Mort, and International Penal Reform).
Rome, Brussels, Madrid, London, Ottawa, Mexico City, Berlin, Barcelona, Florence, Venice, Buenos Aires, Austin, Dallas, Antwerpen, Vienna, Naples, Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Reggio Emilia, Bogot‡, Santiago de Chile are among those cities taking part.
Many venues will illuminate their symbolic monuments ? from the Colosseum in Rome to the Plaza de Santa Ana in Madrid, from the Central Obelisque in Buenos Aires to the Moneda Palace in Santiago ? making a worldwide moral alliance to ask for an end to all state executions.
Groups around the world will be holding vigils, prayer services and demonstrations. In London, Amnesty International will be staging a sit-in outside the Uzbekistan and Belarus embassies.
To coincide with the international action, a nun known for her tireless campaigns against capital punishment, and the subject of a blockbuster film, is to give the annual Tablet lecture on Monday. Sister Helen Prejean's work was the subject of the award-winning film Dead Man Walking, starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.
[Also on Ekklesia: Christians heartened by US decline in death sentences; Catholic bishops back campaign to end US death penalty; Pope urges Philippines to oppose death penalty; US lethal injection scandal challenges Christians; Churches plead with Gaddafi for clemency over death sentences; Christians around the world protest against death penalty]