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Death Penalty: World Congress at the European Parliament

(Brussels) – The World Congress Against the Death Penalty, organised by ECPM, will take place at the European Parliament from 26 February to 1 March. The official opening ceremony (on 27 February at the EP) will be attended by EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders. The event will feature an exchange of views with “a panel of Ministers of Justice from non-abolitionist countries”, and video messages from UN Secretary-General António Guterres; from Robert Badinter, former Minister of Justice and a driving force behind the abolition of the death penalty in France in 1981; and from Pope Francis. The Congress will explore what work must be done in the future to convince nations to abolish the death penalty. The programme includes reflections, debates, testimonies, and artistic moments. Speakers will include N’Dumé Olatushani, who managed to prove his innocence after 28 years in prison and a death sentence. Discussion will also focus on the “discriminatory application of the death penalty towards women” and on “foreigners sentenced to death in the fight against terrorism”. There will also be numerous workshops, screenings, and the presentation of reports and campaigns being held across the world. 2,000 people are expected to attend, including representatives of governments and NGOs.

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