HOC: âABOLITIONIST OF THE YEAR 2011' AWARDED TO MONGOLIAN PRESIDENT ELBEGDORJ
|Elbegdorj receives the HOC award
October 17, 2011: the president of the Republic of Mongolia received the Hands Off Cain award for the ''Abolitionist of the Year 2011' for his strong commitment to the application of a moratorium on capital punishment in his country.
"It follows the approval of a protocol against the death penalty intended to arrive at a law that cancelled the death penalty in our constitution", Tsakhia Elbegdorj said during the ceremony that took place today in Rome. Elbegdorj, elected in 2009 as the chief of state of Mongolia, became the first president not to be a member of the the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party.
"From 2009, I am happy and proud to confirm that there have been no capital executions in my country. Courageous leaders never give up fighting for freedom and the respect of the fundamental rights of human beings."
"Mongolia is therefore entrenched in the democratic community. We also intend to help all people and states in the area to do as much as possible and to spread the message that one can't govern with an iron fist, but rather with democracy and the respect of the rights of all", the Mongolian president emphasised.
"The state, the government, cannot commit the mistake of killing. The judicial system can and must not be guilty of striking down human beings, must not damage people's dignity, must no longer commit the mistakes of the past when the death penalty was used to eliminate opponents."
Beyond Africa, which recently had a notable acceleration in the application of the moratorium on capital punishment, the continents in Hands Off Cain's sights are Asia, the Middle East and also the extreme East. "With the recent conference held in Rwanda by Hands Off Cain we can say that we have started the last mile towards the finishing line for the abolition of the death penalty in Africa," Hands Off Cain treasurer and radical parliamentarian Elisabetta Zamparutti said.
She continued, saying that "Rwanda definitely leads the continent for having abolished the death penalty and is free of capital punishment. Considering its past history, Rwanda sends a strong message of tolerance and of the necessity of justice that is not vengeful."
Hand Off Cain has fought for a moratorium on capital punishment in view of its abolition for almost twenty years. After Africa, the association's attention and commitment turns to Asia, so much so that secretary Sergio D'Elia announced two important missions: "Two seminars are scheduled- one in Tunisia for Middle Eastern countries and one in Hong Kong, which, in a certain sense, is the at the heart of the use of the death penalty, given that China executes almost five thousand people per year. Hong Kong is also a special area of China where the death penalty is not used."
"Those in charge of the training seminars will provide the information necessary to spread the message that we need to put an end to this anachronistic act, an aberration and a violation of fundamental human rights. The example of Mongolia will be very useful," D'Elia explained.
The President of the Chamber of Deputies, Gianfranco Fini, sent the following message to the award ceremony: "There is a large cultural and civil fight against the death penalty that must constantly mobilise national and international public opinion. In this sense, the laudable and effective action taken by Hands Off Cain to promote the abolition of capital punishment includes the continuous work of raising awareness and holding meetings and dialogue on this important theme."
"The affirmation of the centrality of human beings and the inviolability of life is a large and communal fight, a fight that unites people of all colours that, in all parts of the Earth, live and fight for a world that is more just, humane and civil. Given that the front of abolitionist countries has recently expanded, the ambitious and inspiring objective of the complete abolition of the death penalty grows nearer."
"Giving the award to the president of Mongolia is very important because Asia in general is one of the continents that is almost impenetrable", Senate vice president Emma Bonino explained.
"The recent conference in Rwanda on the abolition of the death penalty showed that Africa has evolved in a hugely significant way towards the moratorium on capital punishment, while there are no strong signals from Asia". Remembering that Mongolia voted against the UN resolution for a moratorium on executions in 2007 and 2008, Bonino stressed that "the moratorium applied by the president of Mongolia is the first courageous act by this head of state and that, as he himself said, these types of acts are needed by courageous leaders, especially in particular environments."
"We hope that an act like this helps Hands Off Cain to open a breach in the Asian countries, so that a moratorium on executions in view of the abolition of the death penalty can soon be applied." (Sources: Adnkronos, 17/10/2011)