DEATH PENALTY: SECOND DAY OF THE PAN-AFRICAN CONFERENCE
July 3, 2014: The Pan-African Conference on the Death Penalty went through its second day.
The session began with the reports of the five thematic commissions held the previous day concerning the role of parliamentarians, civil society and media, professional groups, economic commissions and national institutions on human rights.
The orientation of the conference participants was to multiply the efforts of the interaction between the various groups at both national and regional levels with the hope that one day, both the Pan-African Parliament as the African Court on Human Rights can play a role similar to the respective institutions.
Some of the subjects were then investigated in plenary meeting under the chairmanship of Sylvie Kaytesi, Rwanda, Chairman of the African Commission's Working Group on the Death Penalty.
Professor Mabassa Fall, of the International Federation of Human Rights Leagues, has faced political influences in the process of abolition;
Judge Nicolas Assogba, Benin, has addressed issues related to the administration of justice in countries that have , and have not, abolished the death penalty;
Paul Angaman, of the FIACAT (FĂ©dĂ©ration internationale de lâAction des chrĂ©tiens pour lâabolition de la torture), faced the influence of religions in maintaining or abolishing the death penalty, and finally Chino Obiagwu of the World Coalition has presented several examples of traditional and restorative justice in the continent.
The main concerns of the participants focused on the role that certain religious positions, but also traditional, can play in the populist mobilization of public opinion in favor of the death penalty, opposing even the mere suspension of executions in those countries that apply a de facto moratorium .
At the same time, were presented studies which argue also from the Islamic point of view, the need to practice forgiveness rather than "vengeance".
All agree, however, that a lack of informed debate leads to the stalling of the reforming impulse, and leads to the increase of religious and political exploitation of the death penalty, and to the enlargement of the criminalization of human behavior.
In the afternoon there will be meetings of five regional workshops, and another plenary session that will address the universal moratorium on the death penalty where Marco Perduca, the UN representative of the Radical Party, will take the floor on behalf of Hands Off Cain.