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HANDS OFF CAIN’S 2015 REPORT
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Pope Francis
POPE CALLS FOR WORLDWIDE ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY

February 21, 2016: Pope Francis called for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty, saying the commandment "You shall not kill" was absolute and equally valid for the guilty as for the innocent.
Using some of his strongest words ever against capital punishment, he also called on Catholic politicians worldwide to make "a courageous and exemplary gesture" by seeking a moratorium on executions during the Church's current Holy Year, which ends in November.
"I appeal to the consciences of those who govern to reach an international consensus to abolish the death penalty," he told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter's Square.
"The commandment "You shall not kill," has absolute value and applies to both the innocent and the guilty," he told the crowd.
The pope added that there was now "a growing opposition to the death penalty even for the legitimate defense of society" because modern means existed to "efficiently repress crime without definitively denying the person who committed it the possibility of rehabilitating themselves."
Francis made the comments to throw his weight behind an international conference against the death penalty starting Monday (February 22) in Rome and organized by the Sant'Egidio Community, a worldwide Catholic peace and justice group.
Francis, who has visited a number of jails since his election as pope nearly 3 years ago - the latest in Mexico last week - also called for better prison conditions.
"All Christians and men of good will are called on to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty, but also to improve prison conditions so that they respect the human dignity of people who have been deprived of their freedom," he said.
In the past, the pope also denounced life imprisonment, calling it "a hidden death penalty" and saying that more should be done to try to rehabilitate even the most hardened of criminals. (Source: Reuters, Feb. 21, 2016)

PAKISTAN HANGS BODYGUARD WHO KILLED BLASPHEMY REFORM GOVERNOR
BANGLADESH: PARLIAMENT PASSES COAST GUARD BILL WITH DEATH SENTENCE FOR MUTINY
PAKISTAN: TWO BROTHERS TO BE HANGED OVER ‘HONOUR KILLINGS’
TANZANIA: APPEAL COURT CONFIRMS TWO DEATH SENTENCES
NIGERIA: 1,639 INMATE ON DEATH ROW – PRISONS SERVICE
INDIA: NINE CULPRITS SENTENCED TO DEATH IN 13-YEAR-OLD CHITRAKOOT MASSACRE
PAKISTAN: DEATH ROW PRISONER HANGED IN ADIALA JAIL
PAKISTAN: TWO DEATH ROW CONVICTS HANGED
SOMALIA: MILITARY COURT SENTENCES ALLEGED AL-SHABAAB MEMBERS
LIBERIA: KAKATA COURT SENTENCES KILLERS TO DEATH BY HANGING AND 50-YEAR IMPRISONMENT
PAKISTAN: FOUR PRISONERS HANGED
BANGLADESH: TWO KILLERS OF RU PROFESSOR MOHAMMAD YUNUS GET DEATH SENTENCE REDUCED TO LIFE TERM FOLLOWING RETRIAL
UAE: DEATH SENTENCE FOR ALGERIAN WHO KILLED MAN AND STOLE DH1M IN CASH
SYRIA: TWO TEEN GIRLS STONED TO DEATH BY ISIS FOR 'ADULTERY' AS THE MEN GET 50 LASHES
PAKISTAN: TWO DEATH ROW PRISONERS HANGED IN SAHIWAL
UTAH (USA): SENATE COMMITTEE PASSES BILL TO END THE DEATH PENALTY
SAUDI ARABIA: SAUDI KIDNAPPER EXECUTED
ZIMBABWE: GOVT TO ELIMINATE DEATH PENALTY - MNANGAGWA
JORDAN: THREE SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING OFFICERS
IRAN: THE SUPREME COURT CONFIRMS THE DEATH SENTENCE OF A JUVENILE OFFENDER
IRAQ: 40 SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER 2014 TIKRIT MASSACRE
BURUNDI: DEFENSE MINISTER REQUESTS REINTRODUCTION OF DEATH PENALTY
IRAQ: ISIS EXECUTE A 15-YEAR-OLD BOY BY BEHEADING AFTER HE IS CAUGHT LISTENING TO WESTERN MUSIC
GEORGIA (USA): TRAVIS HITTSON EXECUTED
SAUDI ARABIA: THREE CONVICTED DRUG TRAFFICKERS BEHEADED
JORDAN: NEW SENTENCES TO DEATH WILL BE EXECUTED
VIETNAM: DEATH ROW INMATE FOUND PREGNANT, 4 OFFICERS SUSPENDED
BANGLADESH: MAN TO WALK GALLOWS FOR KILLING TWO YOUNGER BROTHERS
BELARUS: TRIPLE MURDERER SENTENCED TO DEATH
TEXAS (USA): GUSTAVO GARCIA EXECUTED

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IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
  JAPAN HANGS CULT LEADER SHOKO ASAHARA, 6 OTHERS FOR 1995 TOKYO SUBWAY SARIN ATTACK  
  SOMALIA - DEATH PENALTY AND TERRORISM  
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