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POPE FRANCIS: VIDEO MESSAGE TO DEATH PENALTY CONFERENCE

June 21, 2016: Pope Francis sent a video message to the participants in the Sixth World Conference Against the Death Penalty, taking place this week in Oslo, Norway.
The Holy Father said:
“I greet the organizers of this World Congress against the death penalty, the group of countries supporting it, particularly Norway as its host country, and all those representatives of governments, international organizations and civil society taking part in it. I likewise express my personal appreciation, along with that of men and women of goodwill, for your commitment to a world free of the death penalty.
One sign of hope is that public opinion is manifesting a growing opposition to the death penalty, even as a means of legitimate social defence. Indeed, nowadays the death penalty is unacceptable, however grave the crime of the convicted person. It is an offence to the inviolability of life and to the dignity of the human person; it likewise contradicts God’s plan for individuals and society, and his merciful justice. Nor is it consonant with any just purpose of punishment. It does not render justice to victims, but instead fosters vengeance. The commandment “Thou shalt not kill” has absolute value and applies both to the innocent and to the guilty.
The Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy is an auspicious occasion for promoting worldwide ever more evolved forms of respect for the life and dignity of each person. It must not be forgotten that the inviolable and God-given right to life also belongs to the criminal.
Today I would encourage all to work not only for the abolition of the death penalty, but also for the improvement of prison conditions, so that they fully respect the human dignity of those incarcerated.  “Rendering justice” does not mean seeking punishment for its own sake, but ensuring that the basic purpose of all punishment is the rehabilitation of the offender. The question must be dealt with within the larger framework of a system of penal justice open to the possibility of the guilty party’s reinsertion in society. There is no fitting punishment without hope! Punishment for its own sake, without room for hope, is a form of torture, not of punishment.
I trust that this Congress can give new impulse to the effort to abolish capital punishment. For this reason, I encourage all taking part to carry on this great initiative and I assure them of my prayers.” (Sources: Vatican Radio, 21/06/2016)

INDONESIA: SUPREME COURT SENTENCES 5 TO DEATH FOR DRUG OFFENSES
NIGERIA: DELTA STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY CANCELS DEATH PENALTY FOR KIDNAPPERS
BANGLADESH: 10 TO WALK GALLOWS FOR 2006 MURDERS OF TRUCK DRIVER, ASSISTANT IN RANGPUR
MALAYSIA: FRUIT SELLER GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
VIETNAM: 73-YR-OLD AUSSIE WOMAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TRAFFICKING DRUGS
BANGLADESH: ONE SENTENCED TO DEATH, THREE TO LIFE TERM FOR MURDER
MEXICO: ‘EL CHAPO’ EXTRADITION TO US HALTED BY JUDGE OVER DEATH PENALTY FEARS
KUWAIT: GALLOWS FOR THREE INDIANS, WOMAN IN DRUG TRAFFICKING
PAKISTAN: THREE MEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR BLASPHEMY
BANGLADESH: COUPLE KILLER GETS DEATH SENTENCE IN MYMENSINGH
INDIA: PRESIDENT REJECTS TWO DEATH-SENTENCE PLEAS FROM CONVICTS
OSLO: LAST DAY OF THE 6th WORLD CONGRESS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY
SUDAN: FOUR GUNMEN SENTENCED TO DEATH AND LIFE IMPRISONMENT IN SOUTH DARFUR
UN: DRUGS AGENCY REPORT IGNORES GLOBAL DRUG EXECUTION CRISIS
CHINA: ZHUHAI COURT SENTENCES 4 DRUG DEALERS TO DEATH
SOMALIA: MILITARY COURT SENTENCED AL SHABAAB SYMPATHIZER TO DEATH
SRI LANKA: FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS ON LEADERS TO HAVE COURAGE TO ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY
OSLO: THE SECOND DAY OF THE 6TH WORLD CONGRESS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY
LEBANON: MINISTER OF JUSTICE, 'THE DEATH PENALTY MUST BE DELETED’
NIGERIA: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH BY HANGING IN KANO
IRAQ: PERPETRATORS OF ERBIL GOVERNORATE ATTACK RECEIVE DEATH SENTENCE
TAIWAN: SUPREME COURT COMMUTES FILIPINO’S DEATH SENTENCE TO LIFE
TAIWAN ‘MOVING TOWARD’ ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY
OSLO: IT STARTED TODAY THE 6TH WORLD CONGRESS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY
IRAQ: 12 TERROR CONVICTS EXECUTED
CHINA: ORGANS FROM PRISONERS STILL HARVESTED AT A MASSIVE SCALE (REPORT)
CALIFORNIA (USA): CALIFORNIA VOTERS TO CHOOSE BETWEEN ABOLISHING THE DEATH PENALTY OR SPEEDING UP EXECUTIONS
SOMALIA: 43 AL SHABAB MILITANTS SENTENCED TO DEATH IN PUNTLAND STATE
EGYPT: MURSI SENTENCED TO 40 YEARS IN QATAR SPY CASE
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: MILITARY COURT MARTIAL SENTENCES 31 TO DEATH

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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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