Big Push Against Death Penalty Planned

ROME, NOV. 23, 2005 ( The Rome-based Community of Sant’Egidio is planning a worldwide mobilization to abolish the death penalty.

Mario Marizziti, a leader of the ecclesial movement, called capital punishment “immoral and futile.”

Today, at the group’s headquarters, Marazziti presented the events that will unite 300 cities worldwide with Rome in defense of the inviolable character of human life.

According to the Sant’Egidio official, it will be “the largest international mobilization undertaken up to now” to halt executions in the world.

“We are working to encourage African countries to give up capital punishment and make Africa the second continent, after Europe, to abolish the penalty,” Marazziti explained. “We consider the death penalty a great defeat in the culture of life.”

Among the mobilization events, a meeting in Rome on human rights and Africa is planned for Nov. 28, which will be attended by 14 justice ministers of African countries. Most of the ministers are from countries that still have the death penalty.

Other collaborative events will be held in Rome on Nov. 30, with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.

This year, Liberia became the latest country to abolish the death penalty.