300 Cities Will Join in Saying "No" to Death Penalty

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ROME, NOV. 29, 2004 (Zenit.org).- On Tuesday, some 300 cities will join Rome to say "no" to the death penalty, promoting a series of public events worldwide.



The cities will be joining a worldwide chain of "Cities for Life -- Cities Against the Death Penalty," promoted by the lay Community of Sant'Egidio.

The Rome-based Catholic group has long focused part of its international involvement on the struggle against the death penalty.

Sant'Egidio is also promoting the "Appeal for a Universal Moratorium," which has obtained some 5 million adherents in 150 countries, giving rise to an interreligious front against capital punishment.

In 2002, Sant'Egidio launched the first International Day of Cities Against the Death Penalty, on Nov. 30 of that year.

The date was chosen as a reminder of the first abolition of capital punishment in the Grand Duchy of Tuscany on Nov. 30, 1786.

Among the cities supporting the campaign against the death penalty are Amsterdam, New York, Buenos Aires, Berlin, Hiroshima and Paris.

The Colosseum in Rome will be the starting point of a number of demonstrations promoted by Sant'Egidio. The event may be followed live, beginning at 7 p.m. (Roman time), at www.santegidio.org.