Sant'Egidio Praises UN Death Penalty Vote
Community Favors Universal Moratorium
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ROME, NOV. 21, 2008 (Zenit.org).- The Community of Sant'Egidio praised a U.N. committee's call for a global moratorium on the death penalty as a "change of sensitivity" in the international community.
On Thursday, the U.N. Human Rights Committee adopted for the second year in a row a global moratorium on executions. The measure is expected to pass a vote in the organization's plenary assembly next month.
Sant'Egidio praised the move today, and affirmed that it will continue its efforts so that the moratorium is definitively approved by the plenary assembly.
The Catholic lay community also noted that more countries are welcoming the moratorium: "Over the past two years, many African and Central Asian countries have played a part in this battle for a more human justice."
It cited among them "many that have suffered the terrible experience of genocide and apartheid, and have given up the death penalty as an instrument of justice," as is the case of Cambodia, Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa.
It is necessary to continue working to "spread this culture of life that de-legitimizes the death penalty and encourages a reduction of violence and the undertaking of paths of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence," the community stated.
Sant'Egidio said the death penalty "is not only an internal question in each country, but today is officially a question that has to do with the international community."
The community will sponsor, along with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the event "Cities for Life -- Cities Against the Death Penalty," which will be observed Nov. 30.