Premiere of film “Six Arguments against Death Penalty” held in Vilnius (videos)
Premiere of the film cycle "Six Arguments against the Death Penalty" was held October 7 during the discussion "Murder on Verdict" in the Museum of Genocide Victims in Vilnius. The event, which is held within the Week against the Death Penalty, was organized by the Belarusian Human Rights House named after Barys Zvoskau and the international non-governmental organization Freedom House.
The film "Six Arguments against the Death Penalty" consists of six video clips telling about the disproportionate character and cruelty of the death penalty. The film is shown in the Russian language with English subtitles.
The coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty” Andrei Paluda says that the six main arguments against the death penalty were formulated by the campaigners on the basis of the relevant information materials collected by them.
Argument 1: miscarriage of justice and irreversibility of the death penalty. In the case of miscarriage of justice the mistake cannot be corrected and the executed person cannot be brought back to life.
Argument 2: existence of executioners, people who kill in the name of the state. "None of these executors can imagine during the first time, how the execution of the sentence can influence their psychical state. During the first participation in execution there appears the effect of “slowed time” and other signs of post-traumatic syndrome," says Aleh Alkayeu, who used to head Minsk remand prison No. 1 in 1996-2001 and with the participation of whom 134 death sentences were implemented.
Argument 3: religious, “Thou shalt not kill”. A man has no right to take another man's life, given to him by God.
Argument 4: killings of political opponents, mass executions. The death penalty, which is preserved in Belarus, can be used not only against criminals, but also against political opponents. The crimes of the Communist regime haven't been condemned in Belarus and the present-day authorities are in many respects feel successors of the authorities that carried out mass executions of dissidents.
Argument 5: torture of the relatives of the executed man. As it has been repeatedly stated by the UN Human Rights Committee, the ban on the issuance of the body for the burial or informing the relatives about the time and place of the burial contains the signs of torture and inhuman treatment of the executed person and his relatives.
Argument 6: ineffectiveness of the death penalty in crime prevention. The number of grave crimes hasn't increased in most countries that refused from the death penalty.
Let us remind that October 10 is marked as the World Day against the Death Penalty. Therefore, on October 5-10 human rights defenders hold their annual Week against the Death Penalty in Belarus. This year, the Week has been joined by the advocates of the abolitionist movement from other countries.