Cities For Life/Cities Against The Death Penalty action held in Minsk for the first time
Activists of the campaign Human
Rights Defenders Against Death Penalty and representatives of the Human
Rights Center Viasna held the action Cities For Life/Cities Against The Death
Penalty in Minsk.
More than a thousand cities took part in this action this day. The campaign was launched by the Rome community of Sant’Egidio in cooperation with Amnesty International and other participants of the World Coalition Against The Death Penalty and take place every year. The first such action was held on 30 November 2002, marking the day when the death penalty had been abolished for the first time in the European history (1786, the principality of Toscana One of the main peculiarities of the action is the symbolic illumination of a popular temple in each city that joins the movement.
The activists lit tens of candles near St. Symon and Alena Church in the center of Minsk to remind the society about the problem of the death penalty in Belarus and the countries where this barbarian kind of punishment is still used.
The coordinator of the campaign Human Rights Defenders Against Death Penalty Andrei Paluda stated that ‘as far as Belarus hasn’t abolished the death penalty, the participation in the action is symbolic: the walls of the church are illuminated not with powerful spotlights, but only with candles. It is also symbolic, that illuminated was St. Symon and Alena Church, which has recently celebrated its 100th anniversary and is one of the most important places of interests in Minsk. Nearby, there’s another ‘symbolic’ building – the House of the Government, to which the Belarusian human rights defenders have repeatedly submitted proposals and demands to abolish the death penalty.
On 30 November the Chairperson of the Human Rights Center Viasna Ales Bialiatski took part in analogical action in the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, to which he came as a delegate of the International Federation for Human Rights.