USA, don't kill


USA, don't kill

ABSTRACT: There is no international organization capable of supporting the Radical Party campaign to abolish the death penalty: this is what emerged from the reports read during the first session of the XXXVI Congress of the Radical Party which had appointed a working committee for its "Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty".
We will begin the Campaign by convoking a World Parliamentary Congress and founding an "International League" formed by Parliamentarians, members of government, Nobel Prizewinners, and other important figures from the world of science and culture, who are dedicating their efforts to this vital human issue.
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The aim of the Radical Party "World Parliamentary Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty before 2000" is to obtain, via a UN Declaration and national law, the right for every living human being not to be killed following a sentence or a judiciary measure, even in respect of the law, for any reason whatsoever. We hope to achieve this before the dawning of the new millenium. We are the only organization with a transnational, cross-party structure, composed of elected parliamentary representatives from 30 countries and citizens of approximately 50 countries, which has chosen to realize the above objective by using a strategy employing institutional, parliamentary and leglislative action, and a nonviolent, antiprohibitionist, civil campaign. We are asking you to give immediate support to this project by joining the Radical Party.
(THE PARTY new - N. 7 - May 1992)


The "World Parliamentary Congress for the Founding of a League against the Death Penalty" could either be held during the second session of the Radical Party Congress, or in Rome at Easter 1993, culminating in a demonstration which would end in St. Peter's Square just before the Mondovision telecast of the Pope's Easter message.
Our aim is promote a nonviolent, democratic campaign, which would initially be directed at parliamentarians and members of government who have joined the Radical Party. The object of this would be to have the same bills, motions or resolutions presented in all Parliaments simultaneously, and to support them by mobilizing nonviolent activists and public opinion.

Action to be undertaken at the UN
The first work has to be done at the UN - with the help of jurists, nongovernmental organizations, human rights movements and international foundations - by launching an appeal during the "World Conference on Human Rights", which will be organized by the UN and held at Vienna in 1993, and at which we could request the following: a moratorium on all executions; the limited application of the death penalty to exclude minors, pregnant women, old people and the mentally handicapped; the accused being guaranteed a fair trial; b) the establishing of a type of International Court of Law within the UN, which would be authorized to judge certain kinds of behaviour, offences, categories of individuals and criminals, and especially coups, concerning which the Security Council would intervene to impose: guarantees that the defendants are given a proper trial, and a moratorium on all executions for a period of 6-12 months. The Security Council must also command respect, even if this provokes a negative international reac
tion, and the imposing of sanctions.

1995: a Europe without the death penalty
One of the Campaign's medium-term objectives, which we intend to achieve by 1995//96, is "a Europe without the death penalty".
If we succeed in doing this, we will be in a stronger position to work towards abolishing the death penalty in all those countries where it is still provided for and carried out by incorporating the principle "No extradition from countries which have already abolished the death penalty!" into European Law, and by following a European Foreign Policy, the fundamental requirement of which would be respect for human rights and the abolition of the death penalty.
Member countries are asked to do just this in the Resolution approved on 12 March 1992 thanks also to the efforts of Adelaide Aglietta, leader of the Green Group and member of the Radical Party Federal Council, who was reponsible for drafting it.
We must direct our action towards those countries in the EC who have still not signed, or ratified, the "VI Protocol to the European Human Rights Agreement" or the "Optional Protocol to the International Civil and Political Rights Agreement".
Regarding other European countries, which are members of the European Council or the CSCE - and especially the Republics of the former Soviet Union, like Russia and the Ukraine, which are presently drawing up new penal codes, and those countries, like Bulgaria, that are preparing to ratify the European Agreements - we would propose a three-year moratorium on all executions, in order to give law-makers the necessary time to promulgate the new subjective law.
By the end of this year, we will also be able to deliver to Boris Yeltsin, Leonid Kravchuk and the Presidents of the Republics of the ex-Soviet Union, the appeal launched by this newspaper in August 1991, on the initiative of Sergio Stanzani, First Secretary of the Radical Party. The Appeal carries more than 1,000 signatures, and will be presented by a delegation of parliamentarians, members of government, Nobel Prizewinners, and important figures from the world of culture and science who signed it.

The situation in America
Europe could be instrumental in bringing about a change in US policy. We must ask each of the federal States to: a) impose a 3-5 year moratorium on all executions, in order to allow time for political debate concerning the current balance of rights between the individual and the State regarding life and death; b) to ratify the International Civil and Political Rights Agreement.

Regional agreements in Africa and Mediterranean Countries
By the end of 1994, we would be able to organize a "Convention to Defend Human Rights in Africa" for parliamentarians, members of government, party members, jurists, intellectuals, activists, and also associations, with the aim of drafting a regional agreement to abolish the death penalty. Starting with those countries who have already abolished capital punishment de jure (Cape Verde, Sao Tomé and Prinicipe, Namibia, Mozambique) amd countries which have not carried out an execution for at least 10 years (Comeros, the Ivory Coast, Jibuti, Madagascar, Niger, Senegal, Togo). A similar undertaking could be embarked upon in Mediterranean countries of a different culture and religion, such as Cyprus, Malta and Portugal, which have either abolished the death penalty de jure or de facto, with the collaboration of the "Peoples' Organization for Peace in Europe and the Mediterranean" which is also supporting our Campaign.