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Campaign for the Abolition of Death Penalty

2009.10.26 09:42

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The Subcommittee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment under the Committee for Justice & Peace of the CBCK commemorated the event for 2009 World Day against the Death Penalty, in alliance with the Amnesty International South Korea, Catholic Human Rights Committee, and other religious and civil groups, in downtown Seoul on October 10, 2009.

 

In this event prepared with the theme "The Way of Life, Our Way", participants hoped that 'the Special Bill on Abolishing the Death Penalty', which was re-proposed by the 18th National Assembly of Korea, will be passed so that the Republic of Korea may become an abolitionist country both in law and practice.

 

Rev. Thaddaeus Lee Ki-rak, Executive Secretary of the CBCK, issued a statement for the World Day against the Death Penalty, asserting "The only way to reduce crime in our society is that government and society constantly commit themselves to protecting people against crime and thus changing the culture of death and violence into the culture of life." In addition, he urged a total abolition of the death penalty, saying "The abolition of death penalty will be the first step towards a society respecting human rights and life."

 

Subsequently a short film festival took place with the theme of "All living breathing things." It gained public favor by screening films, based on the four award-winning scripts of the Contest of Short Film Scenario on Life, which had been organized by the Subcommittee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment in March last year.

 

Mr. Kim Yeong-hoon, director of the film "Paradise" which won the grand prize for its scenario, said, "While producing this film, I could ponder upon the question of death penalty and life."

 

Earlier, the Pan-Religion Union for the Abolition of the Death Penalty, which was composed of seven religions in Korea, held a press conference at the Conference Room of the National Assembly Hall on October 8, 2009 and urged a total abolition of the death penalty through legislation.

 

The representatives of seven religions in Korea submitted to the National Assembly 'the Special Bill on Abolishing the Death Penalty'. Especially, the Subcommittee for the Abolition of Capital Punishment of the CBCK presented a petition against the death penalty, signed by 100,481 Catholics. In the petition, the Subcommittee appealed that "the death penalty is an outdated institution which cannot correspond to constitutional principles, such as protection of the dignity and value of a human being, and the right to life."

 

In the press release, Rev. John Bosco Byeun Seungsik, Undersecretary of the CBCK, said, "The essential dignity of God-given life can be preserved not by the death penalty but by trust in good will. It is desirable that the abolition of the death penalty leads us to welcome one another in faith and love, without relying on the death penalty any more."

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