Observed every 10 October, the World Day Against the Death Penalty unifies the global abolitionist movement and mobilizes civil society, political leaders, lawyers, public opinion and more to support the call for the universal abolition of capital punishment. The day encourages and consolidates the political and general awareness of the worldwide movement against the death penalty.
On 10 October 2023, World Day will continue to reflect on the relationship between the use of the death penalty and torture or other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment and build on the momentum started in 2022!
As encountered last year, the types of torture and other ill-treatment experienced when sentenced to death are numerous: physical or psychological torture has been applied to force confessions to capital crimes; the death row phenomenon contributes to the long-term psychological decline of a person’s health; harsh death row living conditions contribute to physical deterioration; and methods of execution that cause exceptional pain. Further discriminations based on sex, gender, poverty, age, sexual orientation, religious and ethnic minority status and others can compound cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of individuals sentenced to death.
While the death penalty is currently tolerated by strict international law standards, and torture is entirely forbidden, it is more and more evident that the death penalty is inherently incompatible with the prohibition of torture.
THE DEATH PENALTY IN PRACTICE
(Statistics from Amnesty International)
- 112 States have abolished the death penalty for all crimes
- 9 States have abolished the death penalty for common law crimes
- 23 States are abolitionists in practice
- 55 States are retentionists
- The 5 States that executed the most in the world in 2022 are, in order: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and USA.
- 28,282 individuals are known to be under a sentence of death around the world at the end of 2022, of which less than 5% are women (statistic on women sentenced to death by Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide).
CALL FOR INITIATIVES:
Wherever you are… in Africa, America, Asia, Oceania or Europe,
Whoever you are… NGOs, teachers, lawyers, local representatives, parliamentarians, artists, reporters, religious leaders, citizens,
Whatever your plans are… debates, concerts, press conferences, demonstrations, petitions, educational and cultural activities….
TAKE ACTION AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY ON 10 OCTOBER 2023!
Join the hundreds of initiatives organized worldwide. In 2022, there were over 1,023 events planned in 64 countries around the world to shed light on the death penalty and torture! You can read more about the 2022 World Day in our World Day Report.
World Day Posters are available in Akan, Arabic, English, Farsi, French, German, Houssa, Italian, Japanese, Lingala, Luganda, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Singhala, Spanish, Swahili, Tagalog, Tamil, Traditional Chinese, and Urdu.
10 Things YOU can do to end the death penalty
Organize a gathering. It can take the shape of a demonstration, a webinar, a remote workshop, a debate or a movie screening, an art exhibition or theater performance.
Organize a visit to prison to raise awareness on the conditions of detentions of prisoners.
Build partnerships with minority group’s rights organizations (women, LGBTQIA+ persons, religious minorities, ethnic minorities...) to raise awareness on how discriminations are an aggravating factor of psychological and physical torture.
Participate in a TV show or community radio to raise awareness of the need to abolish the death penalty.
Write a letter to someone sentenced to death or to their families to show support and fight isolation.
Join the events prepared for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide. Visit the World Coalition page for events near you!
Build on existing knowledge on the link between the use of the death penalty and torture by gathering local data on the physical and psychological torture faced by persons sentenced to death.
Mobilize the media to raise awareness on torture experienced by those who are sentenced to death both locally and worldwide. Call for interviews, testimonies from persons sentenced to death, investigations on local cases and raising awareness campaigns.
Participate in Cities Against the Death Penalty/Cities for Life on 30 November 2023.