Appeals Awards Nobel



o the UN Secretary-General,

We, the undersigned, believe that the human race must evolve, and the abolition of the death penalty is not only an individual need that strengthens the inviolability of the person, but also a vital, universal need. It is the ultimate goal of the 20th century; the meeting point of different civilizations.

"Hands off Cain" paraphrases the words of the Bible, and for us this ancient commandment means that the State cannot dispose of the lives of its citizens. While many people are in favor of retaining or reinstating the death penalty, their profound sense of justice is misplaced by crime that endangers us all.

The abolition of the death penalty is a belief shared by the International Community. On April 20, 2005, for the ninth year running, the UN Commission on Human Rights established that "the abolition of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement of human dignity and to the progressive development of human rights", asking retentionist States "to establish a moratorium on executions, with a view to completely abolishing the death penalty".

The Courts set up by the Security Council to pronounce judgement on genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass extermination, and other serious crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the Statute of the Permanent International Court for crimes against humanity, all categorically exclude capital punishment, whereas a number of States actually inflict the death penalty for far less serious crimes.

We, the undersigned, ask the United Nation General Assembly to lead the International Community away from this intolerable anachronism, by establishing a universal moratorium on executions with a view to total abolition.

After the abolition of slavery and the banning of torture, the right not to be killed following a legal sentence could be another common denominator, a new inalienable aspect of being human that makes us one family.

Nobel Prize winners

Isabel Allende, Chile - writer

Taïeb Baccouche, Tunisia - Director, Arab Institute for Human Rights

M. Cherif Bassiouni, United States - President, Association Internationale de Droit Pénal

Hugo Bedau, United States - Austin Fletcher Professor of Philosophy

Alioune Badara Beye, Senegal - President, French-speaking Writers´ International Federation

Tahar Ben Jelloun, Morocco - Writer

Mario Benedetti, Uruguay - Writer

Bernardo Bertolucci, Italy - Film director

Igor Bezrukov, Russian Federation - Member of the Commission for Clemency

George Bizos, South Africa - Lawyer

Norberto Bobbio, Italy - Philosopher

Hebe de Bonafini, Argentina - President, Madres de Plaza de Mayo

Julian Bond, United States - President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Emma Bonino, Italy - Former European Commissioner

Elena Bonner Sacharova, Russian Federation

Alex Boraine, South Africa - Vice-President, Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Father Aleksandr Borisov, Russian Federation - Member of the Commission for Clemency

Jerome Bruner, United States - Pedagogist

Chico Buarque, Brazil - musician

Vladimir Bukowski, Russian Federation - writer

Noam Chomsky, United States

Paulo Coelho, Brazil - Writer

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, Germany - Member of the European Parliament

Giovanni Conso, Italy - Chairman, Plenipotentiary Conference for the establishment of an International Criminal Court

Mario Cuomo, United States - Former Governor of the State of New York

Dennis Daly, Jamaica - Lawyer

Pilar Del Rio, Spain

Yolande Diallo, Switzerland - Centre for Human Rights

Norman Dorsen, United States - Professor of Law and Chairman, lobal Law School Program, New York University School of Law

Ronald Dworkin, United States - Sommer Professor of Law and Philosophy at the New York University, Quain Professor of Jurisprudence at the University College London

Umberto Eco, Italy - Writer

Mike Farrell, United States - Actor, writer, co-Chair - Human Rights Watch

Eduardo Galeano, Uruguay - Writer

Richard Gere, United States - Actor

Danny Glover, United States - Actor

Felipe Gonzalez, Spain, Former Prime Minister

David Grossman, Israel - Writer

Serhiy Holovaty, Ukraine - Former Minister of justicebianca JAGGER, United statesasma JAHANGIR, Pakistan - Lawyer, leader of Human Rights Commission

Wei Jingsheng, China - Dissident

Kirill Koval´Dzhi, Russian Federation - Writer, member of the Commission for Clemency

Dominique Lapierre, France - Writerhilarie SOBERS, Jamaica - Lawyer

Graça Machel, Mozambique - President, Fundacao para o Desenvolvimento da comunitaderenford O. MADDIX, Jamaica - Chaplain, Correctional Services of Jamaica

Lawrence Marshall, United States - Professor at Northwestern University School of Law

Desai Meghnad, United Kingdom - Director, London School of Economics

Robert Meeropol, United States - Rosenberg Fund for Children

Marie Claire Mendes-France, France

Anthony Pantin, Trinidad & Tobago - Archbishop of Port of Spain

Sister Helen Prejean, United States - Author of Dead Man Walking

Anatolij Pristavkin, Russian Federation - Chairman, Commission for Clemency

Michael L. Radelet, United States - Professor of Sociology

Mons. Gianfranco Ravasi, Italy - Prefect of Biblioteca Ambrosiana

Lev Razgon, Russian Federation - Writer, member of the Commission for Clemency

Tim Robbins, United States - Director

Sergei Romazin, Russian Federation - Member of the Commission for Clemency

Edward Said, U.S./Palestine - Professor, NY Columbia University

Susan Sarandon, United States - Actress

Fernando Savater, Spain - Writer

Luis Sepulveda, Chile - Writer

Sam Reese Sheppard, United States

Cardinal Jaime Sin, Philippines - Archbishop of Manila

Antonio tabucchi, Italy - Writer

Josè Maria Tojeira, El Salvador - Rector, UCA

Gore Vidal, United States - Writer

Sergei Vitsin, Russian Federation - Member of the Commission for Clemency

Steve Wiser, United States - Spiritual advisor to Mumia Abu Jamal

Harry Wu, China - Director, Laogai Research Foundation


Aware since 1994, and acknowledging the leadership of the Italian Governments and the Italian Pro-Moratorium Movement in favor of the proclamation for a Universal Moratorium on the Death Penalty at the United Nations, believe that, after years of postponements and requests for the unnecessary nor needed consensus of the European Union as such, the time to act at UN Headquarters has finally arrived.

We therefore appeal to Italy's President of the Council of Ministers Romano Prodi in observance with the decisions of the Italian Parliament and following the invitations and support of the European Parliament along with a group of favorable countries covering all continents, to table in the coming hours, a resolution based on the Political Declaration presented last December and signed by 93 countries on a Universal Moratorium on the Death Penalty in order to put it to a vote before the end of the current session (61st) of the UN General Assembly.

Peter Agre, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2003, United States

Paul Berg, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980, United States

Gunter Blobel, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1999, United States

Arvid Carlsson, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2000, Sweden

Steve Chu, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1997, United States

Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Prize in Peace, 1976, Ireland

James Cronin, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1980, United States

Paul Crutzen, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1995, Netherlands

Robert Curl, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1996, United States

Jean Baptiste Dausset, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1980, France

Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Prize in Peace, 2003, Iran

Manfred Eigen, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1967, Germany

Richard Ernst, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1991, Switzerland

John B. Fenn, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2002, United States

Edmond H. Fisher, Nobel Prize in Medicine 1992, United States

Val Fitch, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1980, United States

Dario Fo, Nobel Prize in Literature, 1997, Italia

Walter Gilbert, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1980, United States

Sheldon Lee Glashow, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1979, United States

Mikhail Seergeevich Gorbachev, Nobel Prize in Peace, 1990, Russia

Paul Greengard, Nobel Prize in Physiology, 2000, United States

Roger Guillemin, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1977, France

Tenzin Gyatso (DALAI LAMA), Nobel Prize in Peace, 1989, Tibet

Leland H. (Lee) Hartwell, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 2001, United States

Herbert A. Hauptman, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1985, United States

Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986, United States

Avram Hershko, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2004, Israel

Roald Hoffmann, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1981, Italia

John Hume, Nobel Prize in Peace, 1998, United Kingdom

Sir Aaron Klug, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1982, United States

Walter Kohn, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1998, Poland

Arthur Kornberg, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1959, United States

Sir Harold W. Kroto, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1996, United Kingdom

Anthony J. Leggett, Nobel Prize in Physics, 2003, United Kingdom

Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1987, United States

Rita Levi Montalcini, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1986, United States

William Lipscomb, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1976, United States

Wangari Maathai, Nobel Prize in Peace, 2004, Kenya

Erwin Neher, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1991, Germany

Paul Nurse, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 2001, United Kingdom

Douglas D. Osheroff, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1996, United States

Adolfo Pérez Esquivel, Nobel Prize in Peace, 1980, Argentina

John Polanyi, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1986, Canada

Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Prize in Peace, 1996 - Presidente della Repubblica Democratica di Timor Est,

Richard J. Roberts, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1993, United States

Reinhard Selten, Nobel Prize in Economics, 1994, Germany

Jens C. Skou, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1997, Denmark

Jack Steinberger, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1988, Switzerland

Desmond Tutu, Nobel Prize in Peace, 1984 Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa

Lech Walesa, Nobel Prize in Peace 1983, Poland

John Walker, Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1997, United Kingdom

Elie Wiesel, Nobel Prize in Peace 1986, United States

Betty Williams, Nobel Prize in Peace 1976, United States

Jody Williams, Nobel Prize in Peace, 1997, United States

Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo, Nobel Prize in Peace, 1996, Chile