GENERAL MOTION OF THE FIFTH CONGRESS OF HANDS OFF CAIN
The Fifth Congress of Hands Off Cain, held in the House of Detention in Padua on 19 and 20 December 2013:
Notes with satisfaction that since the founding of Hands Off Cain in 1993 to present, as many as 63 of the 97 UN member states at that time retaining the death penalty, stopped practicing it.
Hands Off Cain remembers to have chosen from the outset, along with the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty, to practice and propose at all locations, domestic and international, political and institutional, the dialogue, liberal and anti-prohibitionist of the moratorium - and not the outright abolition of the death penalty.
21 of these countries have done so since 2006, i.e. after the re-launch of the initiative at the UN decided after the execution of Saddam Hussein, horrible for the way in which it was conducted and disastrous for the consequences that are very obvious in Iraq nowadays .
It also notes with satisfaction that the new Resolution on the moratorium on the death penalty with a view to abolition at the General Assembly of the United Nations, approved December 20, 2012, was adopted by a record number of 111 countries that voted in favor.
This is 3 countries more than the resolution of 2010, thanks to the fact that Chad, Central African Republic and Sierra Leone, for the first time, decided to vote in favor, following missions conducted by Hands Off Cain and the Radical Party aimed at gain their support.
It also notes that China, while voting against the pro-moratorium Resolution, since 2007 in fact welcomed the indication of the UN General Assembly, having declined the executions of more than 50% compared to five years ago, thanks to the reform according to which every sentence handed down by lower courts must be reviewed by the Supreme People's Court.
In contrast, Iran continues to be the absolute record holder of capital punishment in the world when you consider the number of inhabitants.
The number of executions has increased in 2013. At the end of November, had been hanged at least 529 people, including 5 minors at the time of the offense. This puts Iran in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which it has ratified. More than 300 people were put to death by Hassan Rouhani since he became president in August.
HoC thanks the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the person of Minister Giulio Terzi who has decided to fund lobbying pro-moratorium in Africa. Also thanks the Government of Norway for having decided to fund the project of the Conference to be held in Sierra Leone on 13 and 14 January 2014, the Umberto Veronesi Foundation and the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of the Swiss Confederation and again the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their contribution to the research project and preparation of the annual Report of Hands Off Cain.
HoC commits the governing bodies, in view of the UN General Assembly in 2014, to intensify lobbying aimed at obtaining other support to the new pro-moratorium Resolution and to reinforce the text with the explicit request addressed to the Secretary General of the UN to create the position of a Special Envoy.
The Special Envoy will have the task of overcoming the "state secrets" on the death penalty and to continue to persuade those who still practice to adopt the line established by the United Nations.
HoC also undertakes the governing bodies to promote an extraordinary campaign for the 2014-2015 fundraising, through self-financing and project proposals to foundations and governments. These projects are intended to support initiatives in those countries, starting from Africa, which in recent years have taken significant steps towards the abolition of the death penalty, but also in countries that in the last year have made steps backwards, starting from democratic ones such as Japan, Taiwan, Botswana, India and Indonesia.
HoC invites the governing bodies to strengthen the initiatives of international non-cooperation against the practice of the death penalty. This front was opened in 1995 by Hands Off Cain with the "Case of Pietro Venezia" which was in danger of being extradited to Florida to face a capital trial, and that has continued in 2010 with the campaign "Lethal Commerce", sponsored by Hands off Cain and Reprieve that brought in a few months to block the export from Italy and Europe of Pentothal and other substances used to kill with lethal injection.
HoC now commits to support, extending it, the new campaign of Reprieve. The new campaign is aimed at stopping - as happened in Ireland and Denmark - the financial contribution of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime bestowed by the governments of countries that have abolished the death penalty.
The financial contribution is intended for programs to combat drug trafficking in countries such as Iran, Pakistan and Vietnam, countries where hundreds of people were executed or sentenced to death in recent years for non-violent crimes related to drugs.
With regard to the Italian front more closely, HoC endorses and adheres to the objectives of the " Christmas March for Amnesty," sponsored by the Radical Party on 25 December in Rome. The March is to get a broad measure of amnesty and pardon, well supported by the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano in his message to the Chambers last October and endorsed by Justice Minister Annamaria Cancellieri.
Amnesty and pardon intended as priority reforms and per se structural , the only adequate to stop the blatant violations to international, European and Italian law, what are the unreasonable length of proceedings and inhuman and degrading treatment in prisons of which the Italian people and all the members of the prison community are victims.
Supports and makes it as its own also the Letter of Warning signed by the lawyer Giuseppe Rossodivita and Marco Pannella. and sent to all parties responsible for the Italian Administration of Justice and Prisons, which calls for some sort of moratorium on executions of sentences and illegal detentions.
HoC commits the governing bodies to take actions, both in the Italian and European fora, along with "Ristretti Orizzonti", the Radical Party, the Fondazione Centro Studi Giuridici Piero Calamandrei and universities.
These initiatives will be directed to erase the stigma of the "never ending punishment" of those sentenced to life imprisonment, starting from the “ergastolo ostativo” (which by law excludes any possibility of parole as an alternative even for those who have served 26 years in prison) and to overcome the regime of 41bis, a sort of solitary confinement from which you can exit only through "repentance", a collaboration with justice that is considered authentic only when puts to risk their own lives and that of their relatives.