Monday, September 20, 2010

Conference on the death penalty in the Middle East and North Africa

Renny Cushing was invited to represent MVFHR at the second Regional Conference on the Death Penalty in the Middle East and North Africa, titled "Death Penalty: Risks, Opportunities, Proposed Tools and Strategies" and taking place today and tomorrow in Alexandria, Egypt. The conference is sponsored by Penal Reform International, the Swedish Institute Alexandria, and the Arab Centre for the Independence of the Judiciary and Legal Profession.

The conference organizers give this description:

This conference will bring together international and regional experts from the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) and build upon the recommendations of the first Alexandria Conference (held in May 2008) which called on Arab states to halt the use of the death penalty.

This second Alexandria Conference aims to generate in-depth discussion among human rights experts, and decision and policy makers, on the risks of and opportunities for engaging in the death penalty debate in the MENA region, participants will assess progress made towards abolition, lessons learnt since 2008, and what tools and strategies are likely to be most effective in achieving this ultimate goal.

The conference will also focus on the coming UN General Assembly moratorium resolution; contributing to an action plan for increasing the number of Arab countries prepared to vote in favour of the resolution.

Another expected outcome of the conference will be a tool-kit that will support the work of human rights activists in MENA towards abolition.

We are honored to be invited to participate and welcome the opportunity to contribute victims' perspective to these discussions.

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