Canberra residents will light candles in solidarity with at least 64 people who are on death row in Indonesia for drug smuggling offences on Thursday night (5 February).
“Amnesty International is a worldwide movement that opposes the death penalty in any circumstance, for any person,” ACT community organiser Bede Carmody said.
“We invite Canberra residents to the fountain outside the Legislative Assembly on London Circuit in Civic at 6pm to light the flame of justice, and send a public message that Australians oppose state-sanctioned executions.”
The event is a response to comments by incoming Indonesian President Joko Widodo late last year that he would not grant clemency to at least 64 individuals who have been sentenced to death for drug-related crimes and that there were plans to execute all of them. These include Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, whose claims for clemency have been rejected in recent weeks.
Amnesty International is asking Australians to use the hashtag #KeepHopeAlive and sign Amnesty International’s petition calling for the executions to be stopped.
The death penalty has been proven not to work in deterring crime. It is a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment and it has no place in today’s justice system.
Amnesty International has been campaigning against the death penalty for the last 30 years, and most countries in the world have recognised the justice in this stance. When Amnesty International first pledged to abolish executions in the ‘70s, only a handful of countries had stopped killing people as a form of punishment; now 140 countries have abolished the practice.
Candlelight vigil against the death penalty
6pm, Thursday, 5 February
Fountain outside the Legislative Assembly on London Circuit
0434 676 204
(Amnesty International Australia ACT/Southern NSW Branch media release)