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“Robert Badinter always saw the dignity of a person regardless of their history, weaknesses, or flaws”, Aminata Niakaté pays tribute to former French Minister of Justice

Aminata Niakaté, Robert Badinter, Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty in France at the National Assembly, 2021 – Photo Ⓒ Christophe Meireis

With the passing of Robert Badinter, the heart of the entire abolitionist community stops.

Robert Badinter, Honorary President of Together Against the Death Penalty, whom I had the honor of meeting, was the tireless advocate for the universal abolition of the death penalty. He was always by ECPM’s side, present at all our congresses, and supporting the actions of our association in one way or another. Beyond our borders, he was also a source of inspiration for the entire global abolitionist community. It is now orphaned of this mentor.

His humanism and determination made him the best ambassador for this cause. We owe him the abolition of the death penalty in France, which he, as the Minister of Justice, managed to secure with a memorable speech that still resonates powerfully in the National Assembly, even when public opinion was against it.

Forty years later, he had not lost any of the eloquence and energy that characterized him. We were all deeply moved by his masterful speech delivered at the Pantheon.

As a lawyer and a brilliant orator, he also fought this battle in courtrooms with a resounding voice. He always saw the dignity of a person regardless of their history, weaknesses, or flaws. He never resigned himself to accept “the sound of the blade cutting a living man in two.”

An untiring defender of public rights and freedoms, we also owe to him the decriminalization of homosexuality. Among all battles, he held secularism and the fight against anti-Semitism close to his heart.

We have lost an immense man.

It is with great humility that ECPM pays tribute to him.

Aminata Niakaté President of ECPM

Présidente d’ECPM