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Summary of the celebrations of the 19th World Day Against Death Penalty

In France, we could hear in the solemn enclosure of the Pantheon, the powerful testimonies of Susan Kigula, a former death row prisoner in Uganda, Antoinette Chahine, also former death row prisoner in Lebanon and Sandrine Ageorges-Skinner, spouse of Hank Skinner who is sentenced to death in Texas, in front of an attentive audience that was strongly moved by their stories.

In the world, voices of activists, associations, human rights defenders, and politicians gathered around a common goal: the universal abolition of death penalty. Artistic performances, parliamentary meetings, roundtables, and workshops to raise awareness among the new generation of abolitionists were all unifying events that suggested the beginnings of concrete progress in the fight against the death penalty, particularly in Mauritania, where the words “death penalty” appeared explicitly for the first time in a demonstration.

ECPM welcomes the involvement of the entire abolitionist community on this 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty dedicated to the status of women, and thanks its partners for their cooperation and commitment in the organization of our joint events.

The data about sentenced to death women, whether executed, acquitted, or pardoned is rare and understudied. Moreover, those women are still suffering from gender discriminations regarding the sentence decision and the detention conditions. These discriminations are intersectional and can be strengthened according to the age, sexual orientation, origin, or disability of the person concerned. Those women are often victims of sexist and sexual violence, which are mitigating circumstances but are not considered during the trial.

Journée mondiale contre la peine de mort

Even though women are often less sentenced to death than men, they are more numerous on death row regarding some crime categories like adultery or witchcraft. According to the World Coalition against the death penalty, this reveals stereotypes based on gender. The reality is even more damning, because some countries do not publish gender statistics (see the infography).

This year, ECPM launches again the discussions about specific life experience of women. Those discussions began during the 7th World Congress Against Death Penalty in Brussels. Join the movement to defend the sentenced to death women’s rights and read the activities report below.


  • October 9th – 11:00 am – Marrakech:

On the eve of the World Day Against Death Penalty, ECPM was in Marrakech to support a citizens’ initiative entitled “the right to live” (in      French “le droit de vivre”) which includes an exhibition, a book and animations for the abolition of the death penalty. ECPM spoke at the launch conference.

ECPM had the opportunity to share experiences with different stakeholders, including artists, psychologists, and philosophers. ECPM attended the conference that was organised on the afternoon in which Ahmed Haou, former sentenced to death in Morocco, delivered his testimony and was applauded. Finally, ECPM visited the exposition “the right to live” with Ahmed Haou.

Nouzha Skalli (Parliamentary network against death penalty) and Abderrahim Jamaï (CMCPM)

Organised by Driss El Yazami, Younès Ajarraï, Mahi Binebine

Initiative financially supported by ECPM, written contribution of Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan to the published book


  • October 10th – Rabat:

Annual sit-in in front of the Parliament during the World Day Against Death Penalty. Organised by the CMCPM.

  • October 14th – 10:00 am – Rabat (headquarters of the CNDH):

Within the 19th World Day Against Death Penalty, a press conference was organised on the 14th of October in the premises of the CNDH in Rabat. This year, the subject chosen by the World Coalition against the death penalty was “Women and death penalty: an invisible reality”. The event was moderated by a journalist from a Moroccan television channel. Various speeches followed one another. Mrs. Amina Bouayach, President of the CNDH, reiterated the commitment of the CNDH against the death penalty and called on the Moroccan authorities to move towards its total abolition.

Organised by the CMCPM, CNDH, OMP and ECPM. Opening of the exhibition of the 4th edition of the poster contest “Draw the abolition” (“Dessine-moi l’abolition”).

  • October 14th – October 31st – Rabat (CNDH Hall):

The exhibition of the 4th edition of the international graphic poster competition “Draw the abolition” (“Dessine-moi l’abolition”) was exhibited at the CNDH as part of the World Day. The opening took place on October 14, after the press conference at the CNDH. A young Moroccan was among the 50 winners of this edition of the competition. Organised by the ECPM and RIEA.

  • October 16th – Casablanca (Headquarters of the CRDH of Casablanca-Settat):

First philosophical café organized in Morocco by the CMCPM, the OMP, the CNDH and ECPM. The exhibition of the 4th edition of the drawing contest was moved from the CNDH to the CRDH headquarters where the literary café was held for the day.

Moderation: Ms. Zbaghdi (Seve Morocco Foundation)

Testimony: Ms. Fatima Goud former woman sentenced to death in Morocco pardoned in 2019

  • From October 18th – Casablanca (école des Beaux Arts and high schools):

School interventions supervised by an artist, a member of the CMCPM and the OMP. Organisation: CMCPM, OMP, CNDH and ECPM. Supervising artists: Youssef Saadoun and Narjiss El Joubari

  • October 26th or 28th – Rabat (CNDH headquarters):

Drawing workshop with 3 groups from the Collège Les Iris (High School).


  • October 9th – Nouakchott (Monotel Hostel): Screening of and debate on the “La Larme du Bourreau” documentary produced by Layth Abdulamir.

This was the first time that an event occurred in which the words “death penalty” explicitly appeared in Mauritania. The Ministry of Justice of Mauritania invited the magistrates to attend this event.

Organised by the Association mauritanienne des droits de l’Homme (AMDH) and ECPM

  • October 14th to October 16th – Tunis:

Cycle of movie’s screenings about death penalty and exposition of the 5th edition of the poster international competition against death penalty “Draw the abolition” (“Dessine-moi l’abolition”). A three-days event despite a highly complicated political situation (the state of emergency was decreed on summer 2021 by the President Kaïs Saïed).

Organised by ECPM, CTCPM and member associations, in partnership with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Tunis.

  • Bukavu: Reflection workshop for students and civil society. Organised by the AJPD-RDC Association.

First activity supported by ECPM in this DRC’s region. Over 50 students from the universities of Bukavu and organisation representants of the civil society participated in this workshop. It was inaugurated by the provincial Commissioner of Justice Byabagabo Nkubabana Wagahuma and aims to enable the establishment of abolitionist clubs. Ambassador students are going to build, structure and sustain the advocacy in the universities within these clubs.

  • Kinshasa : A conference was organised by Culture pour la paix et la justice (CPJ).



  • Maroua:

Workshop with lawyers of women who are subject to death penalty, organised by the Droit et Paix Association

  • October 6th and 7th – Bafoussam:

Reinforcement workshops of civil society’s organisations (October 6th) and judiciary stakeholders (October 7th) about death penalty and the necessity of its abolition. 15 members of the civil society’s organisations (including human rights defenders and journalists) as well as 20 judiciary stakeholders (magistrates, lawyers) were enthusiastic to participate in these workshops.  The investigation mission in the death row in Cameroon was especially presented to the participants, produced by ECPM in partnership with the Droit et paix organisation and the Network of Cameroonian lawyers against death penalty.

Organised by AVUDFE (association funded under the third-party funding scheme)

  • October 7th – Douala (Headquarter of the AVUDFE):

The press was mobilised to announce the attendance of a reinforcement workshop about capacities of judiciary stakeholders about death penalty and the necessity of its abolition on the October 7th 2021 in Bafoussam. Through this exercice, the AVUDFE also sought to mobilise the public against death penalty by exposing the argumentation and reminding the fact that even though there has been no death execution in Cameroon since 1997, the news continues to be marked regularly by death sentences. The organisers of this event pointed out the case of sentenced to death women, which is in line with the theme of the 19th World Day Against Death Penalty. They also highlighted the fact that the legal existence and practically the death penalty continues and is no longer justified in view of the strong and inevitable abolitionist trend.

Organised by the AVUDFE Association, supported by ECPM and Droits & Paix. Speaker: Mr. Nestor Toko

  • October 9th – 8:30 pm to 10:00 pm – online:

Online screening and debate on the Menunggu Masa documentary with the intervention of the film directors Seria Sacha and Sherrie Razak Dali. Organised by ADPAN

  • October 15th and 16th – 10:00 am to 4:00 pm – Kuala Lumpur:

Consultations and strategy sessions with abolitionist lawyers and other abolitionist forces in Malaysia, with interventions by abolitionist lawyers and other abolitionists, organized by ADPAN

  • October 23rd – 11:00 am to 12:30 pm – online:

Webinar with TAEDP: The role of lawyers in the campaign again death penalty. Interventions of Li Xuanyi and Suzana Noorlihan, lawyers and relatives of sentenced to death persons. Organised by ADPAN and TAEDP

  • October 30th – 11:00 am to 12:30 pm – online:

Online forum to discuss with former sentenced to death persons. Organised by ADPAN and TAEDP

  • October 10th:

To commemorate the World Day Against Death Penalty, KontraS, the Commission for the Missing and Victims of Violence launched a report about the death penalty in Indonesia.


  • End of October:

Advocacy and sensibilisation campaign. Organised by KontraS

Read our paper on the International Women’s Rights Day