Over 1,500 participants met in Madrid to discuss death penalty developments and abolitionist strategies. The 5th World Congress against the Death Penalty invited government officials, civil servants, international experts, NGOs, activists, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, ADPAN members, former death row prisoners and families of people sentenced to death from over 90 countries.
During this 5th World Congress, an ADPAN meeting was held on 12 June. Attended by the ADPAN coordinator and over 30 members, ADPAN discussed a World Congress in Asia, setting up ADPAN in the region and requested more work on unfair trials.
On 14 June , Professor Roger Hood, Professor Emeritus of Criminology at the University of Oxford, opened the Asia Plenary Session introducing five speakers: Sosormaa Chuluunbaata , Policy Adviser to the President of Mongolia, Yug Chaudhry, lawyer, ADPAN member from India; Otto Nur Abdullah, former President of the National Commission of Human Rights, ADPAN member, Indonesia; Maiko Tagusari, lawyer, ADPAN member and Director of Center for Prisoners’ Rights and Parvais Jabbar, Executive Director, Death Penalty Project and ADPAN member.
In a Workshop on China held on 14 June, three Chinese lawyers who are ADPAN members, Teng Biao, Liang Xiajun, Liu Weiguo, described their experience as lawyers defending clients in a jurisdiction which is unable to guarantee a fair trial and in the absence of an independent bar association. Former Minister of Justice from France, Robert Badinter opened the Workshop.
ADPAN gained members at the Congress and its work as a cross regional network was raised as important to support the challenge facing abolitionists from the region. Despite recent set backs in Asia-Pacific and other parts of the world, the Congress showed once again that the abolitionist movement worldwide is gaining momentum.
The Congress sent a powerful moral and political message for abolition to retentionist countries.
The 5th World Congress, organised by Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM) in partnership with the World Coalition against the Death Penalty supported by the governments of France, Norway and Switzerland, and hosted by the government of Spain, closed on Saturday 15 June.
The next 6th World Congress is likely to be held in a retentionist country.