JEONJU, Nov. 30 (Korea Bizwire) – To commemorate the World Day Against the Death Penalty on November 30, a related event took place a day earlier at Jeondong Cathedral in Jeonju, North Jeolla Province. This marked the first occurrence of the event in Jeonju since its initiation at Myeongdong Cathedral in Seoul in 2006.
The organization, dedicated to advocating for the abolition of the death penalty, hosted the “Abolition of the Death Penalty Beamvertising (lighting performance)” event. During this event, the walls of Jeondong Cathedral were adorned with illuminated messages such as “Abolish the death penalty completely,” “Korea is a death penalty-free country,” and “Stop the Hardcore punishment policy.”
An official from the Subcommittee on the Abolition of the Death Penalty stated, “This year, the world’s largest anti-death penalty event, held annually in over 2,000 cities across 92 countries for 21 years, is taking place at Jeondong Cathedral. Abolishing the death penalty brings us one step closer to fostering a culture that respects and prioritizes life.”
In Korea, the World Day Against the Death Penalty, organized by the Subcommittee for the Abolition of the Death Penalty of the Korean Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Justice and Peace, has been an annual occurrence since 2006 at Myeongdong Cathedral.
In recent years, the event was held at the Seoul Library in 2016, Seodaemun Prison History Hall in 2017, Jeoldusan Martyrs Shrine in 2018, Seodaemun Prison History Hall in 2019 and 2020, Saenamteo Catholic Holy Place of the Martyrs in 2021, and Myeongdong Cathedral last year.
Meanwhile, South Korea has refrained from executing individuals since December 30, 1997, when 23 people on death row were executed at the conclusion of the Kim Young-sam government. The country has been recognized as a “de facto abolitionist” for more than 26 years, a classification also given by Amnesty International in December 2007. Approximately 140 countries worldwide are considered de facto abolitionist.
The death penalty in South Korea is currently pending a decision by the Constitutional Court. A constitutional challenge to the death penalty has been awaiting resolution for nearly five years since the case was filed in February 2019. In the 21st National Assembly, a ninth special law proposing the abolition of the death penalty was introduced but was not enacted.
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