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Living together - Combining diversity and freedom in 21st-century Europe [Report of the Group of Eminent Persons of the Council of Europe] PDF DOWNLOAD >>

DOCUMENTARIO DEDICATO DA AL-JAZEERA ALLA LEADER RADICALE EMMA BONINO

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>> AFP


EU DEPUTY URGES DR CONGO'S KABILA TO PARDON FATHER'S KILLERS

European lawmaker Emma Bonino Saturday asked Democratic Republic of Congo's President Joseph Kabila to pardon 30 people sentenced to death for the murder of his father, former president Laurent Kabila. "In response to my request to publicly commit to not execute the assassins of his father, President Kabila told me that he hoped to submit a commutation to the parliamentary assembly" that is due to meet soon, Bonino told AFP after meeting with Kabila. "The Democratic Republic of Congo is a lawful state and justice must be done," Bonino said after meeting the president of the central African country in the capital of Kinshasa. "But the institutions should not put themselves on a criminal level by practicing vengeance," the Italian member ofthe European Parliament said. A commutation of the death sentences would serve as a "strong signal that this country is a country of laws," Bonino said. "The decision, both for DRC and for President Kabila, will be symbolic... and symbols are important in politics." Bonino's request is part of a wider European Union campaign against the death penalty, dubbed "hands off Cain", which has the support of 14 Nobel Prize winners including South Africa's Desmond Tutu, she said. In January, a now-dissolved military court handed down death sentences to 30 people convicted of planning and taking part in the assassination of president Laurent Kabila on January 16, 2001. There is no appeal procedure against the verdicts, which only the president has the power to overturn. Kabila has repeatedly been petitioned by the EU and the United Nations Human Rights Commission to lift the sentences, which mostly concern former military officials. In April, Kabila issued an amnesty for acts of war committed over the past five years, excluding war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity. War broke out in DRC in 1998, when Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi backed rebel groups trying to oust the regime of Laurent Kabila. An estimated 2.5 million people died as a result of the fighting, both in combat and indirectly through disease and hunger.





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