Amnesty launches new bilingual pack for young people tackling the death penalty

Amnesty International has launched new free, bilingual materials designed to help young people in Wales talk about the impact of the death penalty. At the event at Cathays High School, young people organised a protest and human rights campaigner Julie Morgan discussed the need to continue to campaign for abolition around the world.

The schools pack contains a script for a short play, presentations and lesson plans to inspire young people – aged 14 plus – to learn more about real events around the world and real people facing the reality of the death penalty. It also includes films featuring Jeremy Irons, Sister Helen Prejean and Mirza Hussain, a British man who spent 18 years on death row in Pakistan.

The downloadable pack contains suggestions about how young people can take action, and how they can join others around the world on 10th December, the World Day Against the Death Penalty, to encourage more countries to abolish this cruel punishment. The action is timely, as the UN General Assembly begins to debate a worldwide moratorium on the use of the death penalty.

The launch at Cathays High School included an action by pupils on behalf of Troy Davies, currently facing the death penalty in the USA for a crime for which there is no direct evidence.

Cathy Owens, Amnesty International’s Programme Director for Wales said:

'Some of the topics we deal with every day are very challenging, and talking about the death penalty can be a very difficult topic. We have designed this pack so that teachers and young people can tackle this tricky subject, thinking about the pros and cons of capital punishment and what young people can do to help others around the world facing this cruel and inhumane process.'

Julie Morgan said:

'Recent high profile cases such as Sakineh Ashtiani in Iran and Teresa Lewis in the USA remind us that there are so many individual cases of people at risk of execution around the World. There is often a terrible story behind each case, often with limited of access to justice and made worse by poverty and discrimination. It’s about time we looked again at pressing the international community for a world-wide moratorium.'

Rod Phillips, Headteacher, said:

'I am delighted that the young people in our school are taking the opportunity to learn about events and issues outside their own sphere of experience, and are taking the responsibility to get involved in Human Rights work, which will directly effect the lives of others. I am proud of the Amnesty International Youth Group at our school and the work that it does. We were delighted to be able to launch the Death Penalty pack resources in our school.'

For more information contact wales@amnesty.org.uk or call Cathy Owens on 02920 786415 or 07738 718638

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