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The opening ceremony of the 7th World Congress Against the Death Penalty will be held in the European Parliament in Brussels on 27 February.

The World Congress Against the Death Penalty, organised by ECPM (Together against the Death Penalty) from 26 February to 1 March, is the world’s leading abolitionist event, and brings together more than 1000 stakeholders from over 140 countries.


The official opening ceremony will take place in the European Parliament’s hemicycle on Wednesday 27 February at 10.00. It will gather MEPs, high-level guests including EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini and Belgian Foreign Affairs Minister Didier Reynders, and various governmental and civil society representatives to reflect on positive efforts in the abolition movement and address what future work must be done to convince retentionist nations to abolish the death penalty.


The ceremony will also feature a panel of Ministers of Justice from non-abolitionist countries, as well as video messages from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, Robert Badinter, former Minister of Justice and a driving force behind the abolition of the death penalty in France in 1981, and Pope Francis. See detailed conference programme.


An exhibition (The Great Witnesses of Abolition) and sculpture installation (Chaise LXB) will be displayed in the Menuhin Hall in the European Parliament’s Paul-Henri Spaak building from Monday 25 February to Friday 1 March.


Background


The European Union and its member states oppose capital punishment and its abolition is an explicit requirement to join the EU.


Opening ceremony


WHERE: EP hemicycle in the European Parliament’s Paul-Henri Spaak building in Brussels.


WHEN: Wednesday 27 February, 10.00 - 13.00 and 15.00 - 17.00.


You can follow the conference live here.


Twitter: #7CongressECPM


Practical information for journalists


Journalists that already hold permanent media accreditation with the European Parliament will be able to access the event. For those not holding permanent media accreditation, requests to attend the conference can be sent to media.accreditation@ep.europa.eu. Video and photo journalists should get special accreditation (“T-badge”) to be allowed to use their cameras during the conference.