ITALY - President Paul Kagame yesterday met with the President of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Hon Fausto Bertinotti at the Piazza Montecitorio in Rome.
They discussed Rwanda’s abolition of the death penalty and cooperation between the two countries.
Kagame also received a courtesy call from the Italian Foreign Minister, Massimo D’Alema.
The President, who will today receive “The Abolitionist of the Year 2007” Award from Hands Off Cain (HOC) in Rome, discussed bilateral relations with D’Alema.
Their discussions focused on strengthening ties in the areas of trade and industry development between the two nations.
They also discussed EU cooperation with the African Union as well as the resolution for a moratorium on executions to be presented by the European Union at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly later this month.
Meanwhile, the President will be awarded for Rwanda’s recent abolition of death sentence today evening at a high-profile ceremony to be graced by top Italian government officials.
“The award (which is presented) to recognise the person, who, above all others, has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment in the struggle for a moratorium on executions and the abolition of the death penalty, is conferred this year upon President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame,” a release from HOC said.
Founded in Brussels in 1993, HOC is an international pressure group of citizens and parliamentarians championing a campaign to abolish the death penalty the world over.Italy’s President of the Council of Ministers Romano Prodi will present the award to President Kagame.
“The abolition of the death penalty and the adherence to the campaign for a universal moratorium on capital punishment are acts of remarkable symbolic value, through which Rwanda has emblematically shown the world the possibility of an end to the absurd cycle of vendetta and that justice and lawfulness cannot be achieved with capital punishment,” the organisation said.
Prodi himself wrote the report’s introduction.
The report ‘confirms a positive trend towards the abolition of the death penalty, underway for more than a decade.’During the ceremony, there will also be a briefing on the international campaign to hold a UN General Assembly vote on a universal moratorium on capital punishment this year.
The name “Hands Off Cain” is inspired by the Bible’s first book, the Genesis, where it is stated: “And the Lord set a sign for Cain, lest any finding him should smite him” in reference to Cain who slaughtered his young brother Abel.The organisation says it stands for “justice without vengeance.”
The process for Rwanda to outlaw death penalty, which was initiated by the ruling RPF political organisation, came to the climax on July 25 when a new law was published in the Official Gazette.Ends