28 February : see the programme of the day

Descriptions of the day’s events can be found under the timetable table.
Find information on how to get to the Congress venues on the Useful Information page.

28 February : see the timetable

9am – 10am

Orange room

Strategies for abolition in Iran

Organised by : ECPM, Iran Human Rights
French and English

Iran remains the country with the highest number of executions per capita. At least 517 people were executed in 2017. Iran’s Parliament amended the country’s drug laws in 2017, removing the death sentence for a number of drug-related crimes, but the figures remain particularly high. Besides, the deteriorating situation of minorities and the crackdown on civil society including human rights defenders are key preoccupations. In this context, what strategies could allow Iran to progressively move towards the abolition of the death penalty?

Speakers: Mahmood Amiry Moghaddam, Director, Iran Human Rights; Shirin Ebadi, Iranian lawyer and human-rights activist, judge, Nobel Peace Prize; Taimoor Aliassi, Representative of KMMK-G at UN; Neda Shahidyazdani, Director, Impact Iran; Roya Boroumand, Co-founder, Abdorrahman Boroumand Center (Foundation) (TBC); Monireh Shirani, Balochistan human rights group; Javaid Rehman, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran (TBC) ;  Julia Bourbon Fernandez, MENA coordinator, ECPM

9.30 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Egmont Palace, Europe room

Plenary session: Abolition strategies: challenges and opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa

A number of countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have abolished the death penalty over the last few years. What challenges need to be overcome and strategies put in place to make Sub-Saharan Africa completely abolitionist?

MODERATOR: Doreen N Kyazze, Director, Sub-Saharan Office – Penal Reform International – Uganda


  • Cheick Sako, Minister of Justice – Guinea
  • Urbain Yameogo, CIFDHA Executive Director – Burkina Faso
  • Maryann Njau-Kimani, Chair of the Taskforce on the review of the mandatory nature of the death penalty – Kenya
  • Mohamed Ali Mossaad, Director of the African Centre for Justice & Peace – Sudan
  • Raphaël Nyabirungu Mwene Songa, Professor and Lawyer – DRC

10am – 11am

Orange room

Abolition processes in the Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) member States (private consultation)

Organised by : ECPM, OMDH
French and English

There is a strong belief in North Africa that abolition of the death penalty in Muslim countries is something impossible. However, among the 61 OIC member States (or observers), 20 are abolitionist for all crimes or ordinary crimes and 12 out of 20 are Muslim-majority countries. In order to identify the processes towards abolition in these countries, ECPM and the OMDH are organising a private consultation, first step of a research work.

Speaker : Boubkeur Largou, President of the Moroccan Organisation of Human Rights (OMDH)

11 am to 12 am

Library stand in the Abolition Village

Signing session

  • Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich for Fact of a Body: A Gripping True Crime Murder Investigation (Sonatine éditions)
  • Antoinette Chahine for Crimes d’innocence (éd. Dar An-Nahar)
  • Marie Gloris Bardiaux-Vaïente for La Guillotine (éd. Eidola) and L’Abolition. Le combat de Robert Badinter (éd. Glénat)
  • Geneviève Donadini for Le Procès Ranucci. Témoignage d’un juré d’assises (éd. L’Harmattan)

11:30 am

Projection cycle

Egmont Palace Library

Nyapala from Emile Carreau – 30’ – English subtitles French

11.30 a.m. – 1.30 p.m.

Egmont Palace, Europe room

Roundtable: Foreigners sentenced to death in the fight against terrorism

There is little information about foreigners sentenced to death on terrorism charges. In this context, how to engage countries on the situation of their nationals facing a death sentence or execution overseas?

MODERATOR: Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, Executive Director, ECPM – France


  • Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism
  • James Connell, Learned Counsel, Military Commissions Defense Organization – USA
  • Hédi Yahmed, Journalist – Tunisia
  • Martin Pradel, Lawyer – France

11.30 a.m. – 1.30 p.m.

Egmont Palace, Arenberg room

Workshop: Death row prisoners and their families: assistance and support

Individuals who have been acquitted and family members of people who have been executed or sentenced to death will share their needs and their projects with us. This will be followed by a discussion about the kinds of concrete support the abolitionist movement could provide.

MODERATOR: Sibel Agrali, Director,  Primo Levi care center – France


  • Suzana Norlihan Alias, Advocate and Solicitor – Malaysia
  • Sohail Emmanuel, Investigator, Justice Project Pakistan – Pakistan
  • Ensaf Haidar, President and Co-founder, Raif Badawi foundation for freedom – Canada
  • Herman Lindsey, Board member, Witness To Innocence – USA

11.30 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Egmont Palace, Blue room

Committed journalists, key players in abolition

The media coverage of efforts to move towards the abolition of the death penalty, but also of the particular stories of each person sentenced to death, have a strategic influence.

This practical training session will study real examples of the influence of the media in the perception of the death penalty by the population. It will provide the keys to becoming familiar with the theme of abolition and will suggest approaching the abolitionist cause from a journalist’s point of view.


  • Fatimata M’Baye – Chair of the Association Mauritanienne des droits de l’homme – Mauritania
  • Bérangère Portalier – Communications Manager, ECPM – France
  • Alain Morvan – Reporter, Républicain Lorrain / Groupe Ebra – France

12:15 pm

Projection cycle

Egmont Palace Library

Menunggu Massa from The S-Ploited, Freedom Film Network – 30 ‘ – English
Discussion: Malaysia on the road to abolition.

1.30pm – 3pm

Blue room

Actors of the Francophonie and the abolition of death penalty (private meeting)

Organised by : ECPM, IOF

Initiating by the IOF, this private meeting of francophone actors will aim at exchanging on good practice and defining new strategies towards universal abolition.

3 pm

Projection cycle

Egmont Palace Library

The Sinner from Asim Rafiqui, Justice Project Pakistan – 40’ – English
Discussion: Stories of former executioners.

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Egmont Palace, Europe room

Roundtable: How to prevent the resurgence of the death penalty?

What drives countries to reintroduce the death penalty and resume sentences or executions? Identifying potential action which could prevent such a resurgence.

MODERATOR: Nicolas Perron, Director of programs, ECPM – France


  • Yuval Shany, Chair or the United Nations Human Rights Committee
  • Sandrine Dacga, Lawyer and member of the Cameroonian Network of Lawyers Against the Death Penalty – Cameroon
  • Karen Gomez-Dumpit, Commissioner, Philippines Human Rights Commission – Philippines
  • Fatimata M’Baye, President, Mauritanian Association of Human Rights – Mauritania

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Egmont Palace, Arenberg room

Workshop: Abolition generation: young people join the movement!

This workshop aims to give the floor to young people, encouraging them to take a stand against the death penalty and define how they would contribute to the abolitionist movement.

MODERATOR : Tanya Ghorra, Coordinator, Education on abolition, Lebanese association for civil rights – Lebanon


  • Apollinaire Lenovo, Lawyer and President of Justice impartiale – Cameroon
  • Joseph Jovin, Winner of the competition Draw me abolition – Tanzania
  • Hajer Ben Naceur, Trainee lawyer and member of the Tunisian Organisation Against Torture – Tunisia
  • Aymane Aouidi, Steering Committee member, Moroccan Coalition against the death penalty – Morocco

3 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Egmont Palace, Orange room

Training: Keys for preparing a funding proposal

Through exercises, participants will learn to identify backers and obtain keys to prepare funding applications.

MODERATOR: Lilian Moreira, Political and Fundraising Officer, ECPM – France


  • Sara Guillet, Independent Consultant – France
  • Başak Koyuncu, EU Funds Advisor  – Turke
  • Maria Orejas, Policy and Programmes Director, European Foundation Centre – Belgium

3pm – 5pm

Blue room

The death penalty and LGBTI persons

Organised by : ECPM, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
French and English

Twelve countries across the world still punish people by death because of their sexual orientation. This event will give participants the opportunity to learn more on the consequences of discriminatory legislation for LGBTI persons.

  • Alan Bowman, Deputy head and Minister-counsellor of the mission of Canada to the European Union
  • Mark Reichwein, head of human rights unit at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Agnès Callamard, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions
  • Nikki Brörmann, International Advocacy Officer at COC Netherlands
  • Yahia Zaidi, LGBTI-activist, specialized in the MENA-region

4:15 pm

Projection cycle

Egmont Palace Library

It was 5 in the morning from Mostapha Heravi, Zamaneh Media – 35’ – Farsi subtitles English
Discussion: The death penalty in Iran, issues and current situation.

All day

Library stand in the Abolition Village

Presentations of fact-finding missions

  • 12pm to 12.30pm:  Fact-finding mission on death row, Mauritania – With Nordine Drici (mission redactor), Julia Bourbon-Fernandez (ECPM), Fatimata Mbaye and Saleck Lemine
  • 12:30 pm to 1 pm:  Judged for More Than Her crime: a Global Overview of Women Facing the Death Penalty – Avec Sharon Pia Hickey (director of research and advocacy, Cornell Centre on the Death Penalty Worldwide)
  • 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm: Sentenced to oblivion, Fact-finding mission on death row, Cameroon – With Nestor Toko (mission coordinator), Carole Berrih (mission redactor), Marie Lina Samuel (ECPM)
  • 15:45 to 16:15:  Fact-finding mission on death row, Lebanon – With Karim El Mufti (mission redactor), Julia Bourbon-Fernandez (ECPM), members of AJEM

BOZAR (Room M)
Inside & Out – Evening of testimoniesThe evening of testimonies is a highly anticipated event of the World Congresses against the Death Penalty. This regular meeting gives the floor to the great witnesses to the death penalty.Inside & Out will focus on the real and symbolic emotional connections between the inside of Death Row and the outside world. For this reason, this highlight of the 7th World Congress will focus on informal discussion.Presentation: Pete Ouko, lawyer, former death row inmate – Kenya

Part one : The family bond in the face of incarceration

  • Sabine Atlaoui, wife of Serge Atlaoui, sentenced to death in Indonesia – France
  • Vida Mehrannia, wife of Dr Ahmadreza Djalali, sentenced to death – IranArtistic intervention: La Triochka, trio of acrobatic lifts

Part Two: Maintaining a connection with the outside world during incarceration

  • Antoinette Chahine, former death row inmate – Lebanon
  • Marie Pelenc, human rights activist and Antoinette Chahine correspondentArtistic intervention: Éléonore Valère Lachky, dance solo “Army”.

Part Three: Getting Out of Death Row

  • Hsu Tzu-chiang, former death row inmate – Taiwan


The Evening of testimonies is sponsored by the Government of Flanders.
For more information, go to the Witnesses page.