EDITO – Disagreements on the international scene

24 May 2019

By Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, Executive Director of ECPM

felix (1)

Back on the Clash Clooney vs Brunei

Most recently, on May 17, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia was celebrated. As a kind of provocation, the Sultan of Brunei made headlines at the same time by officially making male homosexuality punishable by death.

An arm wrestling match then broke out between Georges Clooney and many international personalities on the one hand and the Sultan of Brunei on the other, and behind him the supporters of a retrograde, archaic and scandalous vision of Islam.

This case will still have had two merits in my eyes. Firstly, to expose to the world a shameful and unacceptable reality from criminalization to the death penalty for the mere fact of loving, in 12 countries on the planet (not to mention the 70 other countries that penalize homosexuality with prison sentences). Secondly, it will also have made it possible to wake up from their deep sleep many artists from Hollywood to the Cannes stairs, who almost never talk about the death penalty and who, until now, have not been involved in this essential human rights fight. The last artists committed against the death penalty were Susan Sarandon and Sean Pean, and again, this commitment was linked to the release of the film "Dead man walking" in 1995, 24 years ago!

The American actor was able to show his strike force and his real commitment to the LGBTI community and for human rights. In response, the Sultan of Brunei communicated in the sense of the pressure being put on him, announcing that he would not apply this law (as he has not applied it for decades).

However, this law (which had been planned and announced since 2014 -ECPM had already alerted the world at that time, without being heard -) has officially been put in place and persists.

I therefore call, on behalf of ECPM and the entire abolitionist community, for the outright repeal of this law. Finally, I invite George (Clooney) to support ECPM and the abolitionist actors, members of the Global Coalition, so that his coup (de mueule) is not just a coup (de pub).

Would you like to discuss this with us? This year, ECPM will celebrate the 15th anniversary of its campaign "The death penalty is homophobic" at the Marche des Fiertés in Paris on Saturday 29 June 2019! To join us, obtain information or become a volunteer, it is already possible to pre-register with Mathilde at mmillier@ecpm.org.

A word about....

Félix Dorfin, second French death row inmate in Indonesia

I think, at this time, of Felix Dorfin's family and friends. Because the death sentence by the judge of the Lombok Court in Indonesia is only the beginning of a long, very long struggle. On the one hand, they will need courage, pugnacity and perseverance to wear it. On the other hand, they will need support, fraternity and empathy. ECPM is committed to being at their side.

The Congress film: to bring together abolitionists

The first images of the Congress are already available. You have been able to see some excerpts, and will discover in particular the strong and clear testimony of our friend Liévin Ngondji, concerning the situation in Africa in this MAB. An official launch of the film in its long version (11 minutes) will take place on May 27 on ECPM's social networks and website.

With this film, we aim to talk about abolition, its witnesses, its actors, its policies, against the backdrop of the World Congress as the vehicle for abolition. We also want to get the word out about abolition and for that we need you. These tools, in both short and long versions, belong to you to carry the abolitionist messages to your friends and acquaintances. It is through debate and pedagogy that we establish abolition and its values over time and in history.