Dominicans call for end to 'three great injustices'

 Three great injustices' - the death penalty, economic sanctions and HIV/AIDS in developing countries - were highlighted by the Dominican General Chapter, during their meeting in Providence, Rhode Island. At the end of their month-long gathering, last Wednesday, the feast of St Dominic, delegates representing more than a hundred countries, issued a statement outlining their views. Calling for an immediate moratorium on executions they said: "The death penalty goes against the political virtue of clemency. Not only does it destroy the life of the person it is applied to, it injures the dignity of the citizens in whose name it is pronounced or applied. Moreover, judicial statistics indicate that this punishment is not dissuasive." Listing UN statistics that show economic sanctions on Cuba and Iraq are causing suffering to civil populations, they called for their immediate end. They said: "Taking up the appeals of Pope John Paul II and Cardinal Etchegarray, the General Chapter of the Order of Preachers, through the voice of its permanent delegate to the UN, renews the call addressed to the politicians in charge and to the citizens of the countries involved, especially to Catholics, to apply all within their efforts to bring to an end the sanctions that.. strike civil populations indiscriminately." The Dominicans also appealed to world governments and organisations to do more to improve the lives of those in the developing world suffering from HIV/Aids through debt relief, making medicines and medical treatment more available and supporting preventative measures such as health education. They said: "We denounce the perverse effects of the actual use of pharmaceutical patents (the TRIPS Agreement - Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property) which prevents access to generic medications in developing countries, and we are oppose to a revision of these agreements that would be unfavourable to the impoverished and the deprived." Click on: Dominican General Chapter on Rhode Island for more details of the meeting

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