European Union Heads of Mission in Uganda along with the Heads of Mission of Norway, Iceland and the Vatican in Uganda visited inmates on death row at the Luzira Maximum Security Prison last week as part of EU global outreach to mark the European and World Day against the Death Penalty.
The visit was organised in partnership with the African Prisons Project, a civil society organisation working to bring dignity and hope to prison inmates by improving access to education, healthcare, justice and reintegration into the community, and was made possible with thanks to the Uganda Prison Service and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The EU is supporting the African Prisons Project through the Democratic Governance Facility.
The delegation was led by EU Ambassador to Uganda, H.E Attilio Pacifici and included Ambassadors and representatives from Belgium, Denmark, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Iceland, Norway and the Vatican. The delegation listened to the plight of death row inmates both at the women's and men's wing of the prison.
Ambassador Pacifici delivered remarks and said the death penalty is an inhuman and degrading form of punishment that does not deter crime. He thanked the Uganda Prison Service for allowing the visit and stressed the importance of giving people a second chance, while affirming the EU's strong and principled position against the death penalty. It is the fourth year running that EU Heads of Mission are visiting death-row inmates to express solidarity.
Last year, the EU Delegation facilitated the recording of songs written, composed and performed by the inmates themselves; songs that carry emotive messages including a call for redemption, a second chance in life and a call to authorities to abolish the death penalty.