Since last August until December 2011, every month on the 30th concerts for the abolition of the death penalty in South Korea were organized by the Korean bishops’ subcommittee for the abolition of capital punishment. The performances consisted out of a concert and discussions with the audience about the abolition of death penalty, which has not been practiced since 1997, but is still officially part of the penalty system.
Those concerts under the motto of “telling life stories in a concert, speaking about peace, singing about life” were a successful platform to raise awareness and share thoughts and opinions between people and all kinds of invited guests, as authors, musicians, actors, etc. Mr. Deokjin Kim, the secretary general of the catholic human rights committee stated, that the audience seemed to be even more interested and look forward to the talks themselves, though the audience also mentioned that the music created a comfortable atmosphere. So these concerts will be most likely to be continued also in this year.
Mr. Kim is an activist for the abolition of death penalty since 1999. He started out with student movements, which led to his imprisonment at that time, where he met several death row inmates, which opened his eyes to this topic even more. But he explicitly emphasizes, that he is not committing himself to this movement because of the inmates themselves, but rather because of a government, that is able to keep the capital punishment in their legal system. He concludes his apprehension in the question of what else could a government be capable of, when legalizing one of the biggest human rights violation on a governmental level?
What do you, the readers think, is South Korea moving backwards, while sticking to capital punishment and can the concerts be a good frame of showing and gathering people’s concern about the South Korean government?