April 28, 2000

South African Archbishop
calls for


South Africa
Archbishop calls for
Abu-Jamal retrial
Panafrican News Agency April 26, 2000
Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) -

South African church leaders Wednesday focused on the escalating call for a halt to the execution of Philadelphia death-row prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal, and on a global need to commit to restorative justice.

An inter-faith church service on Robben Island, off Cape Town, coincided with the opening of a poster exhibition of art dedicated to Abu-Jamal.

The aim of this show — which is travelling to galleries throughout South Africa, Europe, and the US — is to escalate international pressure for a retrial.

Anglican Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndugane said Robben Island was the appropriate venue for the event "for it was here where reconciliation in South Africa was nurtured in its infancy."

"At stake, of course is more than a new trial for Abu-Jamal and racist justice. The issue is whether we human beings have the right to condemn another to death," he said.

Serious questions have arisen about Abu-Jamal's trial and the evidence used against him. The former radio journalist has been in solitary confinement for most of his imprisonment since 1982.

Known as "the voice of the voiceless," Abu-Jamal was a leading critic of police violence against minority communities in Philadelphia. He was convicted of killing a white police officer, and sentenced to death. He has written extensively from his jail cell against the wars in Iraq, Kosovo and Colombia, and also about the racism of the American judicial system.



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