Pope again raises voice against death penalty
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Pope Francis renewed his call to abolish the death penalty on Monday, on the occasion of the World Day Against the Death Penalty.
"I call on all people of goodwill to mobilize for the abolition of the death penalty throughout the world," wrote Francis on his Twitter page, where the pontiff has nearly 50 million followers worldwide.
"Society can effectively repress crime without definitively depriving the offenders of the possibility of redeeming themselves," he added.
The Argentine pope has spoken out against the death penalty throughout his pontificate and in 2018 called it "inadmissible" as he hardened the Church's stance on capital punishment.
At the end of last year, 108 countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes, according to Amnesty International.
They are among 140 countries where the death penalty has been abolished either in practice or in law, representing three-quarters of the world's states.
At least 579 people were executed last year in 18 countries, according to Amnesty's latest report published in May, a rise of 20 percent from the prior year.
More than half of them were in Iran.
Among the latest countries to end capital punishment are Equatorial Guinea, Malawi, Kazakhstan and Sierra Leone.