Press conference today in Italy: Reprieve and Hands Off Cain challenge Italian trade in execution drug sodium thiopental

December 2, 2010

Reprieve will today join an alliance of international lawyers in calling for a ban on the production of execution drug sodium thiopental by the Italian factory of international drug company Hospira.

Press conference: 11am Thursday  2 December 2010, Via di Torre Argentina 76, Roma

Speakers:

SANDRA BABCOCK, Lawyer, Expert in Capital Cases, USAMAYA FOA, Representative of Reprieve, UKLIVIA FIRTH, Ambassador for Reprieve, UKOLIVIERO TOSCANI, Photographer, author of “We, on death row” campaign, ITALYSERGIO D’ELIA, Secretary of Hands Off Cain, ITALYELISABETTA ZAMPARUTTI, Radical Party MP and Treasurer of Hands Off Cain, ITALYANGELO BONELLI, President of the Green Party, ITALY

Death row defence lawyer Joseph Margulies will also attend, along with politicians, non-governmental organisations and artists opposed to capital punishment. A dossier of information on Italy’s “lethal trade” will be released, along with details of parliamentary and legal proceedings currently underway in Italy and the UK.

Following Arizona’s 25th October execution of Jeffrey Landrigan using drugs imported from the United Kingdom, Reprieve launched legal proceedings to prevent British sodium thiopental from being exported for the executions of other prisoners in the USA. Similar proceedings have now begun in Italy, where Hospira Spa, a pharmaceutical company based in Liscate, on the outskirts of Milan, has been chosen by its American parent company, based in Lake Forest, Illinois, to be the seat of production for the sodium thiopental destined for the American penitentiaries.

While abolitionist countries like Italy and the UK are busy at the UN working towards a worldwide moratorium on executions, they risk becoming complicit in the death penalty in the United States, where the shortage of approved drugs for lethal injection is causing a de facto moratorium on executions.

For further information please contact Valentina Ascione: Tel. + 39 06 68979221 – 06 68803848 – fax 06 68979211 cell. + 39 349 0916848 – e mail: v.ascione@radicali.it