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Australia has a vital role to play in the region in campaigning against the death penalty, says Fr Peter Norden AO.  "I dont think it's enough for Australians to say it's not an issue in this country.  We are based in a region where many countries execute their citizens and we are host to many overseas students studying in Australia from these countries.

"We need to engage with those students while they are studying here to be more creative in their thinking, because they're going to be the leaders in those countries when they return."

"We need to engage them in dialogue and conversation.  In their own countries many of them aren't even allowed to discuss this issue; there's no freedom of the press, there's no open discussion, they're too scared to sign petitions. 

Fr Norden, a Vice Chancellors Fellow at the Melbourne Law School, will be one of a number of key speakers at a rally tomorrow at the State Library as part of the International Day of Action Against the Death Penalty, organised by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. 

Final year Melbourne Law School student and Social Justice rep Alan Wu, barrister Julian McMahon Reprieve Australia President Rachel Walsh will also speak at the event.