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The Death Penalty: Through the Lens

 

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On the 10th of June, the renowned New York-based photographer Toshi Kazama visited the Brickfields Asia College (BAC) PJ campus as a guest speakerin conjunction with the 2nd Regional Congress on the Death Penalty co-organized by the Bar Council of Malaysia and Suhakam.


Toshi Kazama is well known for his dedication to abolishing the death penalty in response to an attack that left him comatose for several days. From that point onward Kazama declared that his "second life is not his own" and is to be lived for the benefit of others. He has played a crucial role in anti-death penalty efforts in countries such as Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam, Mongolia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Bhutan.

He has presented his photographs and their subjects’ stories throughout the U.S., Europe and in several Asian countries. Through his presentations and exhibitions against the death penalty, Kazama illustrates the immeasurable value of human life and the need for mutual respect and understanding of fellow human beings. Kazama’s moving portraits have left a lasting impression on all those who have seen his work.

The presentation concluded with a lively discussion where Kazama along with his fellow delegates Raphael Chenuil-Hazan (Director General of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty) and Ivo Apostolov (Third Secretary of Political Affairs, European Union Delegation to Malaysia) fielded questions from the audience. Among the issues discussed included the effect of the death penalty on many parties other than the victim, the concept of restorative justice, the rehabilitation of criminals as well as the opportunity to understand and learn from convicted criminals who are serving life sentences.

 

Events such as this are an enriching part of campus life. BAC, in recognition of the distinct and permanent influence that these events have on students, launched the all “New BAC Experience” which incorporates academic and extracurricular activities. The “New BAC Experience” is designed to provide students with a holistic education thus delivering an engaging experience for students looking for a balance between studying and fun. These activities are provided by the college’s related entities which include Prodigy Asia, the Language Centre, BAC International, the Career Centre, MonsterFit and Rock Academy amongst others.

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