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Death Row Dinners cancelled following “serious threatening behaviour”

12:48 23 September 2014

The pop-up in Hoxton Square was due to run from October 24 to November 29 (Picture: Death Row Dinners)

The pop-up in Hoxton Square was due to run from October 24 to November 29 (Picture: Death Row Dinners)

Archant

The organiser of a restaurant selling dinners requested by death row prisoners has cancelled the event after receiving threats against himself and potential guests.

Last week Death Row Dinners came under fire for the concept, which was going to charge clients £50 for a five- course “feast” of some of death row’s “most interesting and popular last dinners” when it opened next month in Hoxton Square.

The organiser vowed to plough ahead, despite calls for the “appallingly bad taste” pop-up to shut before it had even opened.

The event was being promoted with black and white mugshots of men, apparently prisoners, displaying their last meal wishes on menus draped around their necks.

The immersive experience promised “inmates” the chance to “experience a night behind the bars of one of London’s toughest high security restaurants”, warning them to be prepared to be “charged, sentenced, searched and frisked”.

Human rights group Amnesty International branded the death penalty as the “ultimate denial of human rights”, and work for it to be abolished in countries where it still exists, such as the USA, Iran, Iraq, China and Saudi Arabia,

Its spokesman Niall Couper said he could not think of anything more likely to put you off your food. “We thought Death Row Dinners had to be a spoof, it’s hard to believe someone would choose that as a theme in real life,” he said. “It is in appallingly bad taste.”

However after an angry barrage of criticism on Twitter, the organisers said they were “shocked and saddened” by the response and were sorry for any offence caused, saying they were considering their next steps.

A couple of days later they decided to go ahead anyway, and in a statement issued on their website they said they had been expecting some negativity: “The severity of the reaction is not at all surprising in the current world of instant outrage but cancelling the event only supports this short-termism infecting the population.

“If you don’t like it, it’s very simple, just don’t go.

“Death Row Dinners was created to appeal to an audience who would not be offended by the concept. It seems there are plenty of people out there who aren’t, because they are buying tickets and supporting us.”

But over the weekend the restaurant’s website and its Twitter account were shut down, and the promoter has confirmed the event has been cancelled due to “serious threatening behaviour”.

She said: “As his own (the orgniser) personal safety and the safety of the guests is at risk the event can no longer go ahead.“

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