La House committee rejects bill to eliminate death penalty

13 April, 2018, 07:25 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Nigeria has 2,285 people on death row the most in Sub Saharan Africa

"And the work we do is to say that the death penalty is against human rights and that some sentences are degrading and outdated", Kine Fatim Diop of Amnesty International's West Africa office told Africanews.

She called on the government to release its death penalty strategy. "We know that the death penalty does not help solve that problem, and that was our appeal to the president of Afghanistan - not to move ahead with executions anymore because they won't help the country reach the stability which I think we all want to see", Sangiorgio told RFE/RL.

"Now that 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, it is high time that the rest of the world follows their lead and consigns this abhorrent punishment to the history books", said Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty.

Ossai Ojigho, country director of the organisation, said this on Thursday at the presentation of the 2018 Amnesty International death penalty report 2018 in Abuja.

For the 9th consecutive year, the U.S. remained the only country to carry out executions in the Americas, while in Europe and Central Asia, Belarus was the only country to execute its citizens. This was the case in three of the four executions in the country past year.

"It is per se contrary to the Gospel", he continued, "because it entails the willful suppression of a human life that never ceases to be sacred in the eyes of its Creator".

Guinea abolished the death penalty for all crimes and Kenya abolished the mandatory death sentence of murder.

Burkina Faso and Chad also took steps to repeal the death penalty with new or proposed laws. Iran decreased the number of people it has killed for drug crimes by 40 percent.

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The report indicates a global decrease of 17 percent, reflecting a decrease of over 2591 in 2017 from the high record of 3117 of death sentences in 2016.

"We know that by galvanising the support of people worldwide, we can stand up to this cruel punishment and end the death penalty everywhere".

With more than 6,000 people awaiting execution, Pakistan has one of the largest death-row populations in the world. The true number of people executed previous year is believed to be higher. "The executions were carried out for murder (240); drug trafficking (205); murder and rape 4; robbery 11; "spreading corruption on earth" 2; rape (male on female rape) 16; kidnapping and murder 3;moharebeh (politically motivated) (2); and 19 were for offences that could not be confirmed", the AI reported. Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq are responsible for carrying out 85 percent of all reported death sentences worldwide, the report said. "There is an increase in neglect; we discovered that when these crimes are committed, they are done by the most vulnerable people in society", she said.

According to AI, Ghana is among the countries that have abolished the execution of prisoners on death row but is yet to stop sentencing "criminals" to death by getting rid of the punishment from its legal system.

The bulk of the executions were carried out after Mohammed Bin Salman was appointed crown prince in July, figures from rights group Reprieve suggest.

China is believed to be the country that executes the highest number of people; "however the exact number is unknown as the data is classified as a state secret".

Nigeria last carried out an execution in 2016. "The use of torture is absolutely prohibited under the UN Convention against Torture", the AI report stressed.

"The death penalty is a symptom of a culture of violence, not a solution to it".

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