Kyrgyzstan becomes 73rd country to pass irreversible abolition
On December 6 Kyrgyzstan acceded to UN protocol on the abolition of the death penalty, becoming the 73rd state party to this treaty since its adoption in 1989.
Up until its accession, Kyrgyzstan was one of several World Coalition target countries in its campaign for the ratification of the text, officially known as the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Advocacy work started in October 2009 with the official launch of the campaign. Since then the World Coalition and its partners, the countries ‘friends of the Protocol’, convened meetings with the authorities, sent reports to the UN and official letters to the President and Parliament.
That was the case in November 2009, when the Parliament rejected the bill for the ratification of the Protocol. The bill was reintroduced and subsequently adopted in February 2010.
Accession despite political turmoil
The World Coalition sent a second letter shortly afterwards to congratulate the President and Parliament for passing the law for the ratification and urged them to deposit the instrument of ratification with the Secretary General of the UN for the ratification to be officially recognised under international law. Kyrgyzstan’s accession took nine more months because of political turmoil in the country.
Kyrgyzstan has been an abolitionist country since 1998 when the last execution took place and an unofficial moratorium on executions started. In December 2006 the Constitution was revised and in June 2007 the death penalty was abolished in law with its removal from the Penal Code.
At an international level Kyrgyzstan voted in favour of the United National General Assembly resolutions on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in 2007 and 2008. Kyrgyzstan has also committed itself to voting in favour of the upcoming moratorium resolution in December 2010 and, as in 2008, is co-sponsoring the resolution.
Kyrgyzstan has joined some of its closest neighbours, namely Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan as a state party to the Second Optional Protocol. It is hoped that other Central Asian nations, such as Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, will follow Kyrgyzstan’s lead and join the worldwide trend towards the abolition of the death penalty.