A Moratorium acts as a “truce” for the death penalty

Abolition

on 23 August 2012

“Africa has the largest number of de facto abolitionist countries; some, such as Burundi and Rwanda have abolished the death penalty de jure. In general, there has been a growing trend toward legal abolition of executions and their general decrease in many countries, as well as a reduction of capital crimes or the commutation of death sentences”, wrote President of Sierra Leone Ernest Bai Koroma. “In Sierra Leone, there have been no executions carried out for nearly 14 years” and he added: “on the occasion of our 50th anniversary of independence in 2011, as President of Sierra Leone, I decided to commute all death sentences to life imprisonment and pardon five death row prisoners.”
In May 2011, Sierra Leone accepted the recommendations made by the UN Human Rights Council to abolish the death penalty, to accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR and to establish a de jure moratorium on the application of the death penalty aimed at its definitive abolition. “These recommendations are now under consideration, subject to constitutional review” wrote President Koroma. “Sierra Leone now has a moratorium, which is like a “truce”; in war, a truce acts as a passage to peace, negotiations and preparations for the end of fighting; a moratorium acts as the “truce” for the death penalty, a time politically, procedurally, legislatively and civilly to discuss, reflect and prepare. South Africa, for example, abolished the death penalty after five years of moratorium”
“We will continue to work on this and to work with our brothers and sisters in Africa and throughout the world to heal our conflicts, embrace democracy and launch a message of nonviolence and tolerance.”

Worldwide trend towards the abolition of the death reaffirmed in 2011 and in the first six months of 2012

In 2011 and in the first six months of 2012, significant political and legislative steps towards abolition or at least positive signs, such as collective commutations of capital punishment, have been seen in numerous Countries.
In March 2011, the Maldives said is committed to maintaining a moratorium on executions with a view to formally abolishing the death penalty.
In September 2011, Suriname agreed on formalizing its longstanding non-use of capital punishment by abolishing all legal provisions for it.
In March 2011, Liberia insisted that it remained committed to honouring its international human rights obligations, including the abolition of the death penalty.
In March 2011, Mauritania has reiterated its commitment to a de facto abolition of the death penalty.
Nigeria continues to respect the “self-imposed moratorium” on executions in place since 2006.
In June 2012, the Government of Ghana accepted the recommendation of the Constitution Review Commission that the death penalty be completely abolished.
There were also a significant number of amnesties and commutations of death sentences in Ethiopia, Uganda, Morocco, Sierra Leone, Zambia and Myanmar.
As of April 2011, Guinea has gone more than ten years without practicing the death penalty, establishing itself as de facto abolitionist Country.
In January 2012, Latvia abolished the death penalty for all crimes.
In March 2012, Mongolia ratified the Second Optional Protocol to ICCPR).
In July 2012, Benin has also acceded to the Second Optional Protocol.
In the United States, the State of Connecticut abolished the death penalty in April 2012, and Illinois abolished it in March 2011. In Oregon, the Governor declared a moratorium on all executions in November 2011.

flag

Benin

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Burundi

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Ethiopia

RetentionistDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Ghana

Abolitionist in practiceDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Guinea

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Latvia

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Maldives

Abolitionist in practiceDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Mauritania

Abolitionist in practiceDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Mongolia

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Morocco

Abolitionist in practiceDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Myanmar

Abolitionist in practiceDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Nigeria

RetentionistDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Rwanda

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Sierra Leone

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

South Africa

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Suriname

Abolitionist for all crimesDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Uganda

RetentionistDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

United States

RetentionistDeath penalty legal status

Countries
flag

Zambia

Abolitionist in practiceDeath penalty legal status

Countries
20th World Day Against the Death Penalty - Death penalty: a road paved with torture World Day

20th World Day Against the Death Penalty – Death penalty: a road paved with torture

As the 20th World Day Against the Death Penalty is marked around the world, now is a time to consider and celebrate the gains the abolitionist movement has made over the past 20 years. Now, more than ever, abolitionist actors need to continue working towards the complete abolition of the death penalty worldwide, for all […]

Endorse the United Nations Protocol to Abolish Death Penalty Protocol

Just One More Step: Ratifying International and Regional Protocols

As of 28 March 2022, 90 of the 173 States parties to the ICCPR have ratified or acceded to its Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, most recently Kazakhstan (24 March 2022), Armenia (18 March 2021), Angola (2 October 2019) and the State of Palestine (18 March 2019).

More articles