Irreversible abolition of the death penalty in Togo and the Dominican Republic


By Guillaume Colin and Aurélie Plaçais, on 27 September 2016

A process initiated in 2009 in Togo

Togolese MPs abolished the death penalty unanimously on 23 June 2009; the death penalty was then removed from the criminal laws of the country. Since then, Togo voted in favor of the resolutions of the UN General Assembly calling for a universal moratorium on executions.
On 21 January 2015, the Togolese Council of Ministers adopted a draft law authorizing accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. This law was then adopted unanimously by the Togolese National Assembly on 9 July 2015. Togo finalized the process with the United Nations on 14 September 2016.
From a legal perspective, this accession makes the resumption of the death penalty impossible in Togo. From a political perspective, it demonstrates the commitment of Togo for the universal abolition of the death penalty. It comes just before the Universal Periodic Review of Togo by the Human Rights Council of the United Nations to be held on 31 October 2016.
The World Coalition calls on Togo to commit to the adoption of the draft additional protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the abolition of the death penalty in Africa. Indeed, the World Coalition is conducting a joint campaign with FIACAT, FIDH and DITSHWANELO and their members in sub-Saharan Africa for the adoption of the draft protocol by the African Union.

The Dominican Republic accedes to the UN protocol more than 4 years after the American protocol

The Dominican Republic ratified the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty on 27 January 2012, without ratifying his UN counterpart, the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR. This was done on 21 September 2016.

The Dominican Republic has become the 83th state party to this international treaty. The Togo being the 82nd and the 12th in Africa.

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