death penalty
death penalty

Tanzania’s Commission for Human Rights and Good Governance on Wednesday urged the government to ratify an international treaty abolishing death penalty.

The treaty, the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, requires all member states, among other things, to abolish death penalty.

In a statement, the commission commended President John Magufuli’s position that he will not implement the death penalty despite the fact that the law allowed him to do so.

President Magufuli made the statement on Monday during the swearing in ceremony of Chief Justice Ibrahim Hamisi Juma.

“The decision by the President is in line with the international covenants and the declarations by the United Nations which require member states to abolish or stop the death penalty,” said the statement.

On Tuesday, the Legal and Human Rights Center (LHRC) in Tanzania commended President Magufuli’s stance on the execution of death sentence.

President Magufuli had said he was not going to sign execution warrants for any death row inmates sentenced to die by hanging after being convicted of various serious crimes.

“I am aware of the difficulties in implementing such sentences, so I am telling the courts not to submit to me the list of names of the prisoners who are in line to be hanged to death.”

Hellen Kijo-Bisimba, the LHRC Executive Director, said President Magufuli’s statement was encouraging.

“However, the president should influence changes of the law to abolish the death by hanging punishment or provide lighter penalties,” Kijo-Bisimba told a news conference in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.

Magufuli’s statement came at a time when there are a total of 465 inmates currently on death row and waiting to be executed in various prisons across the country.

The 2015 report of the Human Rights and Good Governance Commission (HRGGC) shows that of the 465 inmates currently on death row, 445 are men and 20 are women. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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