Reviews Sierra Leone: Human Rights Organizations greet the abolith of the death penalty

10:55  25 july  2021
10:55  25 july  2021 Source:   rfi.fr

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En Afrique, la peine capitale est de plus en plus rare. © Anne-Sophie FAIVEN The AFP / File framework in Africa, capital punishment is increasingly rare.

After Malawi and Chad, it's the Sierra Leone who abolished the death penalty Friday. An advance greeted by human rights organizations and civil society, which believe, however, that it is only a first step.

The post-war truth and reconciliation commission had recommended the abolition of the death penalty in Sierra Leone. It was a commitment of the authorities before the last ballot. It's now done. The National Assembly voted on Friday, July 23rd the abolition of the death penalty. Capital punishment will now be replaced by life imprisonment or at least 30 years.

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Video: Sierra Leone: The National Assembly votes the abolition of the death penalty (Euronews)

Ibrahim Tommy, Executive Director of the Center for Accountability and Rule of Law, Rejoins of this progress. "We reach a number of countries around the world that consider that the death penalty is barbaric, that it is wrong to give the right to the state to exercise violence against its own citizens. It is therefore a welcome development and I think it's a massive victory for the protection of human rights in Sierra Leone, "he reacts.

No execution for more than 20 years

However, Ibrahim Tommy remains vigilant. The text must still be signed by President Julius Maada Bio. According to the UN, the Sierra Leonean courts condemned more than 80 people at the death penalty between 2016 and 2020. But the last executions took place in 1998, when 24 army officers were put to death after a Tentative one year before. "We will have to make sure that it is actually applied by ensuring that those who have been sentenced to death see their conviction commuted to life imprisonment and that it is properly applied," he says.

Among the next fighting, ensures this activist: the penalization of female genital mutilation or the legalization of abortion.

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