ARAB LEGISLATIONS GO FAR BEYOND ISLAMIC LAW
May 29, 2008: Tahar Boumedra, the Penal Reform International (PRI) Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, explained that Sharia'a law isn't the only legal instrument regulating the death penalty in Arab and Muslim countries.
He participated in a three day regional conference on the death penalty, which ended in Alexandria on May 14. "Some delegates, they came from nine Arab countries, tried to use Islamic law to argue against the abolition of the death penalty," says Boumedra. "But actually death penalty laws go far beyond anything Sharia'a law ever sought to impose."
The conference, co-organised by PRI and the Swedish Institute in Alexandria, issued the "Alexandria Declaration" calling for a moratorium on executions as a step towards abolishing the death penalty in the Arab region to comply with the UN General Assembly's resolution on the death penalty.
"At the end of our discussions we agreed to state in the Declaration that the death penalty was a "violation of the most fundamental human right, the right to life". We also agreed that this sanction had not succeeded anywhere in deterring criminality or preventing it." (Sources: IPS, 29/05/2008)