TOGO ABOLISHES THE DEATH PENALTY
June 23, 2009: Togo's parliament voted unanimously to abolish the death penalty.
The vote was witnessed by Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who has been campaigning for a global moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its total abolition.
âThe Togolese parliament has raised a voice for justice and human dignity,â Zapatero said. And Justice Minister Kokou Tozoun said: "I think that it's the best decision that we took in this year... we don't have the right to give death to someone if we know that death is not a good thing to give."
Togo stopped applying the death penalty more than three decades ago. The last executions of people sentenced to death date back to 1978 and the last death sentence was handed down in 2003. As of June 23, 2009, there were at least six convicts on death row. (Sources: Xinhua, 23/06/2009; BBC, 24/06/2009)