AU URGES MEMBERS TO EMULATE RWANDA ON DEATH PENALTY
September 28, 2009: fifty participants representing different African Union member states and national human rights commissions appealed to African countries to emulate Rwanda and abolish the death penalty.
A conference, the first of its kind in Africa, was held in Kigali last week to discuss the death penalty on the continent. It was organised by the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights for Central, Eastern and Southern Africa.
By the end of the conference, the members agreed to support the abolition of the death penalty by putting emphasis on a formal moratorium that can be adapted on the basis which government can be held accountable.
The participants also recommended the drafting of a protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, on the abolition of the death penalty in Africa, to fill gaps in the African charter on the inviolability of human life.
"We urge all the AU member countries which have not yet done so to subscribe to Human Rights Instruments that prohibit the death penalty, namely the 2nd Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political rights and the Rome Statute and align national legislation accordingly," their resolution document says in part.
Rwanda was represented by Sylvie Zainabo Kayitesi who is the chairperson of the Working Group on the death penalty in Africa. (Sources: AllAfrica.com, 28/09/2009)