BURKINA FASO: CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS PUSH FOR ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY
June 9, 2016: About ten civil society groups in Burkina Faso launched a campaign aimed at pushing for the abolition of death penalty in the West African country where about 13 people have been sentenced to hang.
According to spokesman Urbain Yameogo on behalf of the ten civil society groups, all organizations engaged in the national coalition against the death sentence "have a firm conviction that the death penalty in our legal provisions is unconstitutional."
Yameogo said the groups was alarmed by the recent increase in death sentences in Burkina Faso.
He attributed this situation to the rise in large scale crime such as terrorism and other atrocious crimes that negatively influence public opinion against the push for abolition of death penalty.
Despite having the death penalty in its statute books, Burkina Faso has not hanged anyone since 1988. However, 13 people are currently awaiting their execution after being sentenced to death.
The latest case occurred in July last year when an army officer was sentenced to hang after killing his ex-girlfriend.
In 2015, a bill proposing abolition of death penalty was introduced in Parliament by the then head of the National Transition Council Cheriff Sy. The bill was supported by Burkina Faso Bar Association as well as civil society organizations.
"The best reward we can give to the country in the year 2016, which has been declared the African Year of Human Rights, with a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women, is to completely abolish death penalty," Yameogo said. (Sources: Cihan/Xinhua, 10/06/2016)