government: presidential republic
state of civil and political rights: Not free
constitution: 14 March 1991
legal system: based on French civil law system and customary law
legislative system: bicameral legislature consists of the Senate and the National Assembly
judicial system: Supreme Court; Constitutional Court; Courts of Appeal; Court of State Security; County Courts
religion: Christian 55%-75%, animist, Muslim less than 1%
year of last executions: 0-0-1981
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty)
In February, 2010, Gabon completely abolished the death penalty. Law 3/2010, which abolishes the death penalty in Gabon, was approved by the Parliament in January and promulgated on February 15, 2010, with the signature of the president of the Republic, Ali Bongo Ondimba, Prime Minister Paul Biyogha Mba and Justice Minister Anicette Nanda Oviga.
According to the law, the death penalty is substituted with life imprisonment with the possibility of pardon or amnesty, conditional freedom or alternative means, only after having served at least thirty years of the punishment. The law also abolishes forced labour.
On May 3, 2007, the Government of Gabon decided to undersign the “Declaration of Association” against the death penalty presented to the United Nations by the European Union on December 19, 2006. At the end of the Council of Ministers, held in Libreville for the specific decision, the Government declared in a press release: “in response to the appeal of the European Union to institute a moratorium on the application of the death penalty, the Council of Ministers has decided for the country’s adherence to this international humanitarian initiative, which falls within the current politics of President Omar Bongo Ondimba and of the Gabonese Government on this matter.” The decision was adopted thanks to Aldo Ajello, already sent by the E.U. for the Great Lakes Crisis, to whom the Italian Government entrusted a mission in Africa with the goal of gathering support for the moratorium.
The last execution in Gabon took place in 1981.
On 2 April 2014, the Government of Gabon acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.
On December 19, 2016, Gabon voted again in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly, but did not co-sponsored the text.
On December 17, 2018, Gabon co-sponsored and voted in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.