From the right: Sergio d'Elia, Secretary of Hands off Cain, Aldo Ajello, President of Hands off Cain and former Special EU envoy for Great Lakes, Elisabetta Zamparutti, Treasurer of Hands off Cain, Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, Marco Perduca, Board of Directors of Hands off Cain and Tarcisse Karugarama, Minister of Justice of Rwanda

21 October 2011 :

We, the delegates in attendance at the Regional Conference on the Abolition or Moratorium on the Execution of the Death Penalty held in Kigali on 13-14 October 2011,

Noting that:

The death penalty was not normally a part of the traditional African justice system;

Recalling :

The positive example of Rwanda which, in the name of Reconciliation, has abolished the death penalty even for the perpetrators of the most serious crimes such as genocide;

Noting also that:

In September 2009, the death penalty working group of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rightsorganized a sub-regional conference in Kigali, Rwanda, to support the abolition of the death penalty in central, eastern and southern Africa by putting emphasis on a formal moratorium on executions;

In April 2010 , the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights organized a second regional meeting in Cotonou, focusing on northern and western African countries, targeting the means to achieve the abolition of the death penalty;

Recalling :

That various international instruments that safeguard the right to life;

That, on 21st December 2010, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) approved a new resolution in favour of a universal Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty;

Resolution ACHPR/Res 136 (XXXVIII).08 on the Moratorium on the Death Penalty;

Convinced that:

A moratorium on the use of the death penalty contributes to respect for human dignity and to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights;

We urge all African States:

To subscribe to Human Rights Instruments that prohibit the death penalty, namely the second optional protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and align national legislation accordingly;

To make available to the public relevant information with regard to the use of the death penalty and alternatives to the death penalty;

To progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed;

To establish in the interim a moratorium on executions with a view to eventually abolishing the death penalty;

To aspire to principles of restorative justice and that takes into account the experience of the victims;

To draft an additional protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the death penalty, giving all the AU member countries which have not yet abolished the death penalty a chance to adopt a binding instrument calling for the abolition of the death penalty;

To co-sponsor and vote in favour of the Resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions at the 2012 UN General Assembly.