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August 4 2009 | KENYA

Kenya

President Kibaki reduces all more than 4000 death sentences to life prison

 
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ANSA

PENA MORTE: KENYA, PER 4.000 CONDANNA COMMUTATA IN ERGASTOLO
NAIROBI, 3 AGO - Circa 4.000 prigionieri keniani che erano stati condannati a morte hanno visto oggi la loro pena commutata in ergastolo per effetto di un decreto presidenziale.
Nel decreto si precisa pero' che cio' non significa che la pena di morte sia stata abolita.
Nessuna sentenza capitale, peraltro, e' stata eseguita in Kenya negli ultimi 22 anni, mentre tali condanne continuano ad essere inflitte con una relativa frequenza e in una condizione carceraria estremamente complessa poiche' nei penitenziari (gia' di per se' spaventosi) keniani non esistono bracci della morte, tantomeno per 4.000 persone.
Di qui, oltre che per ragioni umanitarie, la decisione odierna, con l'obiettivo di permettere una relativa normalizzazione anche mentale di quanti, magari da lustri, attendevano di subire la condanna.
La decisione, inoltre, consentira' di far lavorare (manualmente e con misure riabilitative) i condannati alla pena capitale. Il che e' escluso dalla vigente normativa, che peraltro resta in vigore, come la pena di morte. Ma da oggi, magari solo per qualche giorno, nelle carceri keniane non ci sono piu' condannati a morte.
 
Associated Press
Kenyan leader reduces all death sentences to life
By TOM MALITI
Kenya's more than 4,000 death row inmates all will have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment, the president announced Monday, describing their wait to face execution as "undue mental anguish and suffering."
No death sentence has been carried out in the past 22 years in the East African nation. President Mwai Kibaki said he made the decision following advice of a constitutional committee and that he was commuting the sentences using powers provided for under Kenya's constitution.
"Extended stay on death row causes undue mental anguish and suffering, psychological trauma (and) anxiety while it may as well constitute inhuman treatment," the president said in a statement.
Muthoni Wanyeki, the executive director of the independent Kenya Human Rights Commission, welcomed the decision.
"It's been a long time coming," Wanyeki told The Associated Press. Her organization has been campaigning for years for reforms in Kenya's prisons as well as repealing the death penalty from the country's law books.
Wanyeki said that the death penalty is a mandatory sentence in Kenya for anyone convicted of armed robbery or murder.
Kibaki said he has directed government officials to study whether the death penalty has any impact on fighting crime. He also appealed to Kenyans to promote a national debate on the issue, suggesting the government may be preparing the ground for a repeal of the death penalty.
Attorney General Amos Wako has in the past advocated repealing the death penalty. That would require a vote in parliament, where such a move has faced strong opposition.
"In a way, this may be unpopular with a section of the public," Wanyeki said.
Kenya's 97 prisons are overcrowded, underfunded and understaffed. They were built for a population of about 15,000 but have an inmate population of more than 40,000.
 
AFP
Kenya: les 4.000 condamnés à mort voient leur peine commuée en prison à vie
NAIROBI, 3 août 2009 (AFP) - Le président kényan Mwai Kibaki a décidé lundi de commuer les condamnations à mort de 4.000 prisonniers en prison à vie, a-t-on appris dans un communiqué de la présidence.
"Aucune peine de mort n'a été exécutée dans le pays depuis les dernières 22 années, conduisant à l'accumulation de 4.000 condamnés à mort dans les prisons kényanes", précise le communiqué de la présidence.
Selon la présidence, la décision a été notamment motivée par l'interdiction, faite par la loi, de recourir aux condamnés à mort pour des travaux manuels ou de réhabilitation.
Cette interdiction a favorisé "l'oisiveté" parmi cette frange de la population carcérale, entraînant des problèmes de discipline dans plusieurs prisons kényanes, selon M. Kibaki.
De même, la mesure devrait permettre de juguler les effets d'un séjour prolongé dans le couloir de la mort sur la santé mentale des prisonniers.
Cette décision "ne suggère en rien l'abolition de la peine de mort au Kenya", insiste toutefois la présidence.
 
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