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June 13 2010 | GHANA

Ghana

Amnesty calls for abolition of death penalty

 
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GhanaWeb

Amnesty International, Ghana, calls for abolition of death penalty

Accra, June 11, GNA - Mr. Lawrence Amesu, Director of Amnesty International, Ghana, on Friday appealed to Government to abolish the death penalty in the country.

He noted that Ghana was among countries in West Africa that had retained the law on death penalty, although in practice there had not been any execution in the country since 1993. Mr. Amesu, who was addressing a press conference under the theme: "Time to Abolish the Death Penalty in Ghana", in Accra, said Ghana had 99 prisoners on the death row.

He noted that for the past 10 years, 95 nations had abolished laws on capital punishment for all crimes adding "We all need to take collective action immediately to avoid these callous and inhuman bloodshed in Africa and the world,".

Mr. Amesu called on governments of Ghana, Nigeria, Mauritania, Libya, Iran, Iraq to end executions and threats of executions. Mr Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah, Board Chairman of Amnesty International, Ghana, said that death penalty was the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment, which violated the right to life. He said: "the death penalty is irrevocable, coupled with a justice system that is prone to human error and prejudice. The risk of executing an innocent person is ever present".

Mr Adzahlie-Mensah noted that most people advocated the death penalty in the name of "victims' rights but was an inappropriate and unacceptable response to violent crime.

He appealed to journalists to educate the people on issues that were illegal under the domestic laws and international human rights standards and the need to abolish the death penalty to protect people against some of these infractions. Mr Tuinese Edward Amuzu, a legal practitioner, said it was impossible to overcome the menace of death sentence even if new evidence exonerated those convicted. He asked government to endeavour to remove the death penalty from the constitution.

 

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