From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
Amnesty Condemns Death Penalty in Sierra Leone
By Mohamed Kanu
Oct 13, 2010, 17:59

As this year’s World Day against the Death penalty focuses on the use of the death penalty in some parts of the United States of America, Amnesty International–Sierra Leone yesterday 11th October 2010 while commemorating the historic day vehemently and unequivocally condemned the use of death penalty in Sierra Leone.


Speaking at the forum held at their head office in Freetown, the focal person for death penalty, who also chained the occasion, Vandi S. Nabi Esq described the death penalty as an unmade, barbaric and inhuman method of punishing and must be removed, adding that though the criminal conduct Act of 1973 has been reviewed, the death penalty still exists by hanging.


He further posited that Amnesty International has discovered that killing is rampant in states where executions occur than those where they are not executed. “Execution through death penalty is one of the avenues that ignited the eleven years war in the country because the act is unlawful, cruel and irrevocable. Once one has been killed even if later found not guilty of that crime can never be reawaken from death,” Mr. Vandi posited, adding that the death penalty can also cause political instability in a state. He said the essence of punishing is not to kill but as a way of reforming an accused person.


He disclosed that death penalty would be one of the issues in the campaigning strategies come the 50th Anniversary celebration of the Country independence. He finally used the opportunity to call on President Koroma to swiftly look in their proposal as was discussed in their last meeting.

 

Amnesty International Director, Brima A Sheriff informed that AI strongly opposes the death penalty in all cases without exceptive, regardless of the nature of the Crime become it is an ultimate denial of human rights from a global perspective with the tendency to open more wounds.  He furthered that though too many countries are still unaware that the death penalty offers society no further protection, AI is deeply concerned with the victims of human rights abuses, and that it is their responsibility to advocate for issues that will create a peaceful co-existence environment because death penalty can be also use as a political weapon to silence opponents. He congratulate the President for a death penalty free governance, while urging him to use the 50th Anniversary as a year of implementation to take into cognizance the TRC recommendation and eradicate the death penalty in the country as according to him neighboring countries like  Liberia and Ivory coast have abolished the penalty.



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