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African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights

Hon. Zainabo Sylvie Kayitesi, Commissioner

Working Group on Death Penalty, Extra-Judicial, Summary or Arbitrary Killings and Enforced Disappearances in Africa


During the inter-session, members of the Working Group on the Death Penalty discussed the paper on the “Abolition of the Death Penalty in Africa” which was consolidated on the sidelines of the 44th Ordinary Session held in November 2008 in Abuja, the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The paper will be examined at the Regional Conference on the death penalty scheduled for  September 2009. This Conference will be the first of its kind on the theme and we are hopeful of a high participation by the State parties.

12. In view of the budgetary constraints faced by the Commission, the Working Group on the death penalty in Africa could not meet as usual before every Ordinary Session.

13. During this inter-session, we observed significant progress on the issue of the death penalty. Certain countries like Burundi and Togo made progress in the area of the death penalty. Other  countries like Burkina Faso demonstrated the political will to abolish the death penalty. We urge other State parties to the African Charter to recognize the fundamental right to life and human dignity in line with the abolition of the death penalty.