Sunday, 28 June 2009

Togo Abolishes the Death Penalty

Togo has become the fifteenth African country to abolish the death penalty de jure:
Legislation was enacted to this effect by the country's parliament last week. Togo has not actually imposed the death penalty for three decades and has long been considered a de facto abolitionist state. This confirms evidence of two important trends: the general trend towards abolition in the world; and the very pronounced trend of states that abolish the death penalty in practice to subsequently confirm this by positive legal measures.
Here is the list of fifteen, with the year in parentheses indicating the adoption of relevant legislation: Mozambique (1990), Namibia (1990), Sao Tome and Principe (1990), Angola (1992), Guinea-Bissau (1993), Seychelles (1993), Djibouti (1995), Mauritius (1995), South Africa (1997), Côte d’Ivoire (2000), Senegal (2004), Liberia (2005), Rwanda (2007), Burundi (2008) and Togo (2009).
The following belong on the list of de facto abolitionist States, with the date in parentheses indicating the last known execution: Algeria (1993), Benin (1987), Burkina Faso (1988), Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic (1981), Republic of Congo (1982), Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gabon, The Gambia (1981), Ghana, Kenya (1987), Lesotho, Madagascar (1958), Malawi (1992), Maldives (1952), Mali (1980), Mauritania (1987), Morocco (1993), Niger (1976), Senegal (1967), Swaziland, Tanzania, Tunisia (1991) and Zambia.
Taken together, this is an impressive list of forty-three States. There are, I think, fifty-four States on the continent. Note that the first de jure abolition in Africa dates only to 1990, less than two decades ago.

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