today's Pick
UN's Ban Ki-moon calls for death penalty ban
Publish Date: Jun 15, 2013
UN's Ban Ki-moon calls for death penalty ban
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Milton Olupot in Madrid, Spain

The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has implored political leaders in countries that still have the death penalty in their justice systems, across the world to abolish it.

Moon, in a statement read at the official opening of the 5th World Conference against the death penalty on Friday said the campaign to eliminate the death penalty as a form of punishment has mainly faced resistance from political leaders.

“With political good will the campign to eliminate the death penalty can be made easier,” he said,

Over 2000 delegates including political leaders, civil society organisations, and individuals affected by the penalty are gathered for a four-day conference at Madrid, Spain to deliberate on strategies to bring the death penalty, issued by the courts to an end across the world.

Uganda is one of the countries that still retains death penalty. The death sentence is inherited from the colonial times. Uganda is represented at the Congress, by Prof. Fredrick Ssempebwa, Serere Woman MP Alice Alaso, The Uganda Human Rights Commission Chairman Medi Kaggwa and former death row convict Edward Mpagi, among others.

Uganda retains the death penalty for 28 civilian and military offences, however, no executions have been carried out since 1999 (civilians) and 2003 (military).

Although it appears there is an unofficial meratorium on executions in place, the government has routinely defended its right to maintain the death penalty in the statute books, and the judiciary continues to hand down death sentences.There are currently about 505 death row inmates in Uganda.

At the opening, retired South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu in a televised message, said countries should move fast to abolish the death sentence, as a punishment. “There is no justice in killing, in the name of justice. It is a ghastly punishment. We must bring an irreversible end to this doctrine of revenge,” he said.

He agreed with Ban Ki Moon that lack of political will to eliminate death penalty was slowing down the process. He however, expressed hope total elimination of the penalty across the world would be achieved. “Politicians will slow us down but rightiousness will prevail. It is not a pipe-dream but an absolute necessity,” he emphasised.

Norway Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Gry Larsen, at the opening said urged all countries to the experience of Europe. She said the death penalty is not a culture, and therefore its elimination can only be a decision of political leaders, to uphold humanity and human values.

Norway is one of the sponsors of the conference. The other countries are Spain, France and Switzerland.

The World Congress Against Death Penalty attracts people from the five continents comprising civil society members, lawyers, Judiciary, Inter-governmental organisations, and journalists.

The Congress focusses on the Universal abolition of the death penalty. Its report shows that in the last 40 years 70% of countries have abandoned the implementation of the penalty.

In 2012 at least 682 prisoners were executed in 21 countries, and 1722 people were sentenced to death in 58 countries.  
 

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Onegi-Obel cleared of fraud in NSSF sh8b case
The Anti- Corruption Court has cleared the former board chairman of the NSS Geoffrey Onegi Obel, of charges of abuse of office and causing financial loss....
Brutalised baby admitted at Mulago Hospital
Eric Kamanzi and Angella Mbabazi, the parents of Aneela Kamanzi, the one-year old toddler has been admitted at the Paediatrics Acute Care Unit in Mulago Hospital for further checkup....
Sole candidature was imposed on Museveni - MP
The legislator says the resolution to field President Yoweri Museveni as the party’s sole candidate was imposed on him....
Police trying to verify Luzinda nude photos
Police seek the opinion of forensic experts to help verify the nude photos that are supposedly of musician Desire Luzinda....
Passengers get out and push frozen plane
A group of hardy Siberian oil workers stuck in a frozen plane took matters in their own hands - getting out to give the stranded jet a push....
Beggar arrested with millions in his pockets
A beggar arrested in Iran on Wednesday had millions of rials (millions of Ugandan shillings) in his pockets and a great deal more in two bank accounts....
Should Govt lease parts of Lake Victoria to private developers?
Its Ok
No Way
Not Sure
follow us
subscribe to our news letter