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The Human Rights advocate organization, Amnesty International (AI) – Ghana has called on the government to take a firm step to abolish death penalty from the statutory books of Ghana.
According to the AI, death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights and so, it opposes such act and IS working towards its abolishment.
This was said at the launch of the 2018 Global Death Penalty report organized by Amnesty International (AI)-Ghana in Accra.
Addressing journalists, the Country Director of AI-Ghana, Robert Akoto Amoafo, highlighted the judicial use of death penalty across the globe which Ghana must adopt as an alternative to abolish it.
He said, this inhumane and cruel punishment must be removed from the legal statutory books of the country and be replaced with life sentences as a form of imprisonment as stated in the criminal code.
Global report indicates that executions and death sentences are on the decrease as it fell, globally, by almost one-third to the lowest figure with the exception of china, whose strategy of execution cannot be determined.
“The execution figures also fell globally from 993 in 2017 to 690 in 2018, which shows a positive response to the abolishment of the death penalty,” he added.
He cited neighboring countries within the ECOWAS sub-region like Togo, Benin, Cote d Ivoire and others that have abolished the death penalty and replaced it with other criminal options.
He explained further that there has been about 20 countries that have abolished the act which has brought significant reduction in the act. He mentioned Iraq, Pakistan, and Somali among others as part of such countries
Akoto Amoafo claimed the release and dissemination of such report annually is a clear indication to remind the World of judicial use of the death sentences in the statutory books of some countries, which, according to him must be abolished as soon as possible.
He announced that now is the turn of Ghana to act in the same manner as its neighboring countries and make it possible to replace such a sentence with a criminal code that would give a right to life.
“All people have the right to life, and we all have the right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, every human has a right regardless of whether they have been convicted of a crime,” he noted.
In a petition presented to Parliament by the group, it outlined a number of resolutions that Parliament must address in line with the death penalty and sentencing in the legal books.
Cynthia Darko, Board Treasurer for Amnesty International-Ghana, who read the statement on behalf of the organization called on Parliament to support the effort to abolish the death penalty in the constitution.
She explained that since Parliament is the arm of government for enacting laws to safeguard human lives, it must be a concern to Parliament to act fast on the petition and address the concerns.
“We therefore appeal to Parliament to support our effort to abolish the death penalty in Ghana’s constitution for all crimes,” she stated.
The deputy Minority leader and Majority Chief Whip in Parliament, James Avedzi and Akwasi Ameyaw Cheremeh, who received the petition on behalf of the Speaker acknowledged the effort of the group to get the issue settled amicably.
Both assured the group of their support to address the petition after Speaker has taken steps to refer it to the appropriate committee for deliberation.
“We will call on you anytime to assist us in addressing the petition if the need arises, we will work for and in hand with you to address your petition,” Hon Cheremeh indicated.
Various individuals and public institutions also read solidarity mmessagesin support of the call to abolish the death penalty. Among the speakers were the President of the Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Dr. Affail Monney, the Australian Ambassador to Ghana, Prisons service, CHRAJ, and others.
Source: Nii Aflah Sackey || ghananewsonline.com.gh