The Member of Parliament for Madina Constituency, Francis-Xavier Sosu (Esq) has been commended by Amnesty International (AI) for his exploits in the abolition of the death penalty.
The commnedation is contained in the AI’s Global Report on death sentences and executions for the year 2021.
This follows efforts by the Madina MP to give effect to the recommendations of the 2010 Constitution Review Commission and the Government White Paper on abolition of the death penalty.
The report in discussing notable country developments in Ghana stated “a Private Member’s Bill, proposed to Ghana’s Parliament in June by Francis-Xavier Sosu, the Member of Parliament for Madina, provides for the abolition of the death penalty, as a first step, from the country’s Criminal and Other Offences Act. At the end of the year, the proposed Bill was being prepared for a first reading, with discussions ongoing on expanding it to cover provisions in the Armed Forces Act that impose the death penalty.”
Latest statistics in Ghana shows that there are about 165 convicted persons currently under sentence of death as at the end of 2021, six of whom are foreigners and comprising 159 men and six women.
According to Amnesty International, the resort to the death penalty by a minority of states was on the rise, with increase in global executions by 20 percent on the 2020 figure (from at least 483 to at least 579), while the number of known death sentences increased by almost 40 percent (from at least 1,477 in 2020 to at least 2,052 in 2021).
According to Francis-Xavier Sosu, “The death penalty being part of our laws inflicts not only immerse psychological pain and torture on accused persons and assassination officers, but also smacks of practices of backward societies.
“In view of this, it is worth pointing out that Ghana has not applied the death penalty since 1993. There is therefore the need to amend sections 46, 49, 49A, 180, 194 and 317A of the Criminal and Other Offences Act, 1960, (Act 29). We must as a country take steps to expunge the death clause from our laws.”
Amnesty International is a movement of 10 million people which mobilises the humanity in everyone and campaigns for change so all persons can enjoy human rights.
In December, 2020, the plenary session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) saw a record number of 123 states supporting the adoption of its biennial resolution calling for the establishment of a moratorium on executions with a view to fully abolishing the death penalty — an increase of 19 votes compared to 2007, when the first UNGA resolution on this issue was adopted.
If the Private Member’s Bill initiated by Mr. Sosu is passed, Ghana would achieve at least 95 percent abolishing of the death penalty and become the 25th African country to do so following neighbours including; Sierra Leone, Central Africa Republic, Guinea, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Togo and Chad, among others.
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