Amnesty International petitions Parliament over death penalty

Amnesty International petitions Parliament over death penalty
Date: 11-04-2019 Time: 08:04:02:am
Prof. Mike Oquaye is Speaker of Parliament

Amnesty International Ghana has petitioned Parliament to amend the law to abolish the death penalty in the country's sentencing regime for all crimes.

It again demanded that pending the constitutional abolition of the death penalty, Parliament should replace the death sentence as punishment for any crime, with prison terms in the Criminal Code and other relevant legislation.

About 150 members of Amnesty International yesterday embarked on about a 15-minute walk from the Ghana International Press Centre to Parliament House to present their petition, which was jointly received by the Deputy Minority Leader, Mr James Avedzi, and the Majority Chief Whip, Mr Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh, on behalf of the Speaker of Parliament, Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye.

Donning black T-shirts, the members held placards with inscriptions such as "Abolish the Death Penalty - Give Life a Chance"; "Make Prisons More Humane Now" and "Abolish Now".

The Board Treasurer of Amnesty International Ghana, Mrs Cynthia Adu-Darko, who presented the petition, said the members and their supporters wanted Parliament to declare that the death penalty "is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and a degrading punishment and a violation of the right to life”.

"I emphasise that the death penalty simply does not deter crime more than imprisonment," she said.

Among other demands, the petition also asked Parliament to pass a resolution for the President to commute the death sentences of all death row prisoners to terms of imprisonment.

Parliament's response 

Receiving the petition, Mr Avedzi and Mr Ameyaw-Cheremeh promised to deliver the petition to the Speaker.

They said the Speaker might refer the petition to a relevant committee of Parliament for consideration.


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