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Amnesty Intl dialogue on proposed amendment processes to abolish death penalty

Amnesty International (AI), Ghana as part of it’s campaign to ensure total abolition of the death penalty from Ghana’s statutory books, has organised a stakeholder workshop to dialogue on the roadmap and activities lined-up in 2021

Amnesty International (AI), Ghana as part of it’s campaign to ensure total abolition of the death penalty from Ghana’s statutory books, has organised a stakeholder workshop to dialogue on the roadmap and activities lined-up in 2021.

The workshop was on the theme: ‘Abolishing the Penalty in Ghana, the Outcome of Amnesty Ghana’s Visit to the President of the Republic of Ghana,’ aimed at focusing on the stakeholder engagement, tot follow-up actions on processes on the proposed Amendment of the Criminal Offences Act, Act 29 (Section 46 and related clauses) to abolish the death penalty in Ghana.

The aim and objectives are to consolidate the gains made so far, the 2021 Actions Points/Follow up Actions/Activities aimed at sustaining the campaign, creating a platform for key stakeholders to discuss the gains, agree on the rest of the year.

Commenting after the event, the Executive Director of Amnesty International Ghana, Mr Frank Doyi said the fight to ensure the abolition of death penalty must not lie on AI, Ghana alone but rather, other civil society groups who respect the right to human life and dignity must join the fight.

He stated that, because AI support and belief in the protection and promotion of the rights of people, they are ready to sponsor the Bill in Parliament to ensure that Parliament amendments those provisions in Article 29, to make way for the abolition of the death penalty.

In his address to participants on updates of the road map to achieve total abolishment of the death penalty in Ghana, the National Campaign and Fundraising Coordinator Mr Samuel Agbotsey disclosed that, using the orthodox way of abolishing the death penalty through implementation of the Constitutional Review Commission recommendation, may take ages and therefore, AI Ghana have adopted a new strategy of advocacy grounded through legal advice from Private Legal Practitioners, Lawyer Martin Kpebu.

Mr Agbotsey said, President, Akufo-Addo in a meeting with AI Ghana directed the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to present a bi-patrician Bill to Parliament for consideration.

He proposed for the amendment of Criminals Offences Act, Act 29 of 1960 which means that, about 96% of the provisions are related to the use of the death penalty.

According to Mr Agbotsey, AI Ghana has realised that for the death penalty to be abolished, there is the need to amend some Articles of the constitution, particularly Article 29.

The International Board Chairman of Amnesty International Ghana (AI) Dr Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah said, the fate of death penalty in Ghana is likened to a philosophy where the state would not want to kill anyone but, delight in torturing people.

He noted that, as far as death penalty is still laying in the statutory books, judges and workers of the judiciary would continue to sentence people on death row.

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