We support Amnesty’s campaign to abolish death penalty – CCF

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death penalty
death penalty

The Crime Check Foundation (CCF) has pledged to submit a memorandum to Parliament in support of Amnesty International Ghana’s campaign to abolish the death penalty in the country’s statutes.

The removal of the penal code would see the amendment of the Criminal Offences Act, Act 29 (1960) to abolish the provisions relating to the use of the death penalty and the Ghana Armed Forces Act, (1962), Act 105.

Mr Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng, the Executive Director of CCF, made the pledge when a team from the Amnesty International Ghana Office called on him as part of their campaign to canvas support for their memorandum currently in Parliament.

Amnesty International Ghana has supported Mr Francis Xavier Sosu, MP for Madina to take up the issues in Parliament with the introduction of a Private Member Bill, which had gone through some of the stages.

The bill is currently before the Constitutional and Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament after its first reading, waiting for a memorandum for the motion to be moved.

The Foundation is part of about 19 Civil Society Organizations, which intended to support the advocacy for the removal of the death penalty to be replaced with life imprisonment.

Mr Kwarteng assured the team of the Foundation’s support in championing the advocacy and asked them not to only concentrate on the issues of the death penalty but rather have a package compassing all human rights violations in the country’s prisons.

He said at times Amnesty International exhibited too much diplomacy in addressing issues on human rights violations and they needed to be hard sometimes on stakeholders, adding that “we want you to take a look at human rights violations of migrant prisoners in our prison establishments.”

He urged them to visit the prisons periodically, especially the condemned block to see the conditions of the prisoners.

Madam Belinda Asamanyuah, the Campaign and Communication Coordinator of Amnesty International, Ghana said the Foundation has been one of its partners and they deem it fit to work together to champion this abolishing.

She said Parliament was currently seeking a memorandum in support of or against the motion and it was very important that they sought the support of the Foundation to join their fight for the amendment.

The Campaign and Communication Coordinator said they believed that the death penalty breaches human rights, in particular the rights to life and the right to live free from torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment.

She said Amnesty opposed the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of who was accused, the nature or circumstance of the crime, guilty or innocent or the method of execution.
She said they had submitted a memorandum to Parliament, but their memorandum alone could not get the bill passed, hence their plea and partnership with the Foundation to submit a memorandum in support of their advocacy.

Madam Asamanyuah said as part of the campaign, organisations such as religious bodies and civil society organisations have agreed to submit the Memos to Parliament on their behalf to champion their course.

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