Document - Current action: Abolish the death penalty in Ghana





WA 38/04

AFR 28/001/2004

15 July 2004


Current action: Abolish the death penalty in Ghana


Although nobody has been executed since 1993, death penalties continue to be pronounced by the tribunals. We therefore urge the Ghanaian authorities to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in order to bring about total abolition of the death penalty in this country. Ghana’s president, John Kufuor, is also the current ECOWAS president. A move on his part towards abolition would represent a unique and exemplary contribution to the death penalty debate all over West Africa given his position in the sub-region.


Take action:


Write to the President, asking for:


  • The ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights



Dear President,


I am writing in the context of the campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in the Economic Community of the West African States (ECOWAS) countries and Mauritania, launched by Amnesty International on 10 October 2003.


Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 – the first international standard to provide that “everyone has the right to life” - more than two-thirds of countries have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice. The same trend exists in West Africa where, in more than a decade, the number of abolitionist countries has increased from 1 to 10. Two-thirds of the 15 ECOWAS countries have taken decisive steps towards recognition of the inviolability of the right to life.


Despite the fact that no execution has been carried out in Ghana since 1993, death sentences continue to be pronounced by the judiciary, most recently in April 2003. This is why I am asking you to do everything in your power to definitively abolish the death penalty in your country by ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This would demonstrate the importance you grant to the right to life and, as President of ECOWAS, you would encourage the other countries in the sub region to follow your example.


Yours sincerely,



Appeals to:

President:

His Excellency

John Kufuor

Office of the President

The Castle

PO Box 1627

Accra, Ghana

Fax: +233 21 664 089

Salutation: Dear President,



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