Tunisia: Presidential statement in favour of death penalty is shocking

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced his position in favour of resuming executions  during the National Security Council meeting on Monday, saying that “murder deserves the death penalty”. He made the remarks following the recent murder of a girl in Ain Zaghouan. Responding to the announcement, Amna Guellali, Amnesty International's Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, said:

“Tunisia has not carried out any execution since 1991. The President’s announcement in favour of the death penalty is shocking and contravenes the decades-long established practice of not carrying out executions. President Saied is the first president to ever announce intentions to implement death sentences in Tunisia.

The President’s announcement in favour of the death penalty is shocking and contravenes the decades-long established practice of not carrying out executions.
Amna Guellali

“Resuming executions would be a slap in the face of all the human rights progress that the country has made so far. We urge the Tunisian President to immediately reverse his disturbing announcement which would take Tunisia’s human rights record backwards instead of forward. We also call on the Tunisia government to immediately establish an official moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

We urge the Tunisian President to immediately reverse his disturbing announcement which would take Tunisia’s human rights record backwards instead of forward.
Amna Guellali

“Without a doubt, murder is an abhorrent crime and perpetrators should face justice. But however horrible the crimes committed are, there should be no excuse to kill a human being. There is no credible evidence to show that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than a prison term following a fair trial.”

Without a doubt, murder is an abhorrent crime and perpetrators should face justice. But however horrible the crimes committed are, there should be no excuse to kill a human being.
Amna Guellali

Background

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to execute the prisoner. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; it is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

Since 2012 Tunisia has been voting in favour of the UN General Assembly resolution on a Moratorium on the use of the death penalty.