from ODIRILE TOTENG in Gaborone, Botswana
GABORONE, (CAJ News) – AUSTRALIA, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom (UK) are opposed to the imposition of the death sentence in Botswana.
Envoys from these influential nations expressed concern at the execution of Wedu Mosalagae and Kutlo Setima, which took place on February 8 in the Southern African country.
The two men were convicted of murdering women.
The High Commissioners reaffirmed opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances, “as a matter of principle.”
“The death penalty undermines human dignity and there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value. Any miscarriage of justice is irreversible and irreparable,” the envoys jointly stated.
They noted that the African continent had joined the growing trend towards abolition of the death penalty worldwide.
Eighty-percent of the members of the 55-member African Union (AU) have already abolished the death penalty in law or in practice, the envoys stated.
The envoys from the above mentioned countries reiterated their call on Botswana to initiate a public debate on the use of the death penalty.
This as the Botswana government of President Mokgweetsi Masisi agreed in the Universal Periodic Review of the United Nations Human Rights Council in January 2018.
“We stand ready to share our experience with the process of abolishing the death penalty,” the High Commissioners stated.
Amnesty International said four people had been hanged since Masisi was inaugurated in 2019.
– CAJ News