Ghana’s Historic Step: Repeal of Death Penalty Applauded

Repeal of Death Penalty Applauded: Saul Lehrfreund, the Executive Director of the UK’s Death Penalty Project, Commends Ghana’s Parliament

Saul Lehrfreund, the Executive Director of the UK’s Death Penalty Project, has lauded Ghana’s Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin, along with the entire Parliament, for their commendable decision to repeal the death penalty from the country’s legal framework.

Gratitude to Parliament: A Historic Leadership

“We extend our gratitude to the Parliament of Ghana and especially to Rt. Hon. Speaker for his historic leadership and invaluable guidance, which paved the way for these courageous actions by Parliament,” Mr. Lehrfreund expressed during his recent visit to the Parliament.

Embracing Change: Replacing Death Penalty with Life Imprisonment

During the sessions held on July 25 and July 27, 2023, Ghana’s Parliament approved the Criminal and Other Offences (Amendment) Bill, 2022, and the Armed Forces (Amendment) Bill, 2022, effectively replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment.

Champion of Human Rights: Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu

Globally recognized as a significant milestone in human rights, these amendments were championed by a private member of Parliament, Mr. Francis-Xavier Kojo Sosu, who also serves as a dedicated Human Rights and Public Interest Lawyer.

Building a Respected Society: Upholding Individual Rights and Freedoms

This legislative accomplishment aligns with the Eighth Parliament‘s mission to establish a society that is free, prosperous, inclusive, and secure. These values, enshrined in Article 15 of the 1992 Constitution, emphasize the genuine respect and guarantee of individual rights, freedoms, and human dignity.

Ghanaian Parliament
Repeal of Death Penalty Applauded

Joining the Movement: Ghana’s Abolition of Death Penalty

Ghana has now joined the ranks of 29 African countries that have abolished the death penalty for ordinary offenses. This historic move follows the footsteps of neighboring nations such as Benin, Sierra Leone, Zambia, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Togo, Burkina Faso, Chad, and Equatorial Guinea.

Broad Support: A Unified Initiative

The proposal for these amendments garnered widespread support from key stakeholders before its adoption. President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the Chief Justice, Supreme Court Justices, Ghana Armed Forces, Police and Prison Services, religious institutions, Civil Society Organizations, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association, and the Diplomatic Community all endorsed this progressive initiative.

Also, read: Ghanaian Parliament Passes Armed Forces (Amendment) Bill 2022, Replacing Death Penalty with Life Imprisonment

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