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Death sentences and executions in 2013 45

penalty is foreseen for various offences in the Penal Code including, since 2007, those concerning terrorism. During its UPR in January 2013, Mali stated that draft legislation for abolition had been before the National Assembly since 2008, and that death sentences were systematically commuted to life imprisonment. However, consideration of the bill had been postponed indefinitely due to the social tension the issue provoked and the transitional state of the country. It rejected recommendations urging ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR. Presidential and parliamentary elections in the second half of 2013 appeared to put an end to the instability caused by the armed conflict that began in January 2012. At least two death sentences were handed down in Mauritania, both for murder. According to government information, 72 people are on death row, mostly convicted of murder, robbery and terrorism. In October, the Human Rights Committee voiced concerns that homosexuality was a capital crime and that in 2011 death sentences had been imposed on juvenile offenders.80 Like the Committee against Torture during its own review in May, 81 the Human Rights Committee recommended ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR. During the review the government stated that the latter was being studied, and that the Court of Appeal had commuted the death sentences against juvenile offenders to prison terms on appeal by the Attorney General. Executions were resumed in Nigeria on 24 June, when four men were executed in Benin City Prison in the southern state of Edo, in the first known judicial executions since 2006. The executions were carried out without informing the relatives in advance, and while, according to the men’s lawyers, appeals were still pending. The bodies were not returned to the families for burial, nor was the location of the graves made known. One week earlier, on Father’s Day, President Goodluck Jonathan had urged state governors to sign death warrants for death row prisoners. In 2011 the federal government had confirmed that there was a moratorium on executions in place in Nigeria; however, in 2012 this was described as "voluntary". At least 141 death sentences were imposed, mostly for murder, but also for other crimes such as armed robbery. In September, several soldiers were convicted of treason and sentenced to death by a General Court Martial for alleged links to Boko Haram. According to government information, at least 1,233 prisoners were under sentence of death as of September. The Nigerian Prison Services reportedly stated at the end of the year that 20 women were on death row.82 In Nigeria accused people are generally tried under state laws and execution warrants have to be signed by state governors. The prisons – and any execution – are administered by the federal government. The death penalty is mandatory for murder, armed robbery and certain cases of treason. Bills making kidnapping a capital crime became law in Bayelsa State, Edo State and Delta State. In June, the Attorneys-General of Delta State and Edo State questioned the deterrent effect of the death penalty, noting that the existence of the death penalty in Nigeria had not deterred people from committing murders or other crimes. 83 In October, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State commuted two death sentences to life imprisonment.

On 24 June Thankgod Ebhos was dragged to the gallows in Benin Prison with the four men to be hanged; he only escaped execution because, at the last moment, the prison authorities realized that his death sentence

Amnesty International March 2014

Index: ACT 50/001/2014

Death sentences and executions 2013  

This report is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Russian and Spanish at the following link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AC...

Death sentences and executions 2013  

This report is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Russian and Spanish at the following link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AC...

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