By: Lailuma Noori
10 October coincides with the World Day Against Death Penalty. In 2003, the World Coalition Against Death Penalty (WCADP) inaugurated October 10th as the World Day Against Death Penalty with the objectives of strengthening the international movement against the death penalty to influence public opinion and government authorities, and of increasing pressure on all countries to abolish capital punishment sentences and executions.
This year’s World Day Against the Death Penalty aims at raising awareness about the root causes of people living in poverty being at greater risk of the death penalty. This mostly stems from the fact that socioeconomic inequality affects access to justice for those sentenced to death as they may lack (social, financial, political) resources to defend themselves or experience discrimination due to social status.
UN resolutions in connection with abolishing death penalty as the first step towards fully abolishing were first approved in 2007 and secondly approved in 2008 in UN general assembly. The UN General Secretary delivered the most recent changes relevant to stopping and abolishing death penalty in various countries in a report to general assembly.
In the UN resolutions insisting on fully stopping and abolishing death penalty, it is said that the criminal as a human has the right of life and most other rights. Most of countries of the world have somehow abolished the death penalty from their laws. Currently, 139 countries have fully abolished the death penalty from their laws and only 58 countries have kept on issuing verdict of the death penalty.
In Afghanistan, based on laws, criminals are sentenced to death only in particular occasions. Death Penalty is issued for crimes as intentionally murder, mass killing, explosion resulting in killing, robbery resulting in killing and crimes as a result of which Afghanistan territory given to foreigners.
In 2016, Afghanistan government declared that it would further limit death penalty; for example, it will be changed to life sentence or imprisonment. In recent years, the government has avoided issuing death penalty to those criminals convicted to death penalty.
There are a range of limitations for issuing death penalty as it requires the President to sign or ratify the verdict. Death penalty is never implemented without signing of President.
But, state minister for human rights affairs Dr. Sima Samar by pointing to death penalty has said that she is the one who is fighting for fully abolishing and stopping death penalty, adding that from her point of view killing humans is not acceptable.
“I am in favor of fair justice and restoration of the rights of Afghanistan citizens. We’re in favor of fair court and implementation of the rule of law in the country rather death penalty to criminals,” Mrs. Samar stressed.
It is worth mentioning that execution methods employed by various countries today include beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection, and shooting in the back of the head and by firing squad – which constitute horrendous forms of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture.