Malawi CSOs pressure Botswana to abolish death penalty

A Consortium of human rights organizations have called on President Lazarus Chakwera to use his meeting with the President of Botswana Mokgweetsi Masisi as an opportunity to urge him to stop using capital punishment which is a violation of human rights.

The organizations, Youth and Society (YAS) and Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), made the call through a joint press statement asking Chakwera to be a voice on the violation of human rights.

According to the statement since Masisi attained power in 2019 he has signed off the death penalty for at least 4 people who have been executed.

They have continued to say that this is a violation of Article 4 of the Charter of Human and People’s rights which specifically prohibits the arbitrary deprivation of the right to life.

This is also against an agreement between countries that are part of the UN Human Rights Council of which Botswana is a part of.

In light of this revelation the organizations have called on Chakwera, who is set to be Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairperson to make good use of his time with Masisi to convey the message that this is a human rights violation and urge him to end the practice.

The statement reads in part: “We urge Dr. Chakwera as the President of the Republic of Malawi, to use his with his Botswana counterpart as a platform to send a clear message that the actions of the government of Botswana are inherently at wide variance with agreed human rights standards and practices.”

Apart from the call to hold talks over the matter the two organizations have also asked President Chakwera to lead by example and have the death penalty abolished from the country’s laws.

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