Gabon’s abolition of death penalty welcomed by UN human rights chief

21 September 2007

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour today welcomed the decision by Gabon to abolish capital punishment and urged that the country swiftly enshrine the ban into law.

Gabon’s Council of Ministers voted last week to ban the death penalty in the African nation, where there has been a moratorium on executions since the early 1980s.

“This decision reinforces the growing movement towards the abolition of the death penalty worldwide,” Ms. Arbour said in a statement issued in Geneva.

She encouraged the Government to consider becoming a party to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on the abolition of the death penalty.

The High Commissioner also called on Gabon’s Ministers of Justice and of Human Rights, as well as its Parliament, to quickly take the steps necessary to including the ban in the penal code.


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