Reacting to the news that Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang Nguema will propose a draft law to abolish the death penalty, Marie-Evelyne Petrus Barry, Amnesty International West and Central Africa Director said:
"This presidential announcement is a welcome move and, if the death penalty is abolished in Equatorial Guinea, the country will join more than half of the countries in the world that have consigned the cruel punishment to history – where it belongs.
"Now that the announcement is made, we hope that President Teodoro Obiang Nguema will immediately take necessary steps to ensure his announcement is implemented without delay. Abolishing the death penalty will be a positive step in improving Equatorial Guinea’s human rights record, particularly the protection of the right to life.
“We would also like this positive announcement to be followed by others in favour of the protection of freedoms of expression, opinion, association and assembly and for Equatorial Guinea to respect its human rights obligations.
“Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature of the crime because the death penalty is a violation of the right to life. There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime more than prison terms."Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Amnesty International.