The European Union (EU) had praised Zambia for abolishing the death penalty, which they described as a “cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.”
The law was signed by the Zambia’s president, Hakainde Hichilema last Friday. The country has not conducted any executions since 1997.
The European External Action Service said that “this achievement sends a powerful signal to countries in the region and the world and contributes to the gradual abolition of the death penalty in Africa and beyond,” adding that “The EU is firmly opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances and will continue to work for its abolition worldwide.”
Zambia also moved to abolish the crime of “defamation” of the president.
Amnesty International also applauded Zambia’s decision, with the group’s director for eastern and southern Africa, Tigere Chagutah, saying Saturday that it was “a good and progressive step that shows the country’s commitment to protecting the right to life.”
“We also applaud Hichilema for ending the offense of defamation of the president, used until recently to limit freedom of expression and unjustifiably curtail freedom of speech in the country,” Chagutah said, noting that Zambia is now the 25th country in sub-Saharan Africa to abolish the death penalty.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: AU.INT
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