Amnesty International and the European Union have praised Malawi for outlawing the death penalty.
The Supreme Court of Appeal on April 28 ruled that the death penalty is unconstitutional.
Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, said the ruling is a vital victory against the death penalty and strengthens the right to life in the country.
“The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment and it has no place in this world. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life and an assault on human rights,” he said.
He noted that the death penalty remains in place in the majority of countries across sub-Saharan Africa and he urged governments need to take action to ensure the region gets rid of the death penalty once and for all.
“It’s time the death penalty was consigned to history. With partners around the world, Amnesty International will continue its global campaign against the death penalty until it is abolished completely everywhere” he said.
In statement yesterday, European Union Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Nabila Massrali said the decision confirms the trend to abandon this inhumane punishment.
“The abolition of the death penalty contributes to the protection of human dignity. Capital punishment is cruel, inhuman, fails to provide deterrence to criminal behaviour, and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity,” reads part of the statement.
Since 1994, according to the ruling, there has been a moratorium on death penalty in Malawi.