Sierra Leone Lawmakers Vote to Scrap Death Penalty

Sierra Leone’s President, Julius Maada Bio confirmed on Friday that the nation’s parliament has unanimously voted to abolish capital punishment in Sierra Leone

The law will take effect as soon as it is signed by the president.

Sierra Leonean leader disclosed this on Twitter saying “… today, I have fulfilled a governance pledge to permanently abolish the death penalty in Sierra Leone. I thank citizens, members of Parliament, development partners, and rights groups that have steadfastly stood with us to make history,”

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab welcomed the move as an “important milestone” and conveyed London’s readiness to continue to support Sierra Leone in the “promotion & protection of human rights.”

He said, “fantastic to see that the Sierra Leonean Parliament has voted to abolish the death penalty. Congratulations to President Bio & the people of Sierra Leone on this important milestone. The UK will continue to support Sierra Leone in the promotion & protection of human rights

Even though no execution has taken place in Sierra Leone since 1998, with the death penalty often substituted by other punishments, which did not spare the country from criticism by human rights groups, however. Announcing the upcoming plans to abolish capital punishment in March, Sierra Leonean Justice Minister Umaru Napoleon Koroma said it was aimed at protecting basic human rights.

Sierra Leone will be the 23rd African country putting an end to colonial-era death penalty laws. Malawi’s Supreme Court ruled capital punishment unconstitutional in April, and Chad did the same last year.

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