Zimbabwe Ends Death Penalty, Earns Global Applause

Historic Decision Marks Major Human Rights Milestone

by Oluwatosin Alabi

In a landmark decision on February 9, 2024, Zimbabwe’s cabinet has officially approved the abolishment of the death penalty, drawing commendation from Amnesty International. This significant step toward human rights reform in Zimbabwe signals a departure from one of the most severe forms of punishment.

Amnesty International’s Deputy Regional Director for East and Southern Africa, Khanyo Farise, lauded the Zimbabwean government’s decision. “Zimbabwe has taken the right step towards ending this abhorrent and inhumane form of punishment that has no place in our world,” Farise stated, emphasizing the urgency for the Zimbabwean Parliament to act swiftly in passing the necessary legislation to ensure the death penalty’s complete eradication.

The human rights organization has long opposed the death penalty, arguing that it infringes on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ proclamation of the right to life. Amnesty International maintains its stance against the death penalty in all circumstances, advocating for its global abolition.

Despite halting executions since 2005, Zimbabwe has continued to sentence individuals to death, a practice that has now come under reconsideration with the cabinet’s approval. This move aligns Zimbabwe with a growing number of nations that have either abolished or are in the process of abolishing the death penalty, recognizing its violation of fundamental human rights.

As the Zimbabwean government takes this commendable step, the focus now shifts to the Parliament, where the formal legislative process will play a crucial role in making the abolition of the death penalty a reality. This development not only marks a significant milestone in Zimbabwe’s human rights journey but also strengthens the global movement towards abolishing the death penalty.

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