Good news : abolition of the death penalty in Burkina Faso !

1 June 2018

PRESS RELEASE : Burkina Faso’s National Assembly adopted on 31 May 2018 a new penal code providing for the abolition of death penalty. After the law’s enactment by President Kaboré, Burkina Faso will become the 21st abolitionist country in Africa and 114th in the world (for ordinary crimes). On 31 May 2018, the representatives of the National Assembly of Burkina Faso voted the abolition of the death penalty for ordinary crimes, by 83 votes to 43. This historic step is the result of intense advocacy work carried out by civil society – led by the Center for Information and Training on Human Rights in Africa (CIFDHA), ACAT Burkina, the FIACAT and the Faso Coalition against the Death Penalty – which ECPM has been supporting for many years. In 2016, a regional parliamentary seminar on abolition in Francophone Africa was held in Ouagadougou, at which many Faso MPs were present. The Burkinabè authorities also participated in the World Congress against the Death Penalty in Madrid in 2013, as well as in the Regional Congress against the Death Penalty in Abidjan in April 2018. On this occasion, the Minister of Justice of Burkina Faso, Mr. René Bagoro, reaffirmed his commitment to abolition and the will to bring this reform to the end. ECPM congratulates civil society and the Burkinabè authorities for their commitment and for this immense progress. Following the recent abolitions in Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Togo and Guinea, the abolition of capital punishment in Burkina Faso reinforces the strong abolitionist trend on the African continent. Burkina Faso must now complete this process by removing all remaining provisions of death penalty in the Military Justice Code, by adopting the new Constitution which sanctions the abolition of the death penalty, by commuting the sentences of death row prisoners and by ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. ECPM will continue to support the abolitionist actors in Burkina Faso for these next steps, and looks forward to their presence at the 7th World Congress against the Death Penalty in Brussels, from 27 February to 1 March 2019. [Download the press release PDF] Contacts Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, General Director of ECPM – Nicolas Perron, Head of Programmes of ECPM –