FIACAT trains its African members to fight death penalty
In collaboration with ACAT-Burundi, FIACAT organized a training seminar on capital punishment for its active members in Central Africa and Madagascar, held in Bujumbura (Burundi) from February 11 to 13, 2013.
The abolition of the death penalty has been at the heart of FIACAT’s mandate since its creation in 1987. Sylvie Bukhari-de Pontual, FIACAT’s chairwoman, remembered it during her opening speech when she declared that “it is becoming hard to justify death penalty as human dignity is inviolable and indivisible and cannot be subjected to any contingency nor to any compromise: it is universal”.
The regional seminar, which was funded by Germany’s and Luxembourg’s foreign ministries, brought together representatives of the seven ACATs from Central Africa and Madagascar (Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Madagascar, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Chad).
Its goal was to set up national and regional strategies supporting:
the abolition of the death penalty in Africa;
the ratification of the second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;
the adoption of the resolution calling for a universal moratorium on executions, which the UN General Assembly will vote on in December 2014.
ACHPR and UN Protocol
Prof Carlson Anyangwe’s, a member of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR)’s Working Group on the death penalty, came to share his expertise with the participants to the seminar.
His interventions reflect the partnership formed many years ago between FIACAT and the ACHPR to support the abolition of capital punishment on the continent.
The members of the region’s ACATs now have the means to undertake advocacy initiatives in favour of the abolition of death penalty in their countries. FIACAT committed itself to accompany them through their advocacy and awareness-raising work with the population, opinion makers and political leaders.
In Burundi, FIACAT will help ACAT Burundi with its advocacy campaign for the ratification of the Optional Protocol to the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This protocol makes the abolition of death penalty permanent.