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World Day Against Death Penalty: CNDH reiterates its abolitionist position against the death penalty

On 10 October 2019, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and abolitionist organizations around the world celebrated the 17th World Day Against the Death Penalty. This day coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Therefore, the light was shed, this year, on the situation of children of prisoners sentenced to death “invisible victims”.

On this occasion, the National Human Rights Council (CNDH) organized on Thursday 10 October 2019 a series of visits and meetings with prisoners sentenced to death at the national level.

Mrs. Amina Bouayach, CNDH Chairperson, held an open meeting with all prisoners sentenced to death at the central prison of Kénitra. This meeting was an opportunity for these prisoners to express and share their aspirations on various aspects related to their living conditions.

Mrs. Bouayach reiterated, during this meeting, the CNDH’s abolitionist position against the death penalty. The CNDH called the government, on several occasions, to vote for the UN General Assembly Resolution establishing a moratorium on the execution of the death penalty, in view to abolition. It also urged the State to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at abolishing the death penalty.

Furthermore, Mrs. Bouayach, highlighted the CNDH day-to-day actions, in partnership with the General Delegation for Prison Administration and Rehabilitation and the Ministry of Justice, to improve the living conditions of prisoners sentenced to death.

Based on several testimonials from participants, the CNDH President shed light on the importance of maintaining hope by creating opportunities to learn and to qualify to improve their situations.

Mrs. Bouayach reaffirmed the CNDH’s commitment to continue advocacy with the authorities (parliament, government), particularly by reaffirming its position in the debate on the reform of the Penal Code currently under discussion in Parliament and the need to initiate a national debate leading to a consensus for the abolition of this sentence.

The celebration of the World Day Against Death Penalty was a momentous moment for the CNDH to listen and share with prisoners sentenced to death and to assess their situation. This meeting aimed at collecting elements of advocacy and reinforcing its future actions to accompany the authorities to abolish the death penalty.