As Amnesty International lunched its global report on the death penalty on Friday, Alfred Carew from the National Forum for Human Rights (NFHR) has revealed that over the years past governments used that tool to suppress their opponents.
At a press conference held at the Amnesty International Sierra Leone section, Pademba Road in Freetown, he noted that this suppression could be seen in the killing of the 24 soldiers by the government for crimes committed by ‘sobels’ and that “because of this killing this country has made history as it was the first to have killed a woman despite pleas from various local and international groups.”
He stressed that, “you will not put out a fire by also using a fire so we want to use the various media available to preach that the death penalty should be abolished”.
Mr Carew argued that, “the death penalty is wrong every human being has the right to life and if that right is not there then you don’t have all the other rights”.
Alfred Carew stated further that, “even those that colonized us are now against the death penalty and they have even abolished it, so why are we still practising it?” He asked.
Melron Nicole-Wilson of the Lawyers’ Centre for Legal Assistance (LAWCLA) maintained that in the TRC report it was recommended that the death penalty be abolished, but that this recommendation was not carried out.
Mr Nicole-Wilson disclosed that even Liberia which also fought a rebel war had abolished the death penalty but Sierra Leone was still maintaining it.
Amnesty International is stressing that “the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment.
It is arbitrary, it has proven ineffective in reducing crimes and it perpetuates a climate of violence in which justice can never be truly achieved.”