Botswana has no intention to abolish death penalty: Khama

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Botswana President, Ian Khama.

The Herald GABORONE. – President Ian Khama on Tuesday told heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Gaborone that his government is unfazed by international calls to abolish the death penalty.

Noting that the matter has aroused interest in certain quarters, President Khama said Botswana maintains the position that the death penalty is a criminal justice issue and its application on the most serious crimes is the sovereign right of individual States.

“It is important to note that death penalty is not imposed arbitrarily in Botswana. In short, the application of the death penalty follows a thorough and exhaustive legal process that meets the basic standards of a fair trial, and the penalty is imposed for the most serious crimes as understood under international law,” President Khama said.

He added: “In this regard, as Government, we do not intend to either abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on its application.”

Human rights activists and the European Union have pleaded with Botswana to impose a moratorium on death penalty and hold a national referendum to establish if it was in favour of the practice. – APA News