Saturday, August 30, 2008

UN Shakes Finger at Liberia's Death Penalty

26 August 2008 – The United Nations Human Rights Committee expressed deep concern today at new death penalty legislation authorized by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, contravening an international treaty on civil and political rights.

The Committee – in charge of monitoring compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) – observed that Liberia is party to the Second Optional Protocol to that pact aimed at the abolition of the death penalty.

“The Act signed by the President of Liberia on 22 July 2008 therefore constitutes a clear breach by Liberia of its international legal obligations under the Second Optional Protocol,” the Committee stated in a press release.

The new law in Liberia provides that “in the event death occurs during the commission of a crime of armed robbery, terrorism or hijacking, the accused … shall be sentenced to death by hanging or imprisonment for life without possible parole.”

The Committee pointed out that as a signatory to the ICCPR’s Second Optional Protocol since 2005, Liberia has committed to ensuring that, as the pact states, “no one within (its) jurisdiction (…) shall be executed.”

Further, the Protocol notes that States party to it should also “take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within (their) jurisdiction.”

The rights body “urges Liberia to revisit the Act for possible amendment as soon as possible and encourages it, in the meantime, to maintain the moratorium in place since 1979.”

Source: United Nations News


Unknown said...

It is so telling that the UN should presume to tell Liberia how to enforce judgment, when the "enlightened" approach the UN espouses has done so wonderfully in the West. They seem to be basing their ethic on some kind of 1830's "modernity" that, to this day, mandates an artificial "niceness" and presumes on a human goodness that has yet to show itself in the ways they expect.

Alice C. Linsley said...

The UN has ways of "encouraging" people to adhere to its political views. The President of Liberia is a strong woman however. She knows better what is needed in her nation in the aftermath of a long and bloody civil war that the UN was powerless to bring to an end.

Unknown said...

Who knows? If the African nations continue to legislate more from a sense of morality than "modernity," we might in coming years see a new definition to the term "white flight!" Lemme see- live where violent offenders are punished, or where they are counseled and released? Such a decision!