Joint statement on death penalty in the Republic of Botswana

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The High Commissioners of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand to the Republic of Botswana have issued the following statement:

In light of the executions of Mr Wedu Mosalagae and Mr Kutlo Setima which took place on 8 February 2021, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand reaffirm our strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances, as a matter of principle.

The death penalty undermines human dignity and there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value. Any miscarriage of justice is irreversible and irreparable.

The African continent has joined the growing trend towards abolition of the death penalty worldwide, with 80% of the members of the African Union having already abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.

We continue to call on Botswana to initiate a public debate on its use of the death penalty, as the Government of Botswana already agreed in the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council in January 2018. We stand ready to share our experience with the process of abolishing the death penalty.

Published 10 February 2021

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