Wednesday, September 21, 2022

One country at a time

Equatorial Guinea has abolished the death penalty:

Equatorial Guinea has abolished the death penalty, according to a new criminal code signed by veteran President Teodoro Obiang, adding to a growing list of African countries seeking to extinguish a vestige of colonial rule.

The West African oil-producing country of 1.4 million people is no stranger to political violence. Campaign groups have accused the government of torture, arbitrary detentions and sham trials during Obiang's 43 years in power.

Yet the world's longest-serving president appears willing to move with other African countries that have ended the practice. The last execution took place eight years ago, according to Amnesty International.

The new penal law, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, is dated Aug. 17 but was officially published over the weekend. It will come into force in 90 days, the document said.

Equatorial Guinea is the third country this year to fully abolish the death penalty. And hopefully Zambia won't be far behind.