Abolish Ineffective and Inhumane Death Penalty

Release Torture Victim in Uzbekistan

Target: Michel Kafando, Acting President and Yacouba Isaac Zida, Acting Prime Minister

Goal: Help abolish the death penalty by voting to enact a government-approved bill.

A West African nation will abolish the death penalty nationally, joining 17 other Sub-Saharan Africa regional nations, if a historic vote in Burkina Faso’s transitional parliament goes favorably. This is an important step for human rights worldwide, as sentences in Burkina Faso are carried out by firing squad.

Representatives from Amnesty International and other human rights organizations will be attending the parliamentary discussion in an effort to encourage the bill’s passage. As Amnesty International West Africa Director Alioune Tine said, “This is a critical moment for Burkina Faso to put itself on the right side of history by acknowledging the inviolable nature of the right to life.”

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims the death penalty as ultimate in its cruel inhumanity. It is a degrading form of punishment, and there is zero evidence supporting the contention that the death penalty reduces crime. In fact, the United Nations has studied the effects of the death penalty on crime rates throughout the world, and has been unable to conclude that it is a more effective punishment than non-lethal sentences.

We must act now to encourage Burkina Faso’s parliamentarians to abolish their country’s death penalty. It is imperative Burkina Faso joins the majority of its region and end death sentences. This cruel act serves no purpose in punishing or preventing crime.

Sign this petition now to encourage the Burkina Faso parliament to make the right vote. End the death penalty in this African nation.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear President Kafando and Prime Minister Zida,

I would like to take a moment to stand in solidarity with human rights organizations throughout the world and encourage you to pass the bill to abolish the death penalty in Burkina Faso. As you begin parliamentary discussions surrounding this bill, I encourage to look at your neighboring countries and follow their example; be the 18th Sub-Saharan African nation to end capital punishment by death.

This topic has been debated for decades, and studies by the United Nations have proven that the death penalty is not the effective punishment it is believed to be. Studies conducted throughout the world have been unable to present convincing evidence that the death penalty deters crime. Without proper evidence, we must stop putting people to death based on assumptions that this is a viable solution in ending illegal activity.

Criminals should be punished for their actions, but subjecting them to cruel and inhumane punishment only makes us criminals as well. An “eye for an eye” form of capital punishment has no place in today’s civilized societies. Please join your African neighbors and many other nations throughout the world and abolish the death penalty in your country. It is time to rise above criminals and stop being criminals ourselves.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: National Archives and Records Administration

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