Mmegi Online :: Death penalty tops agenda as UN grills Botswana
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Last Updated
Friday 22 June 2018, 06:00 am.
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Death penalty tops agenda as UN grills Botswana

The Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Edwin Batshu and a delegation of high-ranking government officials will tomorrow face off against a United Nations panel probing the countryís human rights record.
By Mbongeni Mguni Tue 16 Jan 2018, 13:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Death penalty tops agenda as UN grills Botswana








The Geneva, Switzerland meeting is the third cycle of reviews under the United Nations Human Rights Council’s Universal Peer Review.  Batshu and other officials left last Friday and will present a country report before answering questions from countries and various NGOs. 

According to written questions already submitted ahead of tomorrow’s presentation, Batshu will again be forced to defend the country’s retention of the death penalty.  Several European countries have already tabled queries demanding to know what progress Botswana has made in instituting a national debate on the death penalty.

“As a strong opponent of the death penalty, Belgium regrets that Botswana ‘ as only country in the SADC region ‘ retains the death penalty in law and in practice."

“Is Botswana considering to hold public consultations, in a participatory manner together with civil society, about the desirability and

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long-term effectiveness of the use of the death penalty as a deterrent,” the Belgian government has asked.

The Swedish government has asked: “In its mid-term report from 2016 the Government of Botswana announced its intention to undertake dialogue on the issue of the death penalty and was commissioning a study on the issue. How (are) these plans proceeding and does the Government of Botswana intend to initiate a public debate?”

As stated by the report Batshu is due to present tomorrow, government appears unmoved by the pressure coming from Europe on the death penalty.

“The government has not been able to hold public debates in regard to the question on the death penalty since the last review cycle,” the report reads in its only mention of the matter. The last review cycle was in 2013.

 

 

Ends…

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