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DITSHWANELO Press Statement On World Day Against The Death Penalty 2018

DITSHWANELO– The Botswana Centre for Human Rights joins the rest of the world to commemorate the 16th Annual World Day Against the Death Penalty 2018. The theme this year is “Living Conditions on Death Row”.

First recognised in 2003, this day focuses on the use of the death penalty around the world, raises awareness about the death penalty and related issues. DITSHWANELO, together with other human rights organisations around the world, remain opposed to the use of the death penalty.

DITSHWANELO reiterates its appeal to our nation to reflect deeply on the country’s founding principles of unity and botho, and what they mean in our daily lives. They are essential to our identity, as Batswana. We should remember to always uphold them, irrespective of our individual social and economic circumstances.

Botho, forms the basis of our acknowledgement of respect for all people and of the dignity inherent in our shared humanity. Humility has always guided and continues to positively impact human relations in our society. It has also enabled appreciation of the efforts and effects of every person’s actions in our society.

Unity has always been enabled by the spirit of community and consideration of others. These principles reflect an understanding of the possibility of erroneous behaviour and actions by fellow human beings, who are imprisoned after fair trials who

may reform their behaviour. DITSHWANELO condemns all violations of human rights and crime in all of its forms. We encourage collective responsibility as a nation, to taking action in relation to socio-economic factors, which impede our ability to fully exercise and enjoy human rights.

DITSHWANELO calls on the Government of Botswana to institute a moratorium while continuing to seek alternatives to the death penalty as a form of punishment. Forty-two (42) African countries no longer carry out the death penalty. Botswana remains the only country in the SADC region that continues to do so. We reiterate our call for the eventual abolition of the death penalty in Botswana.

We believe that it is the responsibility of every Motswana to contribute to the development of a Botswana that fully respects the right of all people to live a dignified life, without the death penalty. Dealing with the root cause of crime through the responsive socio-economic framework for sustainable development for all is a critical foundation for every Motswana to live life with and in dignity.

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