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Human Rights group ask Kenya to abolish death penalty

Kenya National Commission on Huma Rights (KNHCR) in collaboration with various actors including the European Union has asked the government to abolish the death penalty.

Speaking at the launch of two survey reports on the death penalty done by research team Infotrak, Dr. Raymond Nyeris, the Vice Chairman of Kenya National Commission on Human Rights said the government should rehabilitate the convicts instead of putting them under death penalty.

“This is not the only way to punish convicts. Instead they should be rehabilitated so they become better people in the society. Everyone has the right to live.

He further explained the death penalty is inhuman and is contrary to human rights as life is a fundamental right of everyone.

“We should respect life in any circumstance,” he said.

The survey showed that 90 percent of Kenyans support the removal of death penalty as they believe that convicts deserved rehabilitation and second chance.

However, those who are supporting the punishment argue it is a way of reducing violence and finding justice for the victims.

According to the report, 75 percent of countries around the world have abolished the death penalty.

They include Mongolia (2017), Guinea (2017), Bosnia and Herzegovina (2019), Chad (2020), Kazakhstan (2021), Sierra Leone (2021) and Papua New Guinea (2022).

Capital punishment was introduced in Kenya in 1893 by the colonial government and the practice was infrequent in pre-colonial communities, which placed a value on restorative justice.

Under section 204 of the Penal Code, anyone convicted of murder, treason, robbery with violence and attempted robbery with violence are to be sentenced to death.

Kenya has not carried out execution of death penalty for 35 years whereas thousands remain on death row and others still being sentenced to death due to the automatic nature of the death penalty.

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