Botswana: Executions Mar Masisi's Presidency - Ai

(File photo) death penalty, execution
19 November 2020

President Mokgweetsi Masisi's first year in office has been characterised by a steep rise in executions, with four people put to death since his inauguration, Amnesty International has said.

"The alarming rise in executions under President Mokgweetsi Masisi has cast a chilling shadow over his presidency. Since President Masisi was sworn into office a year ago, four people have been hanged, taking away their right to life," said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International's Director for East and Southern Africa.

"By continuing to sign execution warrants, President Masisi is showing a disregard for the right to life and bucking the regional and global trend against the ultimate cruel and inhumane punishment."

Botswana recorded its first execution under President Mokgweetsi Masisi in December 2019, barely a month after he came to office, with the hanging of Mooketsi Kgosibodiba, who had been on death row since 2017. In February 2020, Mmika Michael Mpe was hanged, and Moabi Seabelo Mabiletsa and Matshidiso Tshid Boikanyo were hanged in March.

"President Masisi has missed an opportunity to break the cycle of executions in Botswana and demonstrate that justice can be delivered without using the death penalty. There is no evidence that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to crime," said Deprose Muchena.

"Justice is not served by executing people, and the world is moving away from this abhorrent and degrading form of punishment."

Amnesty International calls on Botswana to, pending the abolition of the death penalty for all crimes, immediately establish and official moratorium on executions.

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