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General News of Monday, 16 July 2012

Source: XYZ

AI slams 'uneducated' death penalty queenmother

Amnesty International Ghana has taken a swipe at the queen mother of Akim Kotoku Traditional Area who is advocating the execution of convicts on death row in the country’s prisons.

Nana Akua Asantewaah III made the suggestion at a media engagement on the report of the Constitution Review Commission and the Government White Paper in Kumasi over the weekend.

According to her, almost all the convicts serving death sentences are armed robbers who have murdered their victims and therefore do not deserve to live.

But Country Director of Amnesty International, Lawrence Amesu in an interview with XYZ News said the Queen mother’s statement shows she is ignorant of human rights issues.

“I think that the queen mother has not been educated; she needs to be educated on human rights issues and particularly human life.

“People who are suspected to be criminals are not guilty until proven guilty. If we go ahead to kill such a criminal and later realize that he is not the person how do they bring that person to life?.

“Ghana has come of age and we cannot punish human beings by killing them. So if at this time somebody will still be calling for criminals to be killed, it clearly shows the person has no education or clearly backward” Mr. Amesu said.

Mr. Amesu also dismissed assertions that the death penalty will deter people from committing crime.

“Death penalty has never deterred anybody. Even if people are killed it would not deter anybody from committing a crime”.**