EQUATORIAL GUINEA- With its abolishment of capital punishment, Equatorial Guinea 🇬🇶 becomes the 25th African nation to do so and the fourth in the last two years.
A new criminal code was enacted by President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo on September 19, 2022, which removes the death penalty from the law books of the 1.3 million-people nation on the Atlantic coast of Africa.
Among the world’s most authoritarian nations, the new law is viewed as a major reform. In 1979, Obiang took power in a military coup after 43 years of rule during which forced disappearances, arbitrary detention, and torture were widely reported.
Announcing the new law on social media, Obiang’s son, Vice President Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, wrote: “I am writing in capitals to seal this unique moment: ‘EQUATORIAL GUINEA HAS ABOLISHED THE DEATH PENALTY’.” The legislation takes effect 90 days after publication in the official state journal.
Acting U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al-Nashif welcomed Equatorial Guinea’s new penal code that abolishes the death penalty on September 20. The death penalty,” she said, “is incompatible with fundamental tenets of human rights and dignity.”
A judicially sanctioned execution was last carried out in Equatorial Guinea in 2014. This movement joins a growing number of abolition movements across Africa.
Zambian 🇿🇲 President Hakainde Hichilema commuted the sentences of 30 death-row prisoners in May 2022 and announced he would introduce legislation to end capital punishment in parliament. With a unanimous vote in July 2021, the Sierra Leone 🇸🇱 parliament abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and in May 2020, the Chad 🇹🇩 parliament abolished the death penalty for all crimes.