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Sierra Leone: Abolition of death penalty a 'major victory'

The West African state has become the 23rd country on the continent to end capital punishment

In response to news that Sierra Leone abolished the death penalty, Samira Daoud, Amnesty International’s West and Central Africa Director, said:

“This is a major victory for all those who tirelessly campaigned to abolish this cruel punishment.

“Now that the abolition Bill has been approved by Parliament, President Julius Maada Bio should, without delay, sign it into law and commute all death sentences.

"We oppose the death penalty in all cases. It is a cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment which has no place in our world.”

Amnesty’s global report on the use of the death penalty shows that recorded death sentences increased in Sierra Leone in 2020 compared with 2019 from 21 to 39. However, no executions were carried out in 2020; seven death sentences were commuted by the President; and 94 people were under the sentence of death at the end of 2020.

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