2 NGOs want death penalty abolished

 Two non-govern­mental organisa­tions have added their voice to the call to abolish the death penalty.

They are the Christians Against Torture (ACAT), Ghana, and Human Rights Reporters, Ghana (HRRG).

They contended that adding their voices to the global call for the death penalty to be abolished was not to give total freedom to such wrong offenders, but to give them second chance for them to reform.

Their call was contained in a petition addressed to the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Ad­do, presented through the Volta Regional Minister, Dr Archibald Letsa, and the Ho Municipal Chief Executive, Divine Bosson, in Ho yesterday.

The Programme Director of ACAT, Ms Miriam Dzifa Damalie, who presented the petition on behalf of the group noted that as the world commemorated the 20th World Day against the Death Penalty observed in October an­nually, they deemed it appropriate to throw their weight behind the global call for the abolishing of the death penalty in Ghana.

According to her, the group wanted to use the theme: ‘Death penalty, a road paved with tor­ture’, to appeal to President Nana Akufo-Addo to commute prisoners on death row to life sentences.

It is against this back drop that the group has appealed to Presi­dent Akufo-Addo to immediately intervene in the case of a 75-year-old, John Narh Terkpe, who spent 20 years on death row in the Nsawam Medium Security Prison.

Madam Damalie further called for general amnesty which had not been granted for the past three years to other deserving prisoners to decongest all prisons across the country.

That, she said, would improve the health and living conditions of the inmates who were already battling myriads of psychological and physical problems.

Receiving the petition, Mr Di­vine Bosson in his remarks noted that besides the Christian values of the group “we are not in a jungle, we are governed by laws which came into being in 1992.”

“Our records show that the last time somebody was executed through this act was in 1993.

However, we need to give a second chance to such people even though the law still remains in our books and we are all bounded by the law and we need to use the legal means to resolve this matter,” he said.

He assured that the petition would be forwarded to the Volta Regional Minister for onward deliv­ery to the President.


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