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December 12 2008

The African Union has adopted a resolution calling on African States for a moratorium on the death penalty

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The African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights of the African Union adopted at the beginning of December in Abuja, Nigeria, a resolution calling on African States to observe a moratorium on the capital penalty.

The resolution comes few days after the renewed adoption - with large majority - of the resolution on an universal moratorium of the death penalty by the Commission for the Human Rights of the UN General Assembly. By adopting this resolution the African Union is tuned with the global tendency towards total abolition of the capital punishment. Death penalty is an extreme sanction present in the penal codes of still many countries in the world. Through such decision, the entire Africa sends a clear signal to the international community of the will to continue without misunderstandings and with strong determination on the road of the abolition of the capital punishment from the judicial system of every single country of the Continent.

Sant'Egidio welcomes the news with deep joy and with due gratitude to whom wanted to put this important step towards a more human justice, remembering the daily work of African communities for abolition of the death penalty, for a culture of life and for the enhancement of the dramatic life conditions of prisoners.

The Community also remembers the importance towards this goal of the several repeated meetings promoted in the last years with the African Ministers of Justice, that threw concrete and operating base towards full abolition of the death penalty in Africa, of which this latest resolution of the African Union represents a meaningful outcome.

The Community of Sant'Egidio congratulates the promoters of the initiative and assures any necessary support for its better development in the next legislative projects for abolition of the single African governments.

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