Today, August 19, 2011, Benin has adopted the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. By adhering to the treaty are formally lifted the death sentences and executions. That decision nears the final cancellation of capital punishment by law in the African country.
The Community of Sant'Egidio in recent years has accompanied the authorities of Benin to the abolition by cooperating in the legislative process, supporting the efforts of the Presidency, promoting awareness in the civil society in the last 5 years, and creating working groups within the International Conference of Ministers in Rome to tackle the remaining obstacles to the final abolition.
The Community of Sant'Egidio, therefore, expresses its satisfaction at this news, greeted with joy by members of Sant'Egidio present in Cotonou, Calavi, Paracou, Dassa, and many other cities of Benin, who have been waging a broad awareness campaign and collected signatures against the death penalty among the population for many years.