Malawi declares the death penalty unconstitutional: a fundamentally important step. The synergy between Sant'Egidio, Reprieve and World CoalitionDeath Penalty Malawi
The Community of Sant'Egidio greets with great satisfaction the pronouncement of the Constitutional Court of Malawi that on April 28 declared the death penalty unconstitutional. This is in fact a decisive act in the process towards its abolition in this southern African country. In recent months, a "document of recommendations" was submitted to the government, drafted with the decisive contribution of Sant'Egidio in the person of the lawyer Alexious Kamangila, in synergy with representatives of the Reprieve association and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. This document has also enjoyed the support of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights and has proved decisive.
This action of Sant'Egidio, in a country where it has been present for years with numerous initiatives in favor of the population, is part of the Community's broader commitment towards a moratorium and abolition of capital punishment, carried out since 2005, together with that for the humanization of prisons. This activity also includes a significant sensitization of civil society on the issue of rehabilitative justice.
Among the first companions of the campaign in Malawi is to remember the activist Vera Chirwa, who on several occasions took part in international conferences of Ministers of Justice, promoted by the Community of Sant'Egidio on the theme of the abolition of the death penalty. Throughout these years, numerous actions in favor of a reform of the prison system have also been carried out, while the awareness of these issues has grown through the annual celebration of Cities for Life - cities against the death penalty, a movement to which more than 2,300 cities worldwide adhere. As far as Malawi is concerned, the ratification by Parliament of the Constitutional Court's ruling is now confidently awaited.