Burkina Faso has become the most recent country to abolish the death penalty, also known as capital punishment.
The West African country changed its penal code to pave way for “more credible, equitable, accessible and effective justice in the application of criminal law,” according to the Justice Minister Rene Bagoro.
Burkina Faso last carried out an execution in 1988. Some of the crimes that used to carry the death sentence include aggravated murder, terrorism-related activities that cause death, treason, espionage among others.
Many rights groups have welcomed the decision by the country to abolish capital punishment, with the Director of Amnesty International Burkina Faso, Yves Traoré, saying:
There is no credible evidence that the death penalty deters crime, and Amnesty International calls on other countries to follow Burkina Faso’s steps and outlaw this punishment immediately.”
Burkina Faso now joins countries such as Guinea, Angola, Benin, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivore, Djibouti Gabon, Guinea Bissau, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, Seychelles and Togo, who have abolished capital punishment for all crimes.
Rights group are still urging other African countries to ban the death penalty.
Here are five African countries that still execute the death penalty: