The High Commissioners of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to the Republic of Botswana have issued a joint statement on the use of the death penalty in the African country, reaffirming their collective opposition to capital punishment in the Commonwealth.
The joint statement was declared and issued on February 10th, 2021, following the execution of two Botswanan citizens on February 8th, 2021.
Wedu Mosalagae (33) and Kutlo Setima (29) were hanged at Gaborone Central Prison on Monday after being sentenced to death in 2019 for the murder of two women, Barobi Rampape and Tsone Kosi.
The joint statement from the Canadian, Australian, New Zealand and British High Commissioners in Botswana reads as follows:
“In light of the executions of Mr Wedu Mosalagae and Mr Kutlo Setima which took place on 8 February 2021, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand reaffirm our strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances, as a matter of principle.
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“The death penalty undermines human dignity and there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value. Any miscarriage of justice is irreversible and irreparable.
“The African continent has joined the growing trend towards abolition of the death penalty worldwide, with 80% of the members of the African Union having already abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.
“We continue to call on Botswana to initiate a public debate on its use of the death penalty, as the Government of Botswana already agreed in the Universal Periodic Review of the UN Human Rights Council in January 2018. We stand ready to share our experience with the process of abolishing the death penalty.”
CANZUK International is encouraged by the increased number of joint statements issued by Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom and will continue to work with affiliated embassies and consulates to progress further diplomatic cooperation between the four nations.
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