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Kazakhstan abrogates death penalty

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President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

Saturday, 2 December 2021, Nur-Sultan, Republic of Kazakhstan: the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty was signed by Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev.

The death penalty’s application in Kazakhstan was completely suspended on 17 December 2003, albeit courts still issued verdicts in this regard. President Tokayev instructed the Foreign Ministry to begin the procedure for Kazakhstan’s accession to the Second Optional Protocol in 2020. In accordance with the instruction of the President,  the Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN, Kairat Omarov, signed the Second Optional Protocol on 23 September 2020. 

By joining the agreement, Kazakhstan pledges not to apply the death penalty, and to take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its territorial jurisdiction.

The only exception is the death penalty is allowed in case of wartime. Such a sentence is applicable only after he has been found guilty of committing especially grave crimes of a military nature, which he committed in wartime.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights was adopted in 1966, entered into force in 1976, and currently 173 states have acceded to it.

The Second Optional Protocol to it, aimed at the abolition of the death penalty, was adopted on December 15, 1989. In 1991, the document came into force, 88 states are members of the agreement.

For further information 

Presidency of Kazakhstan: http://www.akorda.kz/en

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