World Day against the Death Penalty, October 10, was introduced by the World Coalition against the Death Penalty in 2003. There are many different events worldwide dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty. This year Penal Reform International in Central Asia asked famous and well-known people in Tajikistan their opinion about capital punishment and why it should be abolished.
Mahmadali Vatanov, MP
«10 years of non-application and non-implementation of death sentences once again convinced me that there is no place for capital punishment in the penal system. Death penalty cannot solve its mail goal – correction of the convicted person. Besides, public opinion is changing. Currently, more people talk about death penalty abolition. I am in favour for abolition, because correcting of judicial errors can’t restore the human life»
Oinihol Bobonazarova, Presidential contender of the Republic of Kazakhstan
«Do we really need death penalty? I always was against death penalty and maintain my opinion so far. I will try to explain for Tajik people that death penalty doesn’t solve anything, and there are many numbers and facts proving that death penalty don’t provoke the increase of crime. In principle, I think life is given by God, and it’s not right when state and society decide to kill someone. I think that death penalty must be abolished».
Eduard Auer, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Tajikistan
«The European Union holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty. The Council of Europe and the European Union repeatedly affirmed their commitment to continue their persistent efforts to promote abolition in Europe and throughout the world. In 2004 Tajikistan declared a moratorium on setting and application of death sentence. Analyses of criminological situation after a ten-year moratorium on death penalty confirm the necessity for abolition of death penalty, as the moratorium didn’t provoke the increase of criminal activity either initially or later. The EU considers capital punishment to be a cruel and inhuman punishment, which fails to deter criminal behaviour and represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity. Any miscarriage of justice – which is inevitable in any legal system – is irreversible. It is highly important that death penalty is fully abolished in Tajikistan, and globally»
Nurmahmad Hallilov, Director of Human rights center
«For me, the main argument to abolish death penalty is judicial error. There are many stories of innocent people sentenced to the death penalty. Even in the most developed democratic state, miscarriages of justice could happen. And Tajikistan is not an exception in this regard. Since 2004 there has been a moratorium in Tajikistan and legal alternative is life imprisonment. However, death penalty de-jure exists in Tajikistan. In my opinion, we should respect democratic principles and international standards that call for abolition of the death penalty».
Interviewed by Dinara Dildabekova, Penal Reform International in Central Asia
Read the views from a similar poll with well-known figures in Kazakhstan.