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 Kazakhstan their opinion about capital punishment and why it should be abolished.
Aigul Solovyeva, MP
«My attitude to the death penalty is negative. First of all, I consider human life and its end as the prerogative of God. Secondly, normal society shouldn’t follow aggression and become killers on behalf of state. Thirdly, I recognise life imprisonment as a capital punishment. Fourthly, the death penalty doesn’t allow the offender to reform which is provided by Kazakh legislation. And fifth, there is a risk of judicial errors».
Aruzhan Sain, Public figure, TV presenter, Director of Charity Fund
«It’s very difficult for me to decide even for myself. There cannot be definite opinion. Death penalty might be abolished in case of absolute fair criminal justice. However, unfortunately, it doesn’t exist in any state so far. Beyond all doubts, there are very cruel crimes that cannot be justified. From the other hand, as a believer I find it wrong when society decides to end the human life. In conclusion, I wouldn’t take a responsibility on the decision as it very complicated».
Zhamilya Serkebayeva, Meritorious Artist of Kazahstan, violinist
«As a creative person and artist I assume that death penalty in Kazakhstan should be abolished according to the humane canons. There are many cases of cruel crimes and those who committed the crime cannot be called human beings deserve a capital punishment. However, «Do not judge others, and God will not judge you». To my mind death penalty is very severe and cruel punishment».
Zhemis Turmagambetova, Executive director of Charter for Human Rights
«I am a strong supporter of the abolition of the death penalty. No state have a right for a death penalty in legislation and practice despite the political conjuncture and peculiar way of justice restoration! »
Roman Raifeld, Director of Communications of BOTA fund, columnist of Esquire Kazakhstan
«As a human being, I am astonished by senseless punishments people apply to other people. I do understand those who are caused pain or injustice who say ‘Killing would be too good for these demons!’ I also understand that alive a convicted person is a burden for taxpayer. I don’t believe in death penalty as a capital punishment. The fact that it can frighten or reform someone doesn’t convince me. Moreover, you don’t give a life, so it’s not your right to end it».
Interviewed by Dinara Dildabekova, Penal Reform International in Central Asia