This 29-month project (2012–2015) to campaign for the progressive abolition of the death penalty and its replacement with humane alternative sanctions was implemented in 10 countries in four regions: the Middle East and North Africa, Eastern Europe, Central Asia and East Africa. It was funded under the European Union’s Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR), and by the UK Government and the Government of Switzerland.
Carried out in April 2015 by independent external evaluators, Strategihuset (Denmark), this evaluation focused on evaluating impact in three countries: Jordan, Uganda and Kazakhstan and judged that the project had succeeded meeting the three main objectives in part and in full:
- Governments in Kazakhstan and Uganda restricted and reduced the application of the death penalty and the former upheld a moratorium which eventually may lead to abolition whilst the latter can see a de facto stop of using the death penalty sentence.
- Governments in Jordan and Kazakhstan implemented minimum standards for, life/long-term imprisonment, and authorities in Uganda have improved conditions for prisoners sentenced to whole life imprisonment.
- The capacity of civil society to raise awareness and exchange information regarding the application of the death penalty and alternative sanctions has been strengthened in all regions although not to a level where this has become a powerful factor. PRI has strengthened its position to become an unavoidable stakeholder to local decision makers on the matter of the death penalty.
“The project has succeeded in creating very strong relations with policy makers, legislators and the central administration. Even if the abolition has not been obtained, policy and practice have in fact changed at intermediate levels (e.g. improvements in conditions) in Kazakhstan, Uganda and Jordan, albeit in different ways. It seems evident from the observations that PRI has obtained very strong skills in lobbying and building a base for support amongst legislators, administrators and executives within the judiciary and the penitentiary.”
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