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Monday, June 21, 2021

Kazakhstan scraps death sentence for offenders

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In compliance with United Nations (UN) standards, the Kazakhstan Government has abolished the death penalty and replaced it with life imprisonment.

The abolishment, which made permanent the two-decade freeze on capital punishment, was said to have been signed by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev after ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), a document that commits signatories to the abolition of capital punishment, which came into force on March 23, 1976, barely 10 years after its ratification.

With the notice on the presidential website on Saturday, the execution, which was paused in 2003, has now become permanent and offenders would now be subjected to life imprisonment.

It would be recalled that after the death penalty was suspended, courts continued to sentence convicts to death in exceptional circumstances, including for crimes deemed acts of terror.

A lone gunman, Ruslan Kulekbayev, who killed eight policemen and two civilians during a rampage in Kazakhstan’s largest city Almaty in 2016, was among the convicts set to be executed but would now serve a life sentence in jail instead.

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