São Tomé and Príncipe ratifies OP2 and approves total and definitive abolition of the death penalty
Article by Elise Guillot published on January 18th, 2017
On 10 January 2017, São Tomé and Príncipe ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty and became its 84th State party.
On 10 January 2017, São Tomé and Príncipe ratified several international treaties, including the Second Protocol to the ICCPR aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, seventeen years after having signed it.
São Tomé and Príncipe thus implements the recommendations to ratify the OP2 addressed by the Human Rights Council at the two Universal Periodic Reviews of the country (in 2011 and 2015).
The state had abolished the death penalty in 1990. From a legal perspective, the ratification of OP2 makes the resumption of the death penalty impossible in São Tomé and Príncipe. From a political perspective, it demonstrates the commitment of São Tomé and Príncipe to the universal abolition of the death penalty.
The World Coalition congratulates São Tomé and Príncipe for this ratification and calls on the country to support the adoption of the draft additional protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the abolition of the death penalty in Africa. Indeed, the World Coalition is conducting a joint campaign with FIACAT, FIDH and DITSHWANELO and their members in sub-Saharan Africa for the adoption of the draft protocol by the African Union.
New ratifications expected for 2017
In Madagascar, the National Assembly adopted in December 2016 a bill authorising the ratification of OP2. The bill now needs to be approved by the High Constitutional Court before being published. The vote by the National Assembly is a powerful statement in favour of universal abolition and a crucial step for the ratification of OP2 by Madagascar, which abolished the death penalty two years ago (law of 9 January 2015).
In Côte d’Ivoire, the ratification process of OP2 has already been initiated by the Minister for Human Rights and Public Liberties. The National Assembly may decide soon on a bill authorising the ratification.