by Audrey Gaughran, Amnesty International, Director of Global Issues
A couple of weeks ago, on 13 February, we woke up to the good news that Fiji had joined the ranks of countries to abolish the death penalty for all crimes. There are now 99 countries who have completely scrapped the ultimate cruel and inhuman punishment from their laws – exactly half of all states in the world.
The historic milestone of 100 death penalty free countries is within close reach. The parliaments in both Suriname and Madagascar have recently approved bills abolishing executions – all that is left is for the countries’ presidents to sign them into law, although it remains to be seen who gets there first.