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August 22, 2018

Abolish Zimbabwe's death penalty

topic: Death Penalty
type: NGO
by: Yair Oded

It is now official. The majority of Zimbabweans oppose the death penalty. With the boost of an abolitionist leader, and the unrelenting work of human rights organizations, the elimination of capital punishment in the African nation seems more likely than ever to occur.

A relic of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe (who was toppled in a coup last year), death penalty is now supported only by 41% of the population; an additional 20% of Zimbabweans are on the fence. This is according to an April 2018 survey sponsored by the Death Penalty Project and Veritas, a local organization committed to tracking the work of the government and campaigning on behalf of human rights agendas in Zimbabwe.

The work of The Death Penalty Project (which is comprised of lawyers, human rights activists, and forensic experts) concentrates on four main areas: free legal assistance (to individuals facing death penalty), capacity building (providing training to judges, lawyers, and all who work in the criminal justice system and deal with issues related to human rights and the death penalty), research and publications (commission and publish research material regarding the death penalty), and policy and engagement (engage policymakers, government officials, and stakeholders in a constructive debate regarding the death penalty).

Now operating in 30 countries worldwide, the organization has set Zimbabwe on its sights and is endeavoring to utilize the growing momentum to raise awareness of the public’s opposition to capital punishment and encourage public officials to promote legislation to abolish it.

If opposition to capital punishment (either in Zimbabwe or elsewhere) is of particular concern to you, the Death Penalty Project could provide information on the topic and offer methods to get involved.To track the activity of the Zimbabwean government regarding the capital punishment abolition (as well as on other matters), sign up to Veritas’ alert service (available via email, Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp).