OSCE/ODIHR Director Link criticizes call for reintroduction of death penalty by Tajikistan’s Prosecutor General
WARSAW, 6 August 2016 – Michael Georg Link, Director of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), today criticized the call by the Prosecutor General of Tajikistan for the reintroduction of the death penalty, and expressed concern over recent discussions related to removing the bans on capital punishment in some other OSCE participating States.
“Countries in the OSCE have committed themselves to consider the complete abolition of capital punishment, not to reconsider that abolition,” the ODIHR Director said. “Yesterday’s call by the Prosecutor General in Tajikistan for the reintroduction of capital punishment in that country is completely out of place in a region where most of the countries recognize the inherently cruel, inhuman and degrading nature of a punishment that fails to act as a deterrent and makes any miscarriage of justice irreversible.”
Tajikistan’s Prosecutor-General, Yusuf Rahmon, told a press conference yesterday that perpetrators of premeditated murder, terrorists and traitors must be punished by death. His words followed similar statements by other leaders, among them President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Viktor Orban of Hungary, suggesting that the reinstitution of the death penalty should be opened for discussion.
Tajikistan suspended the application of the death penalty in 2004, while Turkey and Hungary completely abolished capital punishment, in 2004 and 1990, respectively.
“Rather than reversing its course, it is my hope that Tajikistan will take further steps toward the complete abolition of the death penalty,” he said. “It is also my hope that Turkey, remains with the vast majority of the OSCE participating States and will continue to act as a strong advocate for the global abolition, as it has in recent years.”