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Antigua and Barbuda - Universal Periodic Review - Death Penalty - March 2021

Date: March 25, 2021
Country: Antigua and Barbuda
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Death Penalty, International Advocacy
Mechanism: Universal Periodic Review
Report Type: Stakeholder Report
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The Advocates for Human Rights, together with The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and The Greater Caribbean for Life submitted a stakeholder report relating to the death penalty in Antigua and Barbuda for the39th session of the working group on the Universal Periodic Review. 

Antigua and Barbuda issovereign member state of the British Commonwealth of Nations and of the Organization of EasterCaribbean States, including the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court (ECSC). Both the ECSC and the Privy Council, Antigua and Barbuda's final appellate court, have handed down judgements on the death penalty. Antigua and Barbuda has not yet formally abolished the death penalty or established an official moratorium, though no one is currently on death row. The death penalty is available for offenses of treason and murder, as well as certain military offenses. The government maintains that a de facto moratorium on the death penalty is in place and that no executions have occurred since 1991.Antigua and Barbuda is not a party to the Second Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights nor the Optional Protocol of the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Prison conditions in Antigua and Barbuda have been criticized as overcrowded, unhygienic, and life-threatening.  

The authors of the report suggest the following recommendationfor Antigua and Barbuda: 

  • Abolish the death penalty and replace it with a sentence that is fair, proportionate, and in compliance with international human rights standards. 

  • Collaborate with civil society organizations in the Caribbean to conduct a comprehensive public awareness-raising campaign to educate the public about international human rights standards as they pertain to the death penalty and alternatives to the death penalty. 

  • Ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. 

  • Ratify the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. 

  • Adopt a law expressly criminalizing torture and prohibiting introduction of evidence obtained under torture or other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment, except as evidence that torture has been committed.  

  • Ensure that detention conditions comply with the Nelson Mandela rules.