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Cuba - Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women - Suggested List of Issues - Death Penalty

Date: April 11, 2023
Country: Cuba
Type: Intl Mechanism Submission
Issues: Death Penalty
Mechanism: UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
Report Type: List of Issues
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This report suggests questions that the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women should pose to the government of Cuba in its List of Issues, particularly with respect to the death penalty.  

Cuba carried out its last execution in 2003. Although a de facto moratorium is in place, the country has not formally abolished the death penalty, so women remain at risk of being sentenced to death. Since the Committee's last review, the Government of Cuba had two opportunities to abolish or move towards abolishing the death penalty but failed to do so on both occasionsIn the new Penal Code, the number of offenses eligible for the death penalty haincreasedfurther demonstrating an unwillingness to commit to abolishing the death penalty. Most crimes that carry the death sentence in the new Penal Code relate to state security. It is important to remember the statement made by Cuban President Raul Castro, after commuting the last two death sentences in 2008: "This does not mean we have eliminated the death penalty from the penal code. It would be irresponsible and ingenuous to renounce the dissuasive power that capital punishment has on the real terrorists, the imperialist mercenaries." 

Since the Committee's last review, Cuba has implemented a new Family Code centered around remedying harmful stereotypes of women and has criminalized gender-based violence in the new Penal CodeNonetheless, women remain at risk of being sentenced to death and Cuba's retention of the death penalty and its practices regarding the death penalty present an ongoing risk of discrimination against women. Moreover, detention conditions for women violate international human rights standards, and gender stereotypes as well as gender-based violence continue to present a threat to Cuban women.