Zimbabwe–Human Rights Committee–Death Penalty–August 2020

The Advocates for Human Rights, along with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the Capital Punishment Impact Initiativeand the Capital Punishment Justice Project, submitted a List of Issues Prior to Reporting relating to the death penalty in Zimbabwe for the 130th Session of the Human Rights Committee

 

The Government of Zimbabwe maintains the death penalty as a legal form of punishment. The government has demonstrated a commitment to abolishing the death penalty with media reports suggesting that 34 death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment in 2019. Prison and detention conditions remain harsh despite efforts to curb overcrowding. Conditions in detention centers are often life-threatening and have led to the spread of disease such as HIVtuberculosis, and now an increased risk of COVID-19 infection. 

 

Suggested questions: 

 

  • What steps has the Government of Zimbabwe taken to formally abolish the death penalty and to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant? What is the status of the motion introduced by MP Dorcas Sibanda in March 2020 regarding abolition of the death penalty and a moratorium on executions?

 

  • What steps has the Government of Zimbabwe undertaken to collaborate with civil society organizations to educate the public about the status of the death penalty in the country as well as about human rights issues related to the use of the death penalty and about alternatives to the death penalty?

 

  • How does the judicial system ensure respect for legal guarantees of due process in practice? What remedies are available to a person alleging that their due process or fair trial rights have been violated? Please provide information on all such allegations during the reporting period and how they have been addressed.