Guyana “is not in a rush” to Abolish Death Penalty


On the heels of the Judicial Colloquium on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, the Coalition government said it is in no rush to remove the death penalty from law. This was disclosed by Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman during Thursday’s post cabinet press briefing.


During a press conference on Wednesday, Commissioner with the International Commission against the Death Penalty, Justice Navi Pillay said she hoped that Guyana would review its Terrorism Act that has 12 provisions for the death penalty, urging Guyana to desist from enacting laws including capital punishment, but instead move to abolish it.


Trotman disclosed that the recently passed 14 provisions in the Anti-money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Legislation that caters for the death penalty. But according to him, these provisions have allowed the country to become compliant with international standards and stay clear of black lists.


“Government since the 1990s maintained a moratorium, notwithstanding the fact that the death penalty remains on the books and we as the president rightly said; don’t relish taking lives wantonly and have no intentions of enforcing it but at the present time, is not in a rush to remove it from the books” Trotman said.


He further noted that any decision government will take as it relates to the penalty would be made after widespread consultations, and maintained that there is no immediacy to make a decision.


Trotman also pointed out that there is a recent clamour in Europe for the restoration of this penalty.


“The question had been asked whether bombing communities from 30,000 ft above ground and killing persons…whether in a sense, this was not a form of the death penalty being advanced by some of the very countries asking you to remove from your books, the death penalty. Guyana is not involved in any conflicts, reprisal bombings or snipings or killings of anyone” he told media operatives.

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