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DEATH PENALTY LOSES GROUND IN FORMER SOVIET UNION
Abolished in Ukraine and Turkmenistan
KIEV, JAN 2 (ZENIT).- Ukraine's Constitutional Court has abolished the death penalty in this former Soviet Republic, calling it a "cruel, inhuman, and humiliating" punishment.
Although it remained on the books, the death penalty had been practically abolished in Ukraine following its adherence to the European Council. Since the mid 90s, a presidential moratorium prevented implementation of such court sentences. In response to an appeal by a group of deputies, the Constitutional Court has now pronounced that the death penalty is in opposition to the country's basic laws, which prohibit cruel punishments, and to the European Council's Convention on the abolition of the death penalty, which was signed by Ukraine when it became a member of this organization in Strasbourg.
There are similar situations to that of Ukraine in Russia and in other Republics of the former Soviet Union. In Turkmenistan the death penalty was formally abolished last Wednesday by a decree of Saparmurad Niyazov, who was proclaimed the previous day President for life by Parliament. Because of this, on December 31 and January 1, the Coliseum in Rome was illuminated in recognition of the step forward in human rights. ZE00010210
January 5, 2000 |
volume 10, no. 3
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