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27th session of the UPR: first feedback on Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Morocco took place on 2 May 2017 in the Office of the United Nations in Geneva.

Several actors of abolition in the Maghreb (Moroccan Coalition against the Death Penalty, National Council for Human Rights, Tunisian NGO for the defense of human rights) took part in the UPR session as observers and had the opportunity to share their report on the monitoring of the 2012 recommendations supported by Morocco with the other actors present there. This report was thought as a basis for a follow-up of the different UPR sessions over the course of time.

 

Morocco, leader of the abolition of death penalty in the Maghreb

 

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Morocco took place on 2 May 2017 in the Office of the United Nations in Geneva.

The association Together against the Death Penalty (ECPM) and its partners of the Moroccan Coalition against the Death Penalty took part in the UPR session as observers and had the opportunity to share their report on the monitoring of the 2012 recommendations supported by Morocco with the other actors present there. This report was thought as a basis for a follow-up of the different UPR sessions over the course of time.

 

A UPR session representing the evolutions of diplomacies

This session of the UPR saw a strong increase in the recommendations on the death penalty: 19 were given to Morocco this year against 12 in 2012 (a 58% increase). The proportion of recommendations on the death penalty compared to the total remained nearly the same (7,5%). 4 countries asked advance questions on the death penalty, while 2 others included it in their intervention, though not through a proper recommendation.

 

States that gave recommendations on death penalty

Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Estonia, France, Hungary, Montenegro, Norway, Paraguay, Portugal, Albania, Rwanda, South Africa, Togo, Italia, Namibia, Ukraine;

 

States who wrote advance questions on death penalty

Belgium, Switzerland, Germany, Spain;

 

States who mentioned the death penalty in their intervention

Zambia, Sierra Leone ;

 

There was a significantly increasing proportion of recommendations that focused on the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol (OP2) to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (42,1% in 2017 for 33,3% in 2012). The OP2 being the only binding international instrument in favour of the abolition of the death penalty, this increase shows the hopes that Morocco embodies on this matter.

Finally, the most important evolution can be found in the analysis of the recommending States. While 78% of the recommendations came from European countries in 2012, this percentage dropped to 63% this year, in favour of the new implication of African countries (21% in 2017 against 0% in 2012). The recommending countries in the 2017 UPR session on Morocco are also far better spread over the world than in 2012.

 

UPR Geo repartition Morocco 2017

NB: We use here the classification of regional groups from the United Nations

 

 

Encouraging possibilities

 

In its national report, on which Mr. Mustapha Ramid, State Minister in charge of Human Rights, based his replies, Morocco explains that:

 

“Morocco continues to observe the moratorium on the death penalty that has been in place since 1993, in the knowledge that the abolition of capital punishment is the subject of intense debate among various sectors of Moroccan society. The draft Criminal Code provides for a considerable reduction in the number of offences subject to the death penalty, down from 31 to 9. Under the new Military Courts Act, the number of such offences has dropped from 16 to 5. In that connection, under article 430 of the draft Code of Criminal Procedure, a death sentence may be pronounced only if the judges reach a unanimous verdict. Moreover, the record of their decision must state that the death sentence was unanimously agreed and must be signed by all the judges involved in the ruling.”

 

 

The prospects are also encouraging. In 2012, Morocco supported 10 of the 12 given recommendations. We hope the Morocco maintains of better intensifies this positive dynamic in 2017.

 

 

Tunisia, at a crossroad

 

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Morocco took place on 2 May 2017 in the Office of the United Nations in Geneva.

The association Together against the Death Penalty (ECPM) and its partners of the Moroccan Coalition against the Death Penalty took part in the UPR session as observers and had the opportunity to share their report on the monitoring of the 2012 recommendations supported by Morocco with the other actors present there. This report was thought as a basis for a follow-up of the different UPR sessions over the course of time.

 

A UPR session representing the evolutions of diplomacies

17 recommendations on the death penalty were made to Tunisia in 2017 against 14 in 2017 (a 21,5% increase). Nonetheless, this percentage needs to be nuanced, since the total number of recommendations increased by 50,3%. The proportion of recommendations on the death penalty compared to the total is also slightly decreasing. Furthermore, 2 countries asked advance questions on the death penalty, while one other included it in its intervention, though not through a proper recommendation.

 

States that gave recommendations on death penalty

Australia, Austria, Costa-Rica, Spain, France, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Norway, Portugal, Rwanda, Slovenia, Togo;

 

States who wrote advance questions on death penalty

Belgium, the Netherlands;

 

States who mentioned the death penalty in their intervention

Greece;

 

There was a significantly increasing proportion of recommendations that focused on the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol (OP2) to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (64,7%% in 2017 for 57,1% in 2012). The OP2 being the only binding international instrument in favour of the abolition of the death penalty, this increase confirms the enhanced expectations towards abolition in Tunisia.

Finally, the most important evolution can be found in the analysis of the recommending States. While 77% of the recommendations came from European countries in 2012, this percentage dropped to 59% this year, in favour of the new implication of African countries (23% in 2017 against 0% in 2012). The recommending countries in the 2017 UPR session on Morocco are also better spread over the world than in 2012.

 

UPR Geo repartition Tunisia 2017

 

NB: We use here the classification of regional groups from the United Nations

 

 

Encouraging possibilities

 

Tunisia recalled in its national report the consecration of the right to life in its 2014 Constitution, as well as its vote in favour of the UN resolution for a universal moratorium on execution in December 2016. The country committed to continuing the debate on abolition, while reminding that important divergences existed in the Tunisian society on this subject.

Tunisia already communicated on their support to the 2017 recommendations on the death penalty. Only 17% of them gained the support of the State, against 21,4% in 2012. ECPM regrets this decrease and encourages Tunisia to continue its efforts in the path towards abolition.

 

UPR Responses Tunisia 2017

 

 

 

Algeria, an encouraging rise of international expectations

 

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of Algeria took place on 8 May 2017 in the Office of the United Nations in Geneva.

 

A UPR session representing the evolutions of diplomacies

This session of the UPR saw a strong increase in the recommendations on the death penalty: 11 were given to Algeria this year against 6 in 2012 (a 83,3% increase). The proportion of recommendations on the death penalty compared to the total increased slightly (7,5%). 2 countries asked advance questions on the death penalty, though not through a proper recommendation.

 

States that gave recommendations on death penalty

Australia, Brazil, Montenegro, Portugal, Luxembourg, Uruguay, Togo, Ireland, Italy, Namibia, France;

 

States who wrote advance questions on death penalty

Belgium, Switzerland;

 

There was a slightly increasing proportion of recommendations that focused on the ratification of the Second Optional Protocol (OP2) to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) (54,5% in 2017 for 50% in 2012). The OP2 being the only binding international instrument in favour of the abolition of the death penalty, this increase shows the hopes that Algeria embodies on this matter.

Finally, the most important evolution can be found in the analysis of the recommending States. While 67% of the recommendations came from European countries in 2012, this percentage dropped to 55% this year, in favour of the new implication of African countries (18% in 2017 against 0% in 2012). The recommending countries in the 2017 UPR session on Algeria are also better spread over the world than in 2012.

 

UPR Geo repartition Algeria 2017

NB: We use here the classification of regional groups from the United Nations

 

 

Response to recommendations: time of choice

Algeria has not yet decided to support or simply note the recommendation from the different stats. Algeria observes a de facto moratorium on executions since 1993 and the last criminal code reforms limit the use of death penalty to the most serious crimes. Prison sentences replace now capital punishment for offences like armed robbery, illegal drug trafficking, money counterfeiting, arson or smuggling. Nonetheless, Algeria remains one of the states pronouncing the most death sentences in the region, with at least 321 death sentences since 2012, including 50 in 2016.

 

ECPM encourages Algeria to support the death penalty recommendations and to pursue its efforts towards abolition.


 
 
 
 
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