Britain, Botswana’s former colonial masters, has strongly expressed disapproval of Botswana’s continued carrying out of death penalty after Botswana refused to abolish the death penalty before the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.
The British High Commissioner, Nick Tyle, condemned Botswana for practicing the death penalty when officiating at the Ditshwanelo Film Festival.
Tyle noted that there was nothing compassionate about the country when they are still practicing the death penalty, adding that it was shocking that one of the Vision 2016 Pillars was a “Compassionate and Caring Nation” while, in fact, the country still carries out death penalties.
Tyle’s condemnation of Botswana came shortly after President Ian Khama was quoted in local media supporting the death penalty, stating that because of capital punishment, murders were not rampant in the country.
Khama said that because of the death penalty, criminals who shoot people think twice before undertaking such a heinous crime because they are aware that they would be sent to the gallows.
Alice Mogwe, Ditshwanelo’s Director, emphasized that they were against the death penalty, saying that Ditshwanelo still maintains that both the death penalty and the delay in carrying out the death penalty constitute cruel and degrading punishment for both offenders and her/his family.
She indicated that Ditshwanelo has also condemned the hasty and secretive nature of executions, as family of the offender is not informed of the date of execution and the offender is buried in an unmarked grave on the property of the Department of Prisons.
Botswana rejected a call from other countries to end the death penalty when the country appeared before the United Nations Human Rights Council last month in Geneva.