Zim Death Row Prisoners Rise To 95

Harare, April 1, 2015 – A total of 10 prisoners were sentenced to death in 2014 pushing the number of inmates on death sentence to 95.

Amnesty International Zimbabwe (AIZ) on Wednesday disclosed the rise in the number of prisoners on death row as it launched worldwide report on death sentences and executions carried in 2014.

AIZ executive director Cousin Zilala told journalists at a media briefing held in Harare that 10 prisoners were sentenced to death in 2014 as Zimbabwean authorities resorted to capital punishment to combat crime.

The 10 prisoners include a Mozambican national identified Isaac Mlambo.

Zilala said figures obtained by Amnesty from the government showed that a total of 95 prisoners were under sentence as at the end of December last year.

Four prisoners who were under sentence for death had their sentences commuted to life imprisonment while no prisoner under sentence for death were pardoned in 2014.

In 2014, only one prisoner was exonerated from death sentence, Zilala said.

Zilala, whose organisation has been advocating for the abolishment of the death sentence and for a moratorium on executions said the death penalty is “cruel, inhuman and degrading.”

Globally, Amnesty International opposes the death penalty at all times – regardless of who is accused, the crime, guilt or innocence or method of execution.

Amnesty International has been working to end executions since 1977, when only nine countries had abolished the death penalty. Today, the number has risen to 140.