Last Updated: Monday, 01 September 2014, 14:30 GMT

Amnesty International Report 1996 - Mauritius

Publisher Amnesty International
Publication Date 1 January 1996
Cite as Amnesty International, Amnesty International Report 1996 - Mauritius, 1 January 1996, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6aa0380.html [accessed 2 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
The death penalty was abolished in law. All death sentences were commuted. There were no executions.

In April the UN Committee against Torture welcomed the efforts made by the government to ensure that the Constitution conformed with the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, to which Mauritius acceded in December 1992. However, it recommended that measures be taken to incorporate the Convention into domestic law and to implement a system of surveillance in police stations to protect suspects from torture.

In December, elections were held which resulted in Navin Ramgoolam being elected as Prime Minister.

In May a bill was tabled to amend the Dangerous Drugs Act of 1986 by replacing the death penalty for drug-trafficking with 20 years' imprisonment. In July the Abolition of the Death Penalty Bill was tabled to amend the Criminal Code and Criminal Procedure Act by banning the death penalty entirely.

In August Parliament passed the two bills, following a debate in which most speakers cited Amnesty International's work against the death penalty in support of their arguments for abolition. The bills were passed by large majorities. However, President Cassam Uteem refused to sign the bills and sent them back to Parliament later in August. In the case of the Dangerous Drugs Bill, he recommended that Parliament should consider amending the bill to prescribe 30 years' imprisonment for drug-trafficking, to which Parliament subsequently agreed. He gave no reason for refusing to sign the Abolition of the Death Penalty Bill.

In November Parliament passed both the Abolition of the Death Penalty Bill and the amended Dangerous Drugs Bill for a second time, thus making Presidential assent a formality.

The five prisoners who remained on death row at that time had their sentences commuted. There were no executions.

Amnesty International wrote to Prime Minister Anaerood Jugnauth welcoming Parliament's vote to suspend the death penalty in law. It continued to campaign for the abolition of the death penalty in Mauritius, and welcomed abolition in November.

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