Republic of Suriname
Head of state and government: Desiré Delano Bouterse

The trial of President Bouterse and 24 others accused of the extrajudicial killing of 15 political opponents in 1982 failed to restart. Steps were taken towards the abolition of the death penalty.


Following a request by the accused, Edgar Ritfeld, in 2013 the Court of Justice ordered the resumption of Edgar Ritfeld's trial in a military court in January 2014. Edgar Ritfeld, who claims he is innocent, is one of 25 people accused of the extrajudicial executions of 15 opponents of the then military government in December 1982. The trial had been halted since 2012 following an amendment to the 1992 amnesty law granting immunity for the alleged torture and extrajudicial executions committed in December 1982. The 25 accused, including current President Desiré Delano "Dési" Bouterse, who was the country's military leader at the time of the killings, were put on trial before a military court in November 2007 for the killings.

Although the Court of Justice decided that the case of Edgar Ritfeld should resume, the military court decided in October not to resume the trial of the 24 others, including the trial of President Bouterse.

In August, families of the 15 people killed in December 1982 filed a case before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Death penalty

In May, the Minister for Justice and Police announced an amendment, yet to be presented to Parliament, to the ongoing reform of the Criminal Code aiming to abolish the death penalty and raise the maximum prison sentence from 20 to 30 years. Suriname had not carried out any executions since 1982.

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