Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has signed a law ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which entails a formal commitment to abolish the death penalty, his press service said.
In late September, the Second Optional Protocol was signed by Kazakhstan’s permanent envoy to the United Nations, Kairat Umarov. The document then went to the Kazakh parliament and was ratified by it on December 29.
The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights commits its signatories to ensuring the abolition of death penalty within their jurisdiction, with the exception of war time.
In 2003, the first president of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev, signed a decree temporarily suspending the death penalty. This suspended the execution of all death sentences but did not prohibit the courts from issuing death sentences. Life imprisonment was introduced in Kazakhstan in 2004 as an alternative punishment.
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