LEBANON: MINISTER OF JUSTICE, 'THE MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS CONTINUES'
|Minister of Justice Chakib Cortbawi
January 24, 2014: Beirut hosted a national conference against the death penalty in Lebanon. The conference, held at the headquarters of the Lawyers Association, was also to celebrate the tenth year of a de facto moratorium on executions. Minister of Justice Chakib Cortbawi said that he will not sign any execution warrant, and that he hopes that the de facto moratorium could clear the way towards abolition in Lebanon.
According to the Minister of Justice âyou canât kill a person in the name of the society, otherwise there is no difference between us and an assassinâ. Â âThe battle for the abolition of the death penalty must never restâ he added. Former Justice Minister and now member of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty Ibrahim Najjar followed the way, stressing that Lebanese courts continue to issue death sentences, and it is important that the death sentence is scrapped from the codes.
Najjar has then acknowledged that âdeath penalty will not be abrogated in short times though. That is because of political, religious and legal reasonsâ.
Angelina Eichhorst, Head of the AU delegation in Lebanon said âI wish I was here to participate an event to salute the abolition, and I would have said thank you, but I know there is still a long way to goâ.
Eichhorst has then expressed her appreciation for the unceasing battle for abolition, ânevertheless, it is not sufficientâ. Â
The last executions in Lebanon date back to January 17, 2004. That day three men, convicted of homicide, were executed inside the Rumieh prison, in the outskirts of Beirut.
As of today, there are 57 prisoners in Lebanonâs death row. (Sources: lorientlejour.com, 25/01/2014)