CYPRUS - Abolitionist
Government: republic. note: a separation of the two ethnic communities inhabiting the island began following the outbreak of communal strife in 1963; this separation was further solidified after the Turkish intervention in July 1974; Greek Cypriots control the only internationally recognized government; on 15 November 1983 Turkish Cypriot "President" Rauf DENKTASH declared independence and the formation of a "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC), which is recognized only by Turkey
State of civil and political rights: Free
Constitution: 16 August 1960. note: a new constitution for the "TRNC" passed by referendum on 5 May 1985
Legal System: based on common law, with civil law modifications
Legislative System: unicameral - area under government control: House of Representatives (Vouli Antiprosopon); area administered by Turkish Cypriots: Assembly of the Republic (Cumhuriyet Meclisi)
Judicial System: Supreme Court (judges are appointed jointly by the president and vice president)
note: there is also a Supreme Court in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots
Religion: Greek Orthodox 78%, Muslim 18%, other 4%
International Treaties on the Death Penalty and Human Rights:
- International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- 1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant
- Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
- 6th Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (concerning the abolition of the death penalty)
- European Convention for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
- Protocol No. 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances
- Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty)
Cyprus abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes in 1983 and for all crimes committed in peacetime in 1999. However capital punishment was retained for certain wartime offences - treason and piracy - under the Military Criminal Code. On April 19, 2002 the Military Criminal Code was amended to remove the death penalty for crimes committed in wartime and Cyprus became totally abolitionist.
On March 12, 2003 Cyprus deposited with the Council of Europe the instrument of ratification of Protocol No 13 to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, concerning the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances.
The last execution was conducted in 1962, and carried out by hanging. The Turkish Cypriot Constitution abolished capital punishment except for military crimes.
On December 19, 2016, as previous years, Cyprus co-sponsored and voted in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.