18 January 2018 :
Botswana brushed off international calls to scrap the death penalty, saying it is not an abuse of individual human rights.
Delegates to the ongoing 29th session of the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland called on countries exercising the death penalty to abolish it since it flies in the face of the human rights of individuals concerned.
However, in his response, Botswana’s Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Edwin Batshu told delegates that while his country does not begrudge those who have abolished it or imposed a moratorium on executions, it equally expects that they too should respect the Southern African nation’s right to determine whether it abolishes or retains it.
“My country’s view on the question of death penalty remains unchanged, and it remains a competent sentence under the laws of Botswana,” Batshu added.
He said, Botswana is of the view that the death penalty is not a human rights violation, or a form of torture, but rather a matter of criminal justice.
“Like every country, we retain the sovereign right to independently decide our own criminal justice system, including the retention of the death penalty,” Batshu emphasised.