New panel code minimising use of death penalty prepared
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Justice has drafted a new penal code that would reduce the use of the death penalty if approved by the parliament and the president, the minister said on Sunday.
Justice Minister Abdul Basir Anwar told a press conference in Kabul, the penal code had been prepared by a team of Afghan and international law experts as a result of untiring efforts.
The experts included representatives of the Supreme Court, interior, women’s affairs ministries, the Attorney General’s office, the spy service, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, Independent Union of Defence Lawyers, civil society groups and other relevant local and foreign organizations.
The justice minister said the draft took three years to be prepared. Anwar said judicial organs faced challenges in investigating crimes due to a lack of legislation and the penal code needed a review after the emergence of new crimes.
He said the current penal code was 40 years old but there were other laws which had been approved covering all criminal acts.
Advisor to Justice Ministry and Afghanistan Penal Code Review group head Mohammad Ashraf Rasooli said unfortunately the current penal code lacked internationally accepted approach and principles and needed a review.
“In the new draft, it has been tried to adopt strictness against crimes that means most crimes are punished.”
He said the proposed measure minimised the use of capital punishment and recommended 30 years in jail as lifetime imprisonment.
The advisor said death penalty was considered in exceptional cases and would be awarded when many people demanded so.
The draft penal code will be presented to the Cabinet for assessment before landing in parliament for approval.
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