Global Abolition of Death Penalty Continues in Kazakhstan


The Republic of Kazakhstan formally abolished the death penalty on Saturday, when President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev signed a bill ratifying the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, an international treaty that commits signatory nations to abolish capital punishment.

Kazakhstan signed the Second Optional Protocol on September 23, 2020, “[t]o fulfill a fundamental right to life and human dignity,” President Tokayev said. It was the 88th nation to become a signatory or party to the Second Optional Protocol.

More than two-thirds of the countries in the world have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice, according to Amnesty International’s latest Global Report on Death Sentences and Executions.

Executions across the globe fell 5% worldwide in 2019 to “one of the lowest figures that Amnesty International has recorded in any given year since it began its monitoring of the use of the death penalty in 1979.” (The organization’s execution total does not include the estimated thousands of executions in China, which characterizes execution data as a state secret.)

The imposition of new death sentences in 2019 also declined substantially.

Kazakhstan suspended all executions in December 2003, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. It has one person currently under a death sentence, who will be resentenced to life imprisonment.