Death Penalty Database

Burkina Faso

Information current as of: April 6, 2012

General

Official Country Name

Burkina Faso. [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Western Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Abolitionist de facto. [3]

Methods of Execution

Shooting.
(firing squad). [4]

References

[1] ONU : Liste des Etats membres, http://www.un.org/fr/members/, dernière visite le 10 Mars 2012.
[2] ONU, Composition des régions macro géographiques (continentales), composantes géographiques des régions et composition de groupements sélectionnés économiques et d’autres groupements,http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49refin.htm, 20 Septembre 2011. Dernière visite le 10 Mars 2012
[3] Joël Zoundi, Peine de Mort au Burkina : A Mort!, FasoZine, http://www.fasozine.com/index.php/societe/societe/4744-peine-de-mort-au-burkina-a-mort, Oct. 12, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Penalty: Countries Abolitionist in Practice, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/countries-abolitionist-in-practice, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Burkina Faso, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=165, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 410, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[4] P. Pauline Yameogo, La peine de mort au Burkina Faso : Entre efficacité et volonté politique, Le Faso, http://www.lefaso.net/spip.php?article18492, Jan. 11, 2007. Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 15, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.

Country Details

Language(s)

French. [1]

Population

16,300,000. (2010). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

We believe that there are at least 2 people on death row, both sentenced for murder in 2011. [3] In addition, we know of at least 13 people who have been sentenced to death in their absence (“in absentia”) since 2005 (at least 2 in 2005, [4] at least 1 in 2006, [5] at least 1 in 2008, [6] at least 6 in 2009, [7] at least 1 in 2010, [8] at least 1 in 2011 [9] and 1 in 2013 [10] ). These individuals may not be currently imprisoned. No new death sentences were issued in 2014. [11]

(This question was last updated on October 7, 2015.)

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on December 6, 2017)

0. [12]

Executions in 2016

0. [13]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [14]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [15]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions

Executions in 2013

0. [16]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [17]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [18]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

0. [19]

Executions in 2009

0. [20]

Executions in 2008

0. [21]

Executions in 2007

0. [22]

Year of Last Known Execution

1988. [23]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2834.htm, Sep. 8, 2010.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2834.htm, Oct. 31, 2011.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012.
[4] P. Pauline Yameogo, La peine de mort au Burkina Faso : Entre efficacité et volonté politique, Le Faso, http://www.lefaso.net/spip.php?article18492, Jan. 11, 2007.
[5] Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, Un condamné à mort pour meurtre, http://www.abolition.fr/ecpm/french/news.php?new=665, Dec. 19, 2006.
[6] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 19, ACT 50/003/2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/003/2009/en, Mar. 24, 2009.
[7] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2010, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2010/en, Mar. 30, 2010.
[8] L'Observateur Paalga, Peine de mort : « Allons de la volonté politique au courage assumé », http://afriqueactu.net/11088/afrique/burkina-faso/peine-de-mort-allons-de-la-volonte-politique-au-courage-assume, Oct. 12, 2010.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[12] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[13] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[14] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, ACT 50/001/2012, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2012/en, Mar. 27, 2012.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[20] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, ACT 50/001/2010, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2010/en, Mar. 30, 2010.
[21] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, ACT 50/003/2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/003/2009/en, Mar. 24, 2009.
[22] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, ACT 50/001/2008, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/ACT50/001/2008/en, Apr. 15, 2008.
[23] Joël Zoundi, Peine de Mort au Burkina : A Mort !, FasoZine, http://www.fasozine.com/index.php/societe/societe/4744-peine-de-mort-au-burkina-a-mort, Oct. 12, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Penalty: Countries Abolitionist in Practice, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/countries-abolitionist-in-practice, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Burkina Faso, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=165, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 410, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Parricide, [1] poisoning, [2] murder committed in furtherance of cannibalism, occult practices, or commercial practices, [3] murder to further another crime [4] and premeditated murder (except when a mother kills her new-born child) [5] are punishable by death.

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Castration, [6] torture of a kidnapped person, [7] kidnapping of a juvenile, [8] aggravated theft, [9] destruction of military vehicles, buildings or facilities [10] and arson [11] , all when resulting in death, are punishable by death.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death. [12]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Aggravated theft causing bodily harm is punishable by death. [13]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
To torture a kidnapped person and cause her permanent bodily harm is punishable by death. [14]

Treason.
Treason during times of war, [15] as well as provoking or offering to commit treason during times of war, [16] are punishable by death.

Espionage.
Espionage during times of war, [17] as well as provoking or offering to commit espionage during times of war, [18] are punishable by death.

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A wide range of military offenses are punishable by death (including desertion, mutiny, disobedience, dereliction of duty, and others). [19]

War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Crimes against humanity and genocide, as defined under Articles 313 to 315 of the Penal Code, are punishable by death. [20]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
The following offenses are punishable by death:
-Attempting to commit a death-eligible crime. [21]
-Poisoning. [22]
-Abusing a child aged less than 15 years with the intent to cause death. [23]
-Assaulting an on-duty public official, judge or jury member, with the intent to cause death. [24]
-Use of torture or barbaric practices in order to commit a crime. [25]

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

No. Under Article 81 of the Penal Code, unless otherwise provided by law, if the Court finds mitigating circumstances, it will impose a sentence of life imprisonment. [26]

According to one local expert, however, courts routinely find no mitigating circumstances in capital prosecutions conducted in absentia. [27] As an expert on Burkina Faso observes, courts are unable to evaluate mitigating factors at sentencing for a person convicted and sentenced in absentia, so judges are sometimes obliged to pronounce death sentences. [28] The practical reality is that all death sentences pronounced since 2005 (that we are aware of) have been pronounced without a consideration of mitigating circumstances. [29] Because this flaw arises from in-absentia sentencing rather than a legal requirement that the defendant be punished by death, we do not consider this a mandatory death penalty.

Under Article 155 of the Code of Military Justice, penalties provided for military offenses are applied according to the principles enacted under civil criminal law. [30] Articles 157, 161 and 164 also indicate that the military tribunal may find mitigating circumstances and commute a death sentence to imprisonment. [31]

For Which Offenses, If Any, Is a Mandatory Death Sentence Imposed?

Burkina Faso has no mandatory death penalty. Under Article 81 of the Penal Code, unless otherwise provided by law, if the Court finds mitigating circumstances, a death sentence will be commuted to life imprisonment. [32] According to one local expert, however, courts routinely find no mitigating circumstances in capital prosecutions conducted in absentia.

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

No individual has been executed since 1988. [33]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Burkina Faso is party to the ICCPR [34] and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, [35] which prohibit the execution of individuals for crimes committed while under the age of 18.The maximum penalty for individuals who were below the age 18 at the time of the crime is 20 years imprisonment. [36]

Pregnant Women.
Under Article 19 of the Penal Code, a woman under the sentence of death can only be executed after the issue of a certificate of ‘non-pregnancy’. If she is pregnant, a woman cannot be executed before she has given birth. [37] Additionally, Burkina Faso is party to the ICCPR, [38] which prohibits the execution of pregnant women.

Women With Small Children.
Burkina Faso is party to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [39] which prohibits the imposition of a death sentence on mothers of infants and young children. [40] Burkina Faso has also ratified the Protocol on the Rights of Women to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, [41] which excludes nursing mothers from execution. [42]

Mentally Ill.
Under Article 73 of the Penal Code, acts committed by a person who was insane at the time cannot be considered as offenses. Confinement is the only possible penalty. [43]

References

[1] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 324, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[2] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 324, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[3] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 324, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[4] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 326, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[5] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 324, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[6] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 337, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[7] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 358, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[8] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 401, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[9] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, arts. 452-453, law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[10] Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, art. 197, Law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994.
[11] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 520, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[12] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, arts. 116, 534, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[13] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 453, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[14] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 358, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[15] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 89, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, arts.189-190, Law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994.
[16] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 92, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[17] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 91, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[18] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 92, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[19] Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, arts. 176-178, 185, 187, 194, 197, 198, 210, 214, 232, 237, 238, Law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994.
[20] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, arts. 313-315, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[21] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, arts. 60, 62, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[22] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 324, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[23] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 332, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[24] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, arts. 188, 184-185, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[25] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 325, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[26] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 81, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[27] Guillaume Colin, affiliated with the WCADP, External Questionnaire for DPW, DPW Doc. Burkina Faso External Questionnaire-1, Mar. 10, 2011.
[28] Guillaume Colin, affiliated with the WCADP, External Questionnaire for DPW, DPW Doc. Burkina Faso External Questionnaire-1, Mar. 10, 2011.
[29] Guillaume Colin, affiliated with the WCADP, External Questionnaire for DPW, DPW Doc. Burkina Faso External Questionnaire-1, Mar. 10, 2011.
[30] Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, art. 155, Law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994.
[31] Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, arts. 157, 161, 164, Law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994.
[32] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 81, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[33] Joël Zoundi, Peine de Mort au Burkina : A Mort !, FasoZine, http://www.fasozine.com/index.php/societe/societe/4744-peine-de-mort-au-burkina-a-mort, Oct. 12, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Penalty: Countries Abolitionist in Practice, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/countries-abolitionist-in-practice, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012. La Peine de Mort dans le Monde, La peine de mort – Burkina Faso, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=165, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 410, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[34] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[35] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, Nov. 20, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en#Participants, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[36] U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Burkina Faso, p. 22, para. 76, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/BFA/CO/3-4, Jan. 29, 2010. Penal Code of Burkina Faso, arts. 63, 74, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[37] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 19, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[38] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[39] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.A.U, List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to The African Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of The Child, Doc. 0003,http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/African%20Charter%20on%20the%20Rights%20and%20Welfare%20of%20the%20Child.pdf , Mar. 1, 2010.
[40] A.U, African Charter On The Rights And Welfare Of The Child, art. 30,e, A.U. Doc. CAB/LEG/24.9/49, Jul. 11, 1990.
[41] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.A.U, List of Countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/List/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf , last accessed Oct. 21, 2010.
[42] A.U., Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights on the Rights of Women In Africa, art. 4.2.j), http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/Treaties/Text/Protocol%20on%20the%20Rights%20of%20Women.pdf , Jul. 11, 2003.
[43] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 73, Law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

Jan. 4, 1999. [2]

Signed?

No. [3]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Recognizing Jurisdiction of the Human Rights Committee

Party?

Yes. [4]

Date of Accession

Jan. 4, 1999. [5]

Signed?

No. [6]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, Toward the Abolition of the Death Penalty

Party?

No. [7]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

No. [8]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

American Convention on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

Death Penalty Protocol to the ACHR

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR)

Party?

Yes. [9]

Date of Accession

Jul. 6, 1984. [10]

Signed?

Yes. [11]

Date of Signature

Yes. [12]

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Yes. [13]

Date of Accession

Jun. 9, 2006. [14]

Signed?

Yes. [15]

Date of Signature

Feb. 26, 2004. [16]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Yes. [17]

Date of Accession

Jun. 8, 1992. [18]

Signed?

Yes. [19]

Date of Signature

Feb. 27, 1992. [20]

Arab Charter on Human Rights

Party?

Not Applicable.

Date of Accession

Signed?

Not Applicable.

Date of Signature

2016 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [21]

Vote

In Favor. [22]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [23]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [24]

Vote

In Favor. [25]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [26]

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [27]

Vote

In Favor. [28]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [29]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [30]

Vote

In Favor. [31]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [32]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [33]

Vote

In Favor. [34]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [35]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [36]

Vote

In Favor. [37]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [38]

References

[1] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[2] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[3] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-4&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[4] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[5] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[6] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, 999 U.N.T.S. 171, Dec. 16, 1966, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-5&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[7] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[8] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Second Optional Prot. to the ICCPR, Aiming at the Abolition of the Death Penalty, 1642 U.N.T.S. 414, Dec. 15, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-12&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Feb. 7, 2012.
[9] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[10] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[11] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[12] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the African Charter of Human and People’s Rights, Doc. 0002, http://au.int/en/sites/default/files/African_Charter_on_Human_and_Peoples_Rights.pdf, Aug. 2, 2011.
[13] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[14] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[15] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[16] African Union, List of countries which have signed, ratified/acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Doc. 0025, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/999Rights_of_Women.pdf, Feb. 14, 2011.
[17] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[18] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[19] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[20] African Union, Signatories, Accessions, and Ratifications, African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, Doc. 0003, http://www.au.int/en/sites/default/files/96Welfare_of_the_Child.pdf, Jan. 27, 2011.
[21] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[22] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Promotion and protection of human rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 54-71 U.N. Doc. A/71/484/Add.2, Dec. 6, 2016.
[23] U.N.G.A., 71st Session, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[24] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 141, 144, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[25] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[26] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[27] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, paras. 95-96, U.N. Doc. A/67/457/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2012.
[28] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[29] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[30] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, includng alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, p. 5, U.N. Doc. A/65/456/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2010.
[31] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[32] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[33] U.N.G.A., 63rd session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/63/430/Add.2, Dec. 4, 2008.
[34] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc.A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[35] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[36] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: human rights questions, including alternative approaches for improving the effective enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms, U.N. Doc. A/62/439/Add.2, Dec. 5, 2007.
[37] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[38] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, Note Verbale dated 11 January 2008, U.N. Doc. A/62/658, Feb. 2, 2008.

Death Penalty In Law

Does the country’s constitution make reference to capital punishment?

Under Article 2 of the Constitution, the protection of life, safety, and physical integrity are guaranteed. [1] This ‘protection’ of life seems to be considered by Burkina Faso as a right to life, [2] implying that death penalty could be challenged as unconstitutional.

Does the country’s constitution make reference to international law?

Under Article 151 of the Constitution, treaties or agreements regularly ratified or approved have, from their publication, higher authority than laws. [3] Article 5 of the Penal Code provides for a similar principle. [4]

Under the Preamble to the Constitution, Burkina Faso subscribes“to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and to the international treaties concerning economic, political, social and cultural issues” and reaffirms its commitment vis-à-vis the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights. [5]

Have there been any significant changes in the application of the death penalty over the last several years?

Burkina Faso has an ambivalent stance towards the death penalty that is characteristic of an abolitionist de facto state. While there are indications that abolition might be implemented in the next few years, local activists affiliated with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty have reported that there is no political consensus on abolition, and that public support for the death penalty is one of the government’s concerns. [6]

Burkina Faso has carried out a total of two executions, in 1984 and 1988. [7] However, death sentences have been pronounced as recently as 2009 and 2010. [8]

In 2007, 2008 and 2010, Burkina Faso voted in favor of the U.N.G.A. Moratorium Resolutions. [9] In 2008, during its 2008 human rights review under the Universal Periodic Review process, Burkina Faso rejected recommendations that it abolish the death penalty and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR. [10] At that time, it expressed a preference for the more gradual recommendations that it consider the establishment of a de jure moratorium on the death penalty, adopt legislation aimed at ultimately abolishing death penalty, and consider steps to abolish the death penalty in all circumstances. [11]

However, there were subsequently a number of high level governmental statements in direct support of abolition. In March 2009, the government committed itself before the U.N. Human Rights Council to abolish the death penalty by 2013, when its next UPR is scheduled to take place. [12] President Compaoré declared in February 2010 that he opposes the death penalty, and in May 2010, the Minister of Justice mentioned during an international convention in Rome that Burkina Faso would soon abolish the death penalty. [13] In November 2010, during the 48th session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Government reiterated its commitment to abolish the death penalty and to ratify the Second Optional protocol to the ICCPR. [14]

As of February 2012, however, Burkina Faso had taken no concrete steps towards abolition.

Even though many NGOs and the Burkinabe authorities are in favor of abolition, it seems that due to rising crime levels most members of parliament still support the death penalty, and that few people in Burkina Faso are in favor of abolition. [15]

Is there currently an official moratorium on executions within the country?

No. The moratorium is a de facto one. [16]

Have there been any significant published cases concerning the death penalty in national courts?

By the conclusion of our research in February 2012, we could not find any significant case concerning the death penalty in Burkina Faso.

Where can one locate or access judicial decisions regarding the death penalty?

Some decisions of the Burkinabe courts can be accessed via the website of the Court of Cassation and JuriBurkina:

http://www.cour-cassation.gov.bf/SiteCour-Cassation/infos-utiles/arrets.jsp
http://www.juriburkina.org/juriburkina/

What is the clemency process?

Under Article 54 of the Constitution, the President exercises the right to grant clemency. [17] Clemency can take the form of a pardon or commutation. [18]

When a death sentence is final, the Public Prosecutor has the duty to transmit the decision to the Ministry of Justice. No execution may take place before clemency has been refused. [19]

The accused may file for clemency up to three times. [20]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

Civilian criminal cases are tried by the criminal section of the Court of Appeal, [21] where four-person juries are used [22] except when the accused is tried in absentia, in which case no jury is used. [23] Military criminal cases are tried by the Military Tribunal, where juries seem not to be used. [24]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Criminal cases are tried by the criminal section of the Court of Appeal [25] and the Military Tribunal. [26] Condemned people can appeal to the Court of Cassation, on questions of law only, [27] within five days following the judgment. [28] If the decision is overturned by the Court of Cassation, the accused will then be retried by the lower court (composed of different judges). [29]

Collateral review is also provided for by the Criminal Procedure Code. [30] There are four instances that can trigger review by the Court of Cassation. The accused may ask for review for three of them, the Minister of Justice for the fourth. [31] All four instances relate to providing new evidence that places the defendant’s guilt into question. [32] The Court of Cassation can decide that the accused has to be retried by the court that delivered the death sentence (again, composed of different judges) or it can simply annul the death sentence if it finds that the facts did not constitute any offense. [33]

References

[1] Constitution of Burkina Faso, art. 2, as amended through to Jan. 22, 2002.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (A) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Burkina Faso, p. 5, para. 5, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/3/BFA/1, Aug. 21, 2008.
[3] Constitution of Burkina Faso, art.151, as amended through to Jan. 22, 2002.
[4] Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 5, law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996.
[5] Constitution of Burkina Faso, Preamble, as amended through to Jan. 22, 2002.
[6] Guillaume Colin, affiliated with WCADP, DPW Doc. Burkina Faso E-1, Feb. 8, 2012.
[7] Caroline Sculier, Towards a Universal Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty, Strategies, Arguments and Perspectives, World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, p. 10, http://www.mediastroika.com/hosting/coalition/media/resourcecenter/wcadp-rapportmoratoire2010-fr.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[8] L'Observateur Paalga, Peine de mort : « Allons de la volonté politique au courage assumé », http://afriqueactu.net/11088/afrique/burkina-faso/peine-de-mort-allons-de-la-volonte-politique-au-courage-assume, Oct. 12, 2010.
[9] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc.A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007. U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc.A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008. U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[10] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Burkina Faso, pp. 7, 8-9, 9, 13, 15, 16, 20, paras. 38, 44, 49, 72, 78, 87, 99, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/80, Jan. 7, 2009.
[11] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Burkina Faso, p. 18, para. 98.9, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/80, Jan. 7, 2009.
[12] L'Observateur Paalga, Peine de mort : « Allons de la volonté politique au courage assumé », http://afriqueactu.net/11088/afrique/burkina-faso/peine-de-mort-allons-de-la-volonte-politique-au-courage-assume, Oct. 12, 2010.
[13] L'Observateur Paalga, Peine de mort : « Allons de la volonté politique au courage assumé », http://afriqueactu.net/11088/afrique/burkina-faso/peine-de-mort-allons-de-la-volonte-politique-au-courage-assume, Oct. 12, 2010. Caroline Sculier, Towards a Universal Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty, Strategies, Arguments and Perspectives, World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, p. 10, http://www.mediastroika.com/hosting/coalition/media/resourcecenter/wcadp-rapportmoratoire2010-fr.pdf, Feb. 2010. Amnesty Intl., Newsletter Peine de Mort, Edition trimestrielle no. 13, Oct. 7, 2010.
[14] Guillaume Colin, affiliated with the WCADP, External Questionnaire for DPW, DPW Doc. Burkina Faso External Questionnaire-1, Mar. 10, 2011.
[15] Caroline Sculier, Towards a Universal Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty, Strategies, Arguments and Perspectives, World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, pp. 10-11, http://www.mediastroika.com/hosting/coalition/media/resourcecenter/wcadp-rapportmoratoire2010-fr.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[16] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Burkina Faso, pp. 7, 18, paras. 39, 98.9, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/80, Jan. 7, 2009.
[17] Constitution of Burkina Faso, art. 54, as amended through to Jan. 22, 2002.
[18] Decree on Clemency, art. 2, Apr. 18, 1961. Elisabeth L. Kangambega, Droit Pénal Général, p. 313, Collection Précis de droit burkinabè, Université de Ouagadougou, 2007.
[19] Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, art. 684, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968. Penal Code of Burkina Faso, art. 17, law No. 043/96/ADP, Nov. 13, 1996. Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, art. 144, law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994.
[20] Decree on Clemency, art. 3, Apr. 18, 1961. P. Pauline Yameogo, La peine de mort au Burkina Faso : Entre efficacité et volonté politique, Le Faso, http://www.lefaso.net/spip.php?article18492, Jan. 11, 2007. Elisabeth L. Kangambega, Droit Pénal Général, p. 312, Collection Précis de droit burkinabè, Université de Ouagadougou, 2007.
[21] Law on the Organization of the Judiciary, arts. 10-12, Law No. 010/93/ADP, May 17, 1993.
[22] Law on Criminal Court Procedure, art. 5, No. 51-93 ADP, Dec. 16, 1993.
[23] Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, art. 621, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968.
[24] Bachirou Nana, Tribunal militaire de Ouagadougou délocalisé au RSP : Deux dossiers d’homicide en jugement, Le Faso, http://www.lefaso.net/spip.php?article39075&rubrique4, Oct. 21, 2010.
[25] Law on the Organization of the Judiciary, arts. 11-12, Law No. 010/93/ADP, May 17, 1993.
[26] Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, arts.34-46, law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994.
[27] Law of Burkina Faso Law of Burkina Faso on the Organization, Powers and Operation of the Cassation Court and Its Procedure, art. 11, No. 013-2000/AN, May 9, 2000. Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, arts. 1, 143, Law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994. Amnesty Intl., West Africa: Time to abolish the death penalty, p. 6, AFR 05/003/2003, Oct. 9, 2003. Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, art. 567, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968. The Penal Procedure Code here applies to the military courts (Code of Military Justice of Burkina Faso, art. 50, law No. 24-94 ADP, May 24, 1994.)
[28] Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, art. 575, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968. P. Pauline Yameogo, La peine de mort au Burkina Faso : Entre efficacité et volonté politique, Le Faso, http://www.lefaso.net/spip.php?article18492, Jan. 11, 2007.
[29] Law of Burkina Faso on the Organization, Powers and Operation of the Cassation Court and Its Procedure, art. 18, Law No. 013-2000/AN, May 9, 2000. Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, art. 605, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968.
[30] Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, arts. 616 and following, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968.
[31] Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, art. 617, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968.
[32] Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, art. 616, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968.
[33] Penal Procedure Code of Burkina Faso, art. 619, Ordinance No. 68-7, Feb. 21, 1968.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

When there are death-sentenced prisoners, they are not incarcerated with other inmates but in separate cells. [1]

As of February 2011, we were not able to ascertain whether anyone was currently on death row.

Description of Prison Conditions

Under a 1988 law, those sentenced to death benefit from some ‘privileges’, such as the exemption from labor or the ability to “smoke, read and write without restriction.” [2] But according to a 2010 report, although “Burkinabe legislation stipulates that those sentenced to death should be treated humanely (...) such legal guarantees are rarely complied with in practice due to lack of resources.” [3]

In their 2008 submission to the U.N. Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, FIACAT and ACAT mentioned a lack of food and adequate hygiene as major contributors to the poor health of all prisoners. “Prisoners do not have access to medical care because of a shortage of qualified staff and basic first aid provisions.” [4] They also noted that “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and torture still occur frequently in detention centres and prisons” and that “Burkina Faso runs thirteen prisons and correction centres(…) with deplorable living conditions.” [5]

Prisons are also reported to be overcrowded, with inadequate food. [6] In some places of detention, children are detained together with adults. [7]

Are there any known foreign nationals currently under sentence of death?

As of February 2012, we could not find any reports of foreign nationals currently under sentence of death in Burkina Faso.

What are the nationalities of the known foreign nationals on death row?

As of February 2012, we could not find any reports of foreign nationals currently under sentence of death in Burkina Faso.

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

As of February 2012, we could not find any reports of women currently under sentence of death in Burkina Faso.

Are there any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed?

As of February 2012, we could not find any reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed.

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

As of February 2012, we could not find any reports regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row.

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Under Burkinabe law, defendants facing capital murder trials are provided a state-appointed lawyer. [8] According to the U.S. Department of State, this right is seldom respected. [9]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

Under Burkinabe law, defendants facing capital murder trials are provided a state-appointed lawyer during all stages of the procedure. [10] According to the U.S. Department of State, this right is seldom respected. [11]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

At the end of 2007, Burkina Faso had 127 lawyers, [12] for a population of 16.3 million (2010). [13] Lawyers do not have access to their clients during pre-trial investigations. [14]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

In an August 2008 report to the Human Rights Council, Burkina Faso acknowledged that “despite the efforts and progress made with regard to access to justice, constraints remain. The problems include a public that is inadequately informed about judicial procedures; inadequate geographical coverage by the courts; inadequate material resources and the poor state of the infrastructure, which handicap the efficient operation of judicial services; lack of qualified personnel; legislative shortcomings; and a public crisis of confidence in the justice system”. [15]

At the end of 2007, Burkina Faso had 338 magistrates and 127 lawyers [16] for a population of 16.3 million (2010). [17]

The U.S. Department of State has described the judiciary as “corrupt, inefficient, and subject to executive influence.” It added that “[o]ther systemic weaknesses in the justice system included the removability of judges, corruption of magistrates, outdated legal codes, an insufficient number of courts, a lack of financial and human resources, and excessive legal costs.” [18]

According to ACAT and FIACAT, the police do not get proper training on Human Rights and the judges are not aware of Burkina Faso’s international obligations regarding Human Rights. This often results in the torture or ill-treatment of detainees. [19]

In March 2008, approximately 80 people were sentenced to prison terms without having access to a lawyer, following the violent and destructive demonstrations against rising living costs in February 2008. [20]

References

[1] Guillaume Colin, Programme Officer, FIACAT, email to DPW, Mar. 10, 2011.
[2] Law of Burkina Faso on the Organization, regime and regulation of penitentiary institutions, art. 33, Kiti an VI 103, Dec. 1, 1988.
[3] Caroline Sculier, Towards a Universal Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty, Strategies, Arguments and Perspectives, World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, p. 10, http://www.mediastroika.com/hosting/coalition/media/resourcecenter/wcadp-rapportmoratoire2010-fr.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council,Summary Prepared By The Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (C) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Burkina Faso, p. 3, para. 10, U.N. Doc.A/HRC/WG.6/3/BFA/3, Sep. 15, 2008.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council,Summary Prepared By The Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (C) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Burkina Faso, p. 3, para. 9, U.N. Doc.A/HRC/WG.6/3/BFA/3, Sep. 15, 2008.
[6] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154333.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[7] U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child Committee on the Rights of the Child, Consideration of reports submitted by States parties under article 44 of the Convention, Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child: Burkina Faso, p. 9, para. 38, U.N. Doc. CRC/C/BFA/CO/3-4, Jan. 29, 2010.
[8] Law on the Organization of the Judiciary, art. 13, Law No. 010/93/ADP, May 17, 1993. Decree on the Organization of Legal Aid, art. 19, Decree No. 2009-558/PRES/PM/MJ/MEF/MATD, Jul. 22, 2009. Law on Criminal Court Procedure, art. 28, Law No. 51-93 ADP, Dec. 16, 1993.
[9] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154333.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[10] Law on the Organization of the Judiciary, art. 13, Law No. 010/93/ADP, May 17, 1993. Decree on the Organization of Legal Aid, art. 7, Decree No. 2009-558/PRES/PM/MJ/MEF/MATD, Jul. 22, 2009.
[11] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154333.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.
[12] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (A) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Burkina Faso, p. 10, para. 41, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/3/BFA/1, Aug. 21, 2008.
[13] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2834.htm, Oct. 31, 2011.U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2834.htm, Sep. 8, 2010.
[14] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Examen Périodique Universel, Exposé écrit par Fédération Internationale de l’ACAT (Action des Chrétiens pour l'Abolition de la Torture-FIACAT), organisation non gouvernementale dotée du statut consultatif spécial, p. 2, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/NGO/53, Feb. 25, 2009.
[15] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (A) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Burkina Faso, p. 20, para. 96, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/3/BFA/1, Aug. 21, 2008.
[16] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, National Report Submitted In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (A) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Burkina Faso, p. 10, para. 41, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/3/BFA/1, Aug. 21, 2008.
[17] U.S. Dept. of State, Background Note: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2834.htm, Oct. 31, 2011.
[18] U.S. Dept. of State, 2010 Human Rights Report: Burkina Faso, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2010/af/154333.htm, Apr. 8, 2011.. See also, regarding the independence of the judiciary: U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Summary Prepared By The Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, In Accordance With Paragraph 15 (C) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Burkina Faso, p. 5, para. 19, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/3/BFA/3, Sep. 15, 2008.
[19] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Examen Périodique Universel, Exposé écrit par Fédération Internationale de l’ACAT (Action des Chrétiens pour l'Abolition de la Torture-FIACAT), organisation non gouvernementale dotée du statut consultatif spécial, p. 3, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/NGO/53, Feb. 25, 2009.
[20] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Burkina Faso, Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/burkina-faso/report-2009, last accessed Feb. 13, 2012.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

Burkina Faso was to have submitted its periodic report under the ICCPR in April 2000 but as of February 2012 no report had been submitted. [1]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

The last review of Burkina Faso through the U.N. Universal Periodic Review process took place in 2008. During this review, Burkina Faso’s position on the death penalty and abolition appeared inconsistent. While it voted in favor of the U.N.G.A. Moratorium Resolutions in 2007 [2] and 2008 [3] (and in 2010), [4] Burkina Faso did not support the UPR recommendations [5] that it abolish the death penalty and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR. [6] However, it supported recommendations to consider the establishment of a de jure moratorium on death penalty with a view to abolishing capital punishment in national legislation; adopt legislation aimed at ultimately abolishing death penalty; and consider steps to abolish the death penalty in all circumstances. [7] As of February 2012, however, Burkina Faso had taken none of these concrete steps towards abolition.

At the 10th session of the Human Rights Council in March 2009, Burkina Faso delegates responded to the recommendation that it abolish the death penalty [8] and ratify the Second Optional Protocol of the ICCPR by acknowledging the "necessity" of abolition, and recalling that it was a de facto abolitionist state. It went on, however to emphasize the preexisting need to raise awareness among elected representatives in order to ensure that an abolition bill would be adopted, thus implying that abolition was not a short-term objective. [9] Burkina Faso also supported the recommendation that it take all steps to improve prisoners’ conditions, improve detention facilities and overall detention conditions, including by means of training law enforcement officials in human rights.

References

[1] U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Burkina Faso, Reporting status, http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/NewhvVAllSPRByCountry?OpenView&Start=1&Count=250&Expand=27.2#27.2, last accessed Feb. 13, 2012.
[2] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc.A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[3] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc.A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[4] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Burkina Faso, p. 20, para. 99, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/80, Jan. 7, 2009.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Burkina Faso, p. 7, para. 38, pp. 8-9, para. 44, p. 9, para. 49, p. 13, para. 72, p. 15, para. 78, p. 16, para. 87, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/80, Jan. 7, 2009.
[7] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Burkina Faso, p. 18, para. 98.9, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/80, Jan. 7, 2009.
[8] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Burkina Faso, p. 21, para. 101, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/10/80, Jan. 7, 2009.
[9] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Live Webcast, Tenth Session, 30th Plenary Meeting, Consideration of the Outcome on Burkina Faso, H.E. Mrs. Salamata Sawadogo, Minister for the Promotion of Human Rights, Time : 3:16 to 3:49, http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/archive.asp?go=090319, Mar. 19, 2009.

Additional Sources and Contacts

Direct member(s) of World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

None.

Other non-governmental organizations and individuals engaged in advocacy surrounding the death penalty

None.

Helpful Reports and Publications

None.

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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