Death Penalty Database

Central African Republic

Information current as of: May 28, 2015

General

Official Country Name

Central African Republic (CAR, Centrafrique, République centrafricaine). [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Middle Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Abolitionist de facto. The last known execution took place in 1981. [3]

Methods of Execution

Shooting.
Executions are carried out by firing squad. [4] The body of the executed prisoner may be released to the family at the family’s request. [5]

The last known executions were carried out in 1981 by firing squad. [6]

References

[1] UN Data, Central African Republic Profile, https://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Central%20African%20Republic, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[2] U.N., Composition of macro geographical (continental) regions, geographical sub-regions, and selected economic and other groupings, http://unstats.un.org/unsd/methods/m49/m49regin.htm, Oct. 31, 2013.
[3] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on its twelfth session, para. 216, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/50, Feb. 25, 2010. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, République centrafricaine, http://www.abolition.fr/node/353, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015. La peine de mort dans le monde, La peine de mort – Centrafrique, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=39, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[4] Penal Code of CAR, art. 26, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010. Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 117, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[5] Penal Code of CAR, art. 26, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010. Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 117, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[6] La peine de mort dans le monde, La peine de mort – Centrafrique, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=39, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.

Country Details

Language(s)

French (official), Sangho (lingua franca and national language), tribal languages. [1]

Population

4,525,000 (U.N., 2012 est.). [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

Theoretically, around 14.

Amnesty International reported 14 new death sentences in 2010. [3] We found no reports of executions or commutations, but some of these sentences may have been overturned on appeal. There were no new death sentences in 2011 [4] or 2012, [5] and following the start of the Seleka rebellion in December 2012, the criminal justice system has been “incapacitated.” [6]

The Seleka rebels are reported to have emptied prisons as they moved across the country towards the capital, Bangui, [7] and there have been several mass escapes from Bangui’s central prison since 2013. [8] We do not know whether any death-sentenced prisoners were freed or escaped, nor whether any of them are still imprisoned.

Annual Number of Reported Executions

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

0. [9]

Executions in 2016

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [12]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions

Executions in 2013

0. [13]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [14]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [15]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

0. [16]

Executions in 2009

0. [17]

Executions in 2008

0. [18]

Executions in 2007

0. [19]

Year of Last Known Execution

1981. [20]

In January 1981, 6 people convicted of murder were executed by firing squad. [21]

References

[1] Constitution of the Central African Republic, art. 18, Dec. 27, 2004, as amended by Constitutional Act No. 10.005 of May 11, 2010. World Factbook, Central African Republic, https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ct.html, Jun. 22, 2014.
[2] UN Data, Central African Republic Profile, https://data.un.org/CountryProfile.aspx?crName=Central%20African%20Republic, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[3] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[4] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186178.htm, May 24, 2012.
[5] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[6] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.
[7] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[8] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, p. 74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.
[9] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[10] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[11] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[15] 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.
[16] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[17] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, pp. 22-23, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, pp. 18-20, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[19] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.
[20] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on its twelfth session, para. 216, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/50, Feb. 25, 2010. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, République centrafricaine, http://www.abolition.fr/node/353, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015. La peine de mort dans le monde, La peine de mort – Centrafrique, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=39, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[21] La peine de mort dans le monde, La peine de mort – Centrafrique, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=39, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Murder committed by poisoning, [1] murder committed with the aim of cannibalism, [2] and parricide (defined as the murder of a natural or adoptive parent or any other ascendant) [3] are punishable by death.

Murder.
Premeditated murder is punishable by death. [4]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
The following offenses are punishable by death if they result in death, even if there was no intent to kill: repeated assault on or negligence of a child younger than 15 years old, [5] arrest or abduction under the false pretense of being a public official, [6] rape, [7] and castration. [8]

The murder section of the Penal Code also provides that committing a felony in order to prepare, facilitate or enable escape for another offense is punishable by death. [9] We interpret this provision as limited to felonies committed to further an offense defined in the section on murder.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
The sabotage of any means of transportation [10] and the destruction of machines, buildings, roads, bridges or other structures [11] are punishable by death if they result in death.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
The sabotage of any means of transportation used by people, [12] the use of an explosive device with a criminal intent [13] and the sabotage or attempted sabotage of strategic equipment [14] are punishable by death.

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Rape, if preceded, accompanied or followed by abduction or torture, is punishable by death. [15]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Armed robbery is punishable by death. [16]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Unlawfully arresting or abducting a person under the false pretense of being a public official is punishable by death if it involves the use of torture. [17] Kidnapping involving rape [18] is also punishable by death.

Treason.
Treason is punishable by death, [19] as is provoking a person to commit treason, [20] offering to commit treason, [21] or failing to denounce a plan involving treason or espionage. [22]

Espionage.
Espionage is punishable by death, [23] as is provoking a person to commit espionage [24] offering to commit espionage, [25] or failing to denounce a plan involving treason or espionage. [26]

War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity are punishable by death. [27]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
The following offenses are punishable by death:
- Making a false accusation leading to a person being sentenced to death. [28]
- Using torture in connection with another crime. [29]
- Assaulting a member of government or parliament, a judge or a police officer with the intent to kill. [30]
- Attempting a death-eligible crime, [31] including attempting murder by poisoning [32] or attempting the sabotage of strategic equipment. [33]
- Repeat offense: Anyone convicted of a felony and sentenced to forced labor, and who within ten years of his release, commits a second offense and is sentenced to forced labor for life, shall be sentenced to death. [34]

Comments.
In March 2017, CAR passed a new Code of Military Justice that effectively abolished the death penalty for military crimes.

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

No. Under Article 50 of the Penal Code, the death penalty can be commuted to forced labour if the court finds mitigating circumstances, except where this is expressly excluded by law. [35] Our review of the law did not identify any provisions that specify that Article 50 does not apply.

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

There is no mandatory death penalty.

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

No individual has been executed since 1981. [36]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
The Central African Republic is party to the ICCPR [37] and to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, [38] which prohibit the execution of individuals for crimes committed while under the age of 18. Article 9 of the Penal Code, which allows broad discretion in sentencing for children between 14 and 18, does not expressly exclude the death penalty from the range of punishments available. [39] We have found no reports, however, that juveniles have been sentenced or executed in the Central African Republic.

Pregnant Women.
Under article 26 of the Penal Code, the execution of a pregnant woman is postponed until 3 years after she has given birth. [40] This conforms with the state’s obligations as party to the ICCPR, [41] which prohibits the execution of pregnant women.

Women With Small Children.
While women with small children at the time of the offense or sentencing are not excluded by law from capital punishment, if a woman is pregnant at the time of sentence or execution, her execution is postponed until 3 years after she has given birth. [42]

Mentally Ill.
Article 8 of the Penal Code states that the offender is not held criminally liable where the acts were committed under the influence of a mental or neuropsychological disorder which has prevented him from recognizing or controlling his actions (“commis sous l’empire d’un trouble psychique ou neuropsychique ayant aboli le discernement ou le contrôle des actes”). [43] We found no laws prohibiting the execution of prisoners who become mentally ill following the offense and suffer from mental illness at the time of the execution.

References

[1] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 57, 58, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[2] Penal Code of CAR, art. 59, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[3] Penal Code of CAR, art. 58, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[4] Penal Code of CAR Code, arts. 53, 58, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[5] Penal Code of CAR Code, art. 74, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[6] Penal Code of CAR, art. 101, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[7] Penal Code of CAR, art. 88, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[8] Penal Code of CAR, art. 77, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[9] Penal Code of CAR, art. 62, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[10] Penal Code of CAR Code, arts. 414-415, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[11] Penal Code of CAR, art. 420, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[12] Penal Code of CAR, art. 414, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[13] Penal Code of CAR, art. 415, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[14] Penal Code of CAR, art. 433, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[15] Penal Code of CAR, art. 88, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[16] Penal Code of CAR, art. 167, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[17] Penal Code of CAR, art. 101, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[18] Penal Code of CAR, art. 88, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[19] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 266, 267, 272-276, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[20] Penal Code of CAR, art. 270, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[21] Penal Code of CAR, art. 270, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[22] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 280-281, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[23] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 270-275, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[24] Penal Code of CAR, art. 270, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[25] Penal Code of CAR, art. 270, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[26] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 280-281, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[27] Penal Code of CAR, art. 158, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[28] Penal Code of CAR, art. 131, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[29] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 58, 61, 120, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[30] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 135-137, 144, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[31] Penal Code of CAR, art. 3, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[32] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 57, 58, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[33] Penal Code of CAR, art. 433, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[34] Penal Code of CAR, arts. 17, 41, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[35] Penal Code of CAR, art. 50, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[36] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on its twelfth session, para. 216, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/50, Feb. 25, 2010. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, République centrafricaine, http://www.abolition.fr/node/353, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015. La peine de mort dans le monde, La peine de mort – Centrafrique, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=39, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[37] 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 Mar. 30, 2015.
[38] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=UNTSONLINE&tabid=2&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en#Participants, last accessed Mar. 30, 2015.
[39] Penal Code of CAR, art. 9, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[40] Penal Code of CAR, art. 26, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[41] 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 Mar. 30, 2015.
[42] Penal Code of CAR, art. 26, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[43] Penal Code of CAR, art. 8, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

May 8, 1981. [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

May 8, 1981. [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

April 26, 1986. [10]

Signed?

Yes. [11]

Date of Signature

February 4, 2003. [12]

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

No. [13]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

Yes. [14]

Date of Signature

June 17, 2008. [15]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

No. [16]

Date of Accession

Not Applicable.

Signed?

Yes. [17]

Date of Signature

February 4, 2003. [18]

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. [19]

Vote

In Favor. [20]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No.

2014 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]

2012 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]

2010 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [27]

Vote

Abstained. [28]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [29]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [30]

Vote

Abstained. [31]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [32]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [33]

Vote

Abstained. [34]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

Yes. [35]

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, Mar. 25, 2015.
[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, Mar. 25, 2015.
[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, Mar. 25, 2015
[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, Mar. 25, 2015.
[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, Mar. 25, 2015.
[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, Mar. 25, 2015.
[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, Mar. 25, 2015.
[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, Mar. 25, 2015.
[9] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[10] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[11] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[12] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[13] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[14] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[15] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[16] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[17] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[18] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/child/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[19] 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.
[20] 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.
[21] 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, para. 141, U.N. Doc. A/69/488/Add.2, Dec. 8, 2014.
[22] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, 73rd Plenary Meeting, pp. 17-18, U.N. Doc. A/69/PV.73, Dec. 18, 2014.
[23] U.N.G.A., 69th Session, Note Verbale dated 28 July 2015, U.N. Doc. A/69/993, Jul. 29, 2015.
[24] 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.
[25] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[26] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, Note Verbale dated 16 April 2013, U.N. Doc. A/67/841, Apr. 23, 2013.
[27] 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.
[28] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010.
[29] U.N.G.A., 65th Session, Note Verbale dated 11 March 2011, U.N. Doc. A/65/779, Mar. 11, 2011.
[30] 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.
[31] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, 70th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/63/PV.70, Dec. 18, 2008.
[32] U.N.G.A., 63rd Session, Note Verbale dated 10 February 2009, U.N. Doc. A/63/716, Feb. 12, 2009.
[33] 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.
[34] U.N.G.A., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16- 17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[35] 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?

The 2004 Constitution does not make direct reference to the death penalty. Under Article 1, the human person is “sacred and inviolable” and state authorities have an “absolute obligation to respect and protect it.” Article 3 guarantees the right to life and to physical integrity. This right cannot be infringed upon without due process of law, implying that a limited application of capital punishment could be constitutional. [1]

In July 2013, following the coup d’état led by the Seleka rebel alliance, the 2004 Constitution was suspended in favor of a transitional Constitutional Charter. Article 1 of the Constitutional Charter protects the “sacred and inviolable” nature of the human person, in the same terms as the 2004 Constitution. Article 3 of the Charter guarantees “the right to life and to bodily integrity,” stating that “these rights may not be violated.” Article 3 also prohibits “torture,…and cruel, inhuman, degrading or humiliating treatment,” adding that any person, state agent or organization that commits such acts “shall be punished according to law.” [2]

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

Under Article 72 of the 2004 Constitution, properly ratified treaties take precedence over legislation. [3] The Central African Republic being a party to the ICCPR [4] and the ACHPR, [5] those treaties’ death penalty provisions are directly binding on national courts. Moreover, the Constitution’s preamble “reaffirms” the country’s commitment to “all duly ratified international conventions,” specifically citing the ICCPR and the ACHPR. [6]

In July 2013, following the coup d’état led by the Seleka rebel alliance, the 2004 Constitution was suspended in favour of a transitional Constitutional Charter. The Constitutional Charter reproduces all the provisions cited above from the 2004 Constitution. [7]

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

Before the profound crisis triggered by the Seleka rebellion and coup, the Central African Republic seemed to be making slow but clear progress towards the abolition of capital punishment. No executions had been carried out since 1981, [8] the number of death-eligible crimes decreased when a new penal code was drafted in 2010 (death was eliminated, for instance, for offenses against public property [9] and for witchcraft [10] ), and courts were handing down fewer death sentences – 14 in 2010, [11] none in 2011 [12] or 2012. [13] In October 2011, the Minister of Justice, Firmin Feindiro, indicated his willingness to consider abolition during a regional conference on the death penalty that challenged the idea that abolition should be dictated by public opinion. [14] In late 2012, for the first time, the CAR voted in favor of the UN General Assembly’s Resolution to impose a global moratorium on the use of the death penalty, joining the majority of the world’s states. [15]

Following the start of the Seleka offensive in December 2012, there has been a collapse of state authority, including the judicial sector, and as of July 2014, the state judicial system was “virtually non-existent,” especially outside of Bangui. [16] Nevertheless, on the international stage, the CAR appears to be pursuing its shift towards abolition. At its most recent Universal Periodic Review before the UN Human Rights Council in 2013, the CAR accepted, for the first time, recommendations that it abolish the death penalty. [17] This position contrasted with its rejection of similar recommendation at its previous UPR in 2009, when the CAR delegation stated that abolition was still under discussion given that it was widely supported by the population in light of high crime rates. [18] Moreover, at the UN General Assembly’s 2014 vote on a global moratorium on capital punishment, the CAR again voted in favor. [19] In March 2017, CAR passed a new Code of Military Justice that effectively abolished the death penalty for military crimes.

The positions taken by the CAR before these international bodies form a striking contrast with the grievous and widespread violations of human rights committed by both sides with complete impunity since the beginning of the civil conflict. Fact-finding investigations by human rights organizations have found evidence of summary executions, torture, rape and pillage committed, according to the Prosecutor of Bangui, on a daily basis. [20]

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

There is no official moratorium and we found no evidence of an informal moratorium on executions within the country.

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

We could not locate any published cases on the death penalty in national courts.

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

By the conclusion of our research we did not locate any sources for judicial decisions from national courts. Searches in the WorldLII and JURICAF databases came up empty.

We note that under Article 25 of the Penal Code, any court judgment imposing death must be published in the press and posted in the cities where the death sentence was pronounced, where the offence was perpetrated and where the accused is domiciled. [21]

What is the clemency process?

Under Article 22 of the 2004 Constitution, it is the President’s prerogative to grant pardons and commute sentences. [22] Neither a pardon nor a commutation may be granted for genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes. [23]

In July 2013, following the coup d’état led by the Seleka rebel alliance, the 2004 Constitution was suspended in favor of a transitional Constitutional Charter. Under the Constitutional Charter, the transitional head of state has the prerogative to grant pardons and commutations. [24]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

Yes. Criminal courts, which have jurisdiction over capital cases, [25] are composed of 3 professional judges and 3 jury members drawn by lot. [26]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Capital cases are tried before the Criminal Court composed of 3 judges and 6 jury members, [27] and appealed to the Criminal Chamber of the Court of Cassation (which rules only on matters of law, remanding cases for retrial in cases of error). [28] There is no appeal from rulings of the Court of Cassation. [29]

References

[1] Constitution of the Central African Republic, arts. 1, 3, Dec. 27, 2004, as amended by Constitutional Act No. 10.005 of May 11, 2010.
[2] Constitutional Charter of the Central African Republic, art. 3, Law No. 13.001, Jul. 18, 2013.
[3] Constitution of the Central African Republic, art. 72, Dec. 27, 2004, as amended by Constitutional Act No. 10.005 of May 11, 2010.
[4] 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, Mar. 25, 2015.
[5] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[6] Constitution of the Central African Republic, Preamble, Dec. 27, 2004, as amended by Constitutional Act No. 10.005 of May 11, 2010.
[7] Constitutional Charter of the Central African Republic, Preamble, art. 97, Law No. 13.001, Jul. 18, 2013.
[8] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on its twelfth session, para. 216, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/50, Feb. 25, 2010. Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort, République centrafricaine, http://www.abolition.fr/node/353, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015. La peine de mort dans le monde, La peine de mort – Centrafrique, http://www.peinedemort.org/National/pays.php?pays=39, last accessed Mar. 25, 2015.
[9] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Second Periodic Report, Central African Republic, para. 218, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CAF/2004/2, Sep. 21, 2005.
[10] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum: Follow-up to the report on the mission to the Central African Republic, p. 10, para. 36, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.5, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4c0767092.html19, May 19, 2010.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[12] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186178.htm, May 24, 2012.
[13] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 47, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012.
[15] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012.
[16] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, pp. 72-74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014. U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[17] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Central African Republic, para. 105, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/17/L.9, Oct. 29, 2013.
[18] U.N. Human Rights Council, Live webcast, Twelfth Session, 14th Plenary Meeting, Consideration of the Outcome on Central African Republic, Comments and Answers by Central African Republic, Timer : 1 :12 to 2 :10, http://www.un.org/webcast/unhrc/archive.asp?go=090923, Sep. 23, 2009. U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on its twelfth session, para. 216, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/50, Feb. 25, 2010.
[19] Aurélie Plaçais, affilitated with World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Email to DPW, Jan. 27, 2015.
[20] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, pp. 72-74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.
[21] Penal Code of CAR, art. 25, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[22] Constitution of the Central African Republic, art. 22, Dec. 27, 2004, as amended by Constitutional Act No. 10.005 of May 11, 2010.
[23] Penal Code of CAR, art. 162, Law No. 10.001, Jan. 6, 2010.
[24] Constitutional Charter of the Central African Republic, art. 28, Law No. 13.001, Jul. 18, 2013.
[25] Code of Criminal Procedure of CAR, art. 219, Law No.10.002, Jan. 6, 2010.
[26] Code of Criminal Procedure of CAR, art. 210, Law No.10.002, Jan. 6, 2010.
[27] Code of Criminal Procedure of CAR, arts. 210, 219, Law No.10.002, Jan. 6, 2010. U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Second Periodic Report, Central African Republic, para. 176, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CAF/2004/2, Sep. 21, 2005.
[28] Constitution of the Central African Republic, art. 82, Dec. 27, 2004, as amended by Constitutional Act No. 10.005 of May 11, 2010. Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 118, Amnesty Intl. Publications, 1989.
[29] Constitution of the Central African Republic, art. 84, Dec. 27, 2004, as amended by Constitutional Act No. 10.005 of May 11, 2010.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Prior to the coup led by the Seleka forces, media reports indicated that one foreign national charged with a death-eligible offense (and later released after the charges were dropped) was held at Ngaragba Prison in the capital, Bangui. [1] It is possible that death-sentenced inmates were detained in Ngaragba prison’s separate maximum security wing. [2] The country’s main women’s prison is Bimbo Central Prison in Bangui, [3] and women sentenced to death may have been detained there. It is possible that death-sentenced prisoners were also held in prisons outside the capital. Individuals detained in relation to national security offenses were reportedly detained separately from other prisoners and held without charge indefinitely. [4]

It is not clear, however, whether prisons still hold death-sentenced inmates. The Seleka rebels are reported to have emptied prisons as they moved across the country towards the capital, Bangui. [5] The Seleka forces replaced the freed prisoners with their own, and also detained people outside of prisons, in homes, military camps, and government facilities. [6] In January 2014, an attack by an anti-Balaka militia (Christian and animist militias engaged in fighting the Seleka) led to the escape of all the prisoners held in Ngaragba Prison. [7] Several more mass escapes followed. [8] We do not know whether any death-sentenced prisoners were freed or escaped, nor where they may currently be detained.

Description of Prison Conditions

Before the Seleka rebellion, prison conditions in general were reported to be very harsh and life threatening. [9] Prison buildings are old and dilapidated. Ngaragba, the men’s prison in the capital, Bangui, was built in 1947. Cells are devoid of any furniture. [10] Many prisoners sleep directly on the floor on bare concrete. [11] Prisoners were allowed to go outside during the day, but the outdoor areas are also very dilapidated. [12] Basic necessities, including food, clothing and medicine, were reported to be “inadequate and often confiscated by prison officials.” [13] The one meal provided per day was insufficient, and families were allowed to bring food to prisoners. [14] Most prisons lacked basic sanitation and ventilation, electricity, medical care, and sufficient potable water. [15] Men and women were held separately, but juveniles were sometimes held with adults and pre-trial defendants with convicted prisoners. [16] Deaths due to negligence and frequent use of beatings and torture were reported. [17] Authorities punished prison inmates by chaining and depriving them of food and water for several days at a time. [18]

We do not know if there are currently any women under sentence of death, but detention conditions in the Bimbo Central Prison for women were deemed by a UN team to be “substantially better” than those of other prisons. [19] In 2012, the Bangui-Bimbo women’s prison housed 31 women and 3 girls in separate dormitories. [20] There was reportedly no overcrowding. [21] Many of these women were accused of witchcraft and had been detained for several months without appearing before a judge; most did not have lawyers. [22] Children under the age of 5 were allowed to remain with their mothers in prison. [23] There have been reports, however, of sexual violence against women prisoners. In 2008, it was reported that the worst cases of violence against women took place in prisons. [24] In 2010, there were two recorded cases of rape and attempted rape of women prisoners by male guards. [25]

Little is known about prisons and prison inmates since the civil war and the coup led by the Seleka rebels. The Seleka are reported to have emptied prisons as they moved across the country towards the capital, Bangui, [26] replacing the freed prisoners with their own, and detaining people outside of prisons, in homes, military camps, and government facilities. [27] Furthermore, the Seleka reportedly destroyed records in many prisons during their march to the capital, [28] making it difficult to track prisoners’ sentences. In January 2014, an attack by an anti-Balaka militia (Christian and animist militias engaged in fighting the Seleka) led to the escape of all the prisoners held in Ngaragba Prison. [29] Several more mass escapes followed. [30] We do not know whether any death-sentenced prisoners were freed by the Seleka or escaped, nor where they may currently be detained. By April 2014, reportedly only “minor criminals” were left in Ngaragba Prison. [31]

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

By the conclusion of our research, we did not find any information about foreigners under sentence of death in the CAR.

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

By the conclusion of our research, we did not find any information about foreigners under sentence of death in the CAR.

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

Since “many of the prisoners incarcerated in Central African Republic prisons are women accused of witchcraft” [32] and since capital punishment was one of the sentences provided for witchcraft until the 2010 amendment of the Penal Code, [33] there might be women presently on death row. We have found no recent reports of women being sentenced to death.

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?

By the conclusion of our research, we did not find reports of individuals currently under sentence of death who may have been under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed. There have been no recent reports of juvenile executions in the CAR.

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

While did not find any information on the ethnic composition of death row. Reports indicate that the Ba’Aka – Pygmies who represent 1 to 2 percent of the population – have been subjected to legal discrimination and unfair trials, [34] but we do not know if any are under sentence of death.

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

The Code of Criminal Procedure mandates that the Criminal Court designate a lawyer to represent criminal defendants who are without counsel. [35] In 2005, the CAR reported to the Human Rights Committee that “legal assistance is granted automatically to anyone charged before an assize court.” [36] Reports predating the Seleka coup indicate that in practice lawyers were provided to indigent defendants at no cost, although the scarcity of resources affected the availability of legal aid and led to delays in trial proceedings. [37]

Following the start of the Seleka rebellion in December 2012, there has reportedly been a “near collapse” of state authority, including the judiciary, and as of July 2014, the state judicial system was “virtually non-existent.” [38] Judges and court staff have fled their jurisdictions for the capital, court buildings have been looted and documents destroyed, and Seleka members have taken the place of judges and prosecutors in some areas. In 2013, the UNHRC mission in Bangui received reports of attacks on judges and lawyers in retaliation for past verdicts. [39] In this context, it is unlikely the legal aid system is still operational, but some lawyers are reportedly continuing to work and are “sometimes accessible.” [40]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

By the conclusion of our research, we could not confirm whether the legal assistance mandated by law to indigent criminal defendants [41] extends to the appeals process.

In any event, following the start of the Seleka rebellion in December 2012, there has reportedly been a “near collapse” of state authority, including the judiciary, and as of July 2014, the state judicial system was “virtually non-existent.” [42] Judges and court staff have fled their jurisdictions for the capital, court buildings have been looted and documents destroyed, and Seleka members have taken the place of judges and prosecutors in some areas. In 2013, the UNHRC mission in Bangui received reports of attacks on judges and lawyers in retaliation for past verdicts. [43] In this context, it is unlikely the legal aid system is still operational, but some lawyers are reportedly continuing to work and are “sometimes accessible.” [44]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

Prior to the Seleka offensive and coup, resource limitations led, at the very least, to delays in assigning representation to indigent defendants and to delayed trial proceedings. [45] We found no further information on the quality of legal representation in the CAR.

Following the start of the Seleka rebellion in December 2012, there has reportedly been a “near collapse” of state authority, including the judiciary, and as of July 2014, the state judicial system was “virtually non-existent.” [46] Judges and court staff have fled their jurisdictions for the capital, court buildings have been looted and documents destroyed, and Seleka members have taken the place of judges and prosecutors in some areas. In 2013, the UNHRC mission in Bangui received reports of attacks on judges and lawyers in retaliation for past verdicts. [47] In this context, it is unlikely the legal aid system is still operational, but some lawyers are reportedly continuing to work and are “sometimes accessible.” [48]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

Following the start of the Seleka rebellion in late 2012, there has been a “near collapse” of state authority, including the judiciary, and as of July 2014, the state judicial system was “virtually non-existent,” especially outside of Bangui. [49] Beginning in December 2012, judges and court staff fled their jurisdictions for the capital, court buildings were looted and documents destroyed, and Seleka members took the place of judges and prosecutors in some areas. In 2013, the UNHRC mission in Bangui received reports of attacks on judges and lawyers in retaliation for past verdicts. [50] By July 2013, all the remaining state judicial services were controlled by the Seleka and individuals were arrested and detained without any semblance of due process. Many grievous abuses were committed in this context, including summary executions, torture, and rape. [51]

In 2014, the Prosecutor of Bangui, Ghislain Gresenguet, stated that the “penal system was incapacitated.” [52] There is complete impunity for perpetrators of criminal offenses including gross human rights violations, who are not being investigated or prosecuted. [53]

Prior to the Seleka offensive and coup, the judicial system had serious failings. Warrants were not required for arrest, and although the law required that an arrested individual be brought before a judge within 72 or 144 hours, these deadlines were not respected in practice. Long-lasting pretrial detention was therefore a serious problem, with many detainees held for several months before seeing a judge and some remaining in prison for years before their trials took place. [54] Moreover, judicial corruption was widespread, [55] and judges’ jobs and safety were threatened. [56] In 2010, the International Federation for Human Rights expressed concern after the arrest of the President of the Central African Bar and 3 of his colleagues without any charge being brought against them. [57]

References

[1] The Telegraph, David Simpson: 'Frustration is the worse thing', http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/centralafricanrepublic/9417510/David-Simpson-Frustration-is-the-worse-thing.html, Jul. 22, 2012.
[2] Hands Off Cain, The Central African Republic Ready to Vote in Favor of the UN Moratorium and Abolish the Death Penalty, http://www.handsoffcain.info/archivio_news/201210.php?iddocumento=16311768&mover=0, Oct. 26, 2012.
[3] Hands Off Cain, The Central African Republic Ready to Vote in Favor of the UN Moratorium and Abolish the Death Penalty, http://www.handsoffcain.info/archivio_news/201210.php?iddocumento=16311768&mover=0, Oct. 26, 2012.
[4] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[5] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[6] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[7] Amnesty Intl., World Report 2014-2015 : Central African Republic, p. 102, AI Index POL 10/0001/2015, Feb. 25, 2015.
[8] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, p. 74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.
[9] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[10] The Telegraph, David Simpson: 'Frustration is the worse thing', http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/centralafricanrepublic/9417510/David-Simpson-Frustration-is-the-worse-thing.html, Jul. 22, 2012.
[11] Hands Off Cain, The Central African Republic Ready to Vote in Favor of the UN Moratorium and Abolish the Death Penalty, http://www.handsoffcain.info/archivio_news/201210.php?iddocumento=16311768&mover=0, Oct. 26, 2012.
[12] Hands Off Cain, The Central African Republic Ready to Vote in Favor of the UN Moratorium and Abolish the Death Penalty, http://www.handsoffcain.info/archivio_news/201210.php?iddocumento=16311768&mover=0, Oct. 26, 2012.
[13] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[14] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[15] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[16] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[17] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum: Follow-up to the report on the mission to the Central African Republic, para. 16, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.5, May 19, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Central African Republic, Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/central-african-republic/report-2009, last accessed Nov. 2, 2010.
[18] Amnesty Intl., Human Rights in Central African Republic, Report 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/central-african-republic/report-2009, last accessed Nov. 2, 2010.
[19] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[20] Hands Off Cain, The Central African Republic Ready to Vote in Favor of the UN Moratorium and Abolish the Death Penalty, http://www.handsoffcain.info/archivio_news/201210.php?iddocumento=16311768&mover=0, Oct. 26, 2012.
[21] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[22] Hands Off Cain, The Central African Republic Ready to Vote in Favor of the UN Moratorium and Abolish the Death Penalty, http://www.handsoffcain.info/archivio_news/201210.php?iddocumento=16311768&mover=0, Oct. 26, 2012. U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[23] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[24] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Compilation Prepared By The Office Of The High Commissioner For Human Rights, In Accordance With Paragraph 15(B) Of The Annex To Human Rights Council Resolution 5/1, Central African Republic, para. 28, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/5/CAF/2, Mar. 9, 2009.
[25] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186178.htm, May 24, 2012.
[26] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[27] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[28] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[29] Amnesty Intl., World Report 2014-2015 : Central African Republic, p. 102, AI Index POL 10/0001/2015, Feb. 25, 2015.
[30] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, p. 74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.
[31] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, p. 74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.
[32] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum: Follow-up to the report on the mission to the Central African Republic, para. 35, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.5, May 19, 2010.
[33] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum: Follow-up to the report on the mission to the Central African Republic, paras. 35-36, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.5, May 19, 2010.
[34] U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2011/af/186178.htm, May 24, 2012.
[35] Code of Criminal Procedure of CAR (Code de procédure pénale), art. 221, Law No.10.002, Jan. 6, 2010.
[36] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Second Periodic Report, Central African Republic, para. 176, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CAF/2004/2, Sep. 21, 2005.
[37] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[38] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, pp. 72-74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014. U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[39] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[40] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[41] Code of Criminal Procedure of CAR (Code de procédure pénale), art. 221, Law No.10.002, Jan. 6, 2010.
[42] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, pp. 72-74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014. U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[43] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[44] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[45] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[46] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, pp. 72-74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014. U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[47] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[48] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[49] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, pp. 72-74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014. U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[50] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[51] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, p. 72, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.
[52] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, p. 73, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.
[53] FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, pp. 72-74, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014. U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Report: Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220095.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[54] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Reports : Central African Republic, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/af/204102.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[55] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum: Follow-up to the report on the mission to the Central African Republic, para. 49, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.5, May 19, 2010.
[56] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, Addendum: Follow-up to the report on the mission to the Central African Republic, para. 49, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/24/Add.5, May 19, 2010.
[57] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, Les autorités politiques et judiciaires centrafricaines ne peuvent déroger aux règles de procédure pénale, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/article_PDF/article_a8185.pdf, Jun. 16, 2010.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

In its 2006 Concluding Observations, the Human Rights Committee recommended that the CAR continue a policy of abolition in practice and “ensure that the death penalty is not extended to new crimes,” particularly crimes included in the Rome Statute. The Committee expressed concern over the CAR’s position that retaining the death penalty was necessary in light of the country’s high crime rate in the country, and encouraged the CAR “to abolish the death penalty and to accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant.” [1]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

At its 2013 Universal Periodic Review before the U.N. Human Rights Council, the Central African Republic accepted the recommendations that it abolish the death penalty and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR aiming at universal abolition. It also accepted a recommendation to adopt an official moratorium on executions and speed up the process of abolition with the help of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. [2]

This marks a notable change from its previous UPR in 2009, at which the CAR had agreed with Egypt that it would “[c]ontinue exercising its sovereign right of implementing its penal code in conformity with universally agreed human rights standards, including the application of the death penalty.” [3] Government representatives had suggested to the Working Group that capital punishment could be abolished during the projected 2009-2010 reform of criminal laws, in particular because it was no longer applied. [4] The delegation later concluded, however, that “the matter was still under discussion, indicating that the majority was opposed to such an abolition because of the high rate of crime.” [5] The CAR did support the recommendation that it “ensure comprehensive training and education for all security forces and prison staff in human rights and international humanitarian law, and adopt legal and other necessary measures to ensure their full accountability for any violations of these norms.” [6]

References

[1] U.N. ICCPR Human Rights Committee, Consideration Of Reports Submitted By States Parties Under Article 40 Of The Covenant, Concluding Observations Of The Human Rights Committee, Central African Republic, para. 13, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/CAF/CO/2, Jul. 27, 2006.
[2] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Central African Republic, para. 105, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/17/L.9, Oct. 29, 2013.
[3] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Central African Republic, para. 74.24, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/2, Jun. 4, 2009.
[4] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Central African Republic, para. 47, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/2, Jun. 4, 2009.
[5] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Human Rights Council on its twelfth session, para. 216, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/50, Feb. 25, 2010.
[6] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Universal Periodic Review, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, Central African Republic, para. 74.16, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/12/2, Jun. 4, 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

Ligue Centrafricaine des Droits de l’Homme (LCDH)
Mr. Joseph Bindoumi, President
B.P. 2094
Bangui, Rép. Centrafricaine
Tel: +236 75 50 76 74
bindoumi05@yahoo.fr

ACAT République Centrafricaine
B.P. 527
Bangui, Rép. Centrafricaine
acat_rca@yahoo.fr

Association des femmes juristes centrafricaines (AFJC)
Avenue de l’indépendance
Bangui, Rép. Centrafricaine
Tel: +236 70 17 34 32 / 75 50 31 23
femmjuristes_rca@yahoo.fr

Helpful Reports and Publications

The Advocates for Human Rights, Central African Republic: Submission to the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review, http://www.theadvocatesforhumanrights.org/uploads/central_african_republic_hrc_death_penalty_october_2013.pdf, Oct. 2013.

Reports on the human rights crisis in the country since the beginning of the Seleka offensive include:

FIDH, Central African Republic: “They Must All Leave Or Die”, https://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/rapport_rca_2014-uk-04.pdf, Jun. 2014.

Human Rights Watch, “I Can Still Smell the Dead”: The Forgotten Human Rights Crisis in the Central African Republic, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/09/18/i-can-still-smell-dead, Sep. 18, 2013.

Human Rights Watch, “They Came To Kill”: Escalating Atrocities in the Central African Republic, http://www.hrw.org/reports/2013/12/18/they-came-kill, Dec. 19, 2013.

Additional notes regarding this country

Search Tips   |    Research Methodology   |    Glossary   |    Search