Death Penalty Database

Lesotho

Information current as of: May 30, 2014

General

Official Country Name

Kingdom of Lesotho (Lesotho). [1]

Geographical Region

Africa (Southern Africa). [2]

Death Penalty Law Status

Abolitionist de facto. Lesotho reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council that its last execution was carried out in 1995. [3]

Methods of Execution

Hanging. [4]

References

[1] BBC, Country Profiles: Lesotho Profile, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13728325, May 21, 2013.
[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, National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1: Lesotho, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[4] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 109(75), Act No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012. Rex v. Veddie Sello Nkosi, CRI\T\10\91, High Court of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1992. British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Lesotho, http://www.biicl.org/files/2158_basic_country_report_lesotho.pdf, circa 2001. Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 7, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later (citing Section 298 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act).

Country Details

Language(s)

Sesotho and English are the major languages in Lesotho. [1]

Population

2,200,000. 2,200,000. [2]

Number of Individuals Currently Under Sentence of Death

At least 1.

A report written in or after 2004 by a law professor at the National University of Lesotho indicates that, at the time it was written, no one was on death row. [3] Our review of Amnesty International’s annual Death Sentences and Executions reports revealed at least one reported death sentence over the past decade. [4]

Annual Number of Reported Executions

Executions in 2017 to date (last updated on October 18, 2017)

0. [5]

Executions in 2016

0. [6]

Per capita execution rate in 2016

Executions in 2015

0. [7]

Per capita execution rate in 2015

0 executions.

Executions in 2014

0. [8]

Per capita execution rate in 2014

0 executions

Executions in 2013

0. [9]

Per capita execution rate in 2013

0 executions

Executions in 2012

0. [10]

Per capita execution rate in 2012

0 executions

Executions in 2011

0. [11]

Per capita execution rate in 2011

0 executions

Executions in 2010

0. [12]

Executions in 2009

0. [13]

Executions in 2008

0. [14]

Executions in 2007

0. [15]

Year of Last Known Execution

1995. Lesotho reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council that its last execution was carried out in 1995. [16]

References

[1] BBC, Country Profiles: Lesotho Profile, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13728325, May 21, 2013.
[2] BBC, Country Profiles: Lesotho Profile, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-13728325, May 21, 2013.
[3] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 2, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later (citing Section 298 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act).
[4] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, p. 40, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 10, 2013. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 46, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 34, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 22, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 19, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, pp. 7-8, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2006, pp. 2-3, ACT 50/004/2007, Apr. 27, 2007. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2005, p. 2, ACT 50/002/2006, Apr. 19, 2006. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2004, p. 2, ACT 50/005/2005, Apr. 4, 2005. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2003, p. 2, ACT 50/006/2004, Apr. 5, 2004.
[5] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[6] Amnesty International, Death sentences and executions in 2016, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.
[7] DPW Executions and Death Sentences Monitor.
[8] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[10] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, ACT 50/001/2012, Apr. 9, 2013.
[11] 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.
[12] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 5, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[14] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 8, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009.
[15] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 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: Lesotho, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Murder.
Murder is punishable by death, [1] but only when there are no “extenuating circumstances.” [2] Courts are instructed to determine the existence of extenuating circumstances based upon “the standards of behaviour of an ordinary person of the class of the community to which the convicted person belongs.” [3]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
A person who commits a sexual assault with the knowledge or reasonable suspicion of infection with HIV is punishable by death. [4] (Lesotho stated to the U.N. Human Rights Council that capital punishment only applied to “statutory rape,” which should be understood as rape by an HIV-infected person, rather than child rape as it is defined in other jurisdictions. [5] )

Treason.
High treason is punishable by death. While the Penal Code does not offer a definition of “high treason,” treason is defined as “preparing or endeavouring” to overthrow the government, to alter laws or policies by force, to usurp the power of the state, to assist an enemy in time of war, or to assist an armed invasion of the country. [6]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Under Sections 41-43 and 48-49 of the Lesotho Defense Force Act No. 4 of 1996, which we did not obtain, “mutiny, failing to suppress mutiny, aiding the enemy, communication with the enemy and cowardly behavior” were punishable by death as recently as 2001. [7]

Comments.
We were not able to consult Lesotho’s Defense Force Act No. 4 of 1996, but a report from circa 2001 indicates that the death penalty applies for some military offenses. Lesotho’s 2010 national report to the UN Universal Periodic Review, however, indicates that only murder, treason, and statutory rape carry the death penalty. [8]

Courts apply extenuating circumstances to virtually eliminate capital sentences. [9] Although the law stated by courts technically requires no finding of aggravating factors to pronounce a sentence of death, in practice courts may treat the absence of aggravating factors as an extenuating circumstance, [10] so there is some argument that the death penalty legally applies only for aggravated murders.

Does the country have a mandatory death penalty?

No. The Penal Code Act states that an offender who commits murder “in the presence of extenuating circumstances” shall receive a lesser sentence. [11] Similarly, the Sexual Offences Act of 2003 requires considering “extenuating circumstances or… the individual circumstances of the accused” before applying the punishment provided by law. [12] We did not find an explicit mitigation provision for treason, but reports indicate that courts interpret the requirement that they consider extenuating circumstances to demand broad discretion, and seldom pronounce or confirm a death sentence. This has been the case for at least 20 years. [13] A report written in or after 2004 by a law professor at the National University of Lesotho indicates that judges (many of whom hail from South Africa, where the death penalty has been abolished) apply the provision prohibiting the death penalty in cases involving extenuating circumstances quite broadly, effectively eliminating death sentences in Lesotho. [14]

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

None, there is no mandatory death penalty (see answer on the mandatory death penalty).

Crimes For Which Individuals Have Been Executed Since January 2008:

None. Lesotho reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council that its last execution was carried out in 1995. [15]

Categories of Offenders Excluded From the Death Penalty:

Individuals Below Age 18 At Time of Crime.
Section 297(b) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act of 1981 excludes individuals from execution for crimes committed while under the age of 18. [16] Moreover, the Penal Code specifically requires that a lesser sentence be applied to those convicted of a murder committed before the age of 18. [17] This conforms with Lesotho’s obligations as a party to the ICCPR, [18] the Convention on the Rights of the Child, [19] and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, [20] which prohibit such executions.

Pregnant Women.
Section 299 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act of 1981 excludes pregnant women from execution. [21] Moreover, the Penal Code specifically requires that a lesser sentence be applied to women convicted of murder if they are pregnant at the time of sentence. [22] This conforms with Lesotho’s international obligations as a state party to the ICCPR [23] and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [24] which prohibit the execution of pregnant women.

Women With Small Children.
While we found no law specifically excluding women with small children from execution, Lesotho has acceded to the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, [25] which prohibits the execution of nursing women.

Mentally Ill.
The Penal Code provides that no one may be convicted of a criminal offense “if he or she proves on the balance of probabilities that at the time of the commission of the offence he or she was suffering from mental disorder of such a nature that he or she was substantially unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his or her actions or that he or she was unable to conduct himself or herself in accordance with the requirements of the law.” [26]

We found no law, however, excluding capital punishment for individuals suffering from mental illness at the time of sentencing or execution of sentence.

Intellectually Disabled.
The Penal Code provides that no one may be convicted of a criminal offense “if he or she proves on the balance of probabilities that at the time of the commission of the offence he or she was suffering from mental disorder of such a nature that he or she was substantially unable to appreciate the wrongfulness of his or her actions or that he or she was unable to conduct himself or herself in accordance with the requirements of the law.” [27]

We found no law, however, excluding capital punishment for individuals suffering from intellectual disabilities at the time of sentencing or execution of sentence.

References

[1] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 40(2), Act No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012.
[2] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 40(3), Act. No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012. 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: Lesotho, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010. British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Lesotho, p. 1, http://www.biicl.org/files/2158_basic_country_report_lesotho.pdf, circa 2001, citing Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, art. 297, 1981. Rex v. Lefu Ntobo, Adul Wahab Abubaker, Jian Zin Yan, Afzal Abubaker, CRI/T/68/2000, High Court of Lesotho, Dec. 13, 2001.
[3] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 40(3)(c)(1), Act. No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012.
[4] Lesotho Sexual Offenses Act No. 3 of 2003, art. 32(a)(vii), Apr. 22, 2003. 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: Lesotho, paras. 49-50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[5] Lesotho Sexual Offenses, Act No. 3 of 2003, art. 32(a)(vii), Apr. 22, 2003. 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: Lesotho, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[6] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 74, Act. No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012.
[7] British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Lesotho, p. 1, http://www.biicl.org/files/2158_basic_country_report_lesotho.pdf, circa 2001. Note that Lesotho’s 2010 National Report for the UPR does not enumerate these as capital offenses. 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: Lesotho, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[8] 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: Lesotho, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[9] 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: Lesotho, paras. 49-50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010. British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Lesotho, p. 1, http://www.biicl.org/files/2158_basic_country_report_lesotho.pdf, circa 2001. Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 2, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[10] Courts sometimes give consideration to an absence of conduct that would have been an aggravating factor. Rex v. Lefu Ntobo, Adul Wahab Abubaker, Jian Zin Yan, Afzal Abubaker, CRI/T/68/2000, High Court of Lesotho, Dec. 13, 2001.
[11] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 40(3)(c), Act. No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012.
[12] Lesotho Sexual Offenses, Act No. 3 of 2003, art. 31, Apr. 22, 2003.
[13] 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: Lesotho, paras. 49-50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010. British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Lesotho, pp. 1-2, http://www.biicl.org/files/2158_basic_country_report_lesotho.pdf, circa 2001. Amnesty Intl., Lesotho: Torture, political killings and abuses against trade unionists, p. 14, AFR 33/01/92, Apr. 30, 1992. For jurisprudence outlining judicial discretion during sentencing, see e.g. Tlali Serine v. Rex, C of A (CRI) 2 of 1992, Court of Appeal of Lesotho, Jul. 20, 1992 (commuting the death sentence awarded in Rex v. Tlali Serine, CRI\T\90\89, High Court of Lesotho, Feb. 19, 1992); Rex v. Veddie Sello Nkosi, CRI\T\10\91, High Court of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1992 (not commuted by Veddie Sello Nkosi v. The Crown, C. of A. (CRI) No. 4/92, Court of Appeal of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1993); Rex v. Lefu Ntobo, Adul Wahab Abubaker, Jian Zin Yan, Afzal Abubaker, CRI/T/68/2000, High Court of Lesotho, Dec. 13, 2001 (in which the Court considers the absence of conduct that would have been an aggravating factor as an extenuating circumstance).
[14] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, pp. 2, 7, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[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: Lesotho, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[16] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 1, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[17] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 40(3)(a), Act. No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012.
[18] 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. 25, 2014.
[19] Status, Declarations, and Reservations, CRC, 1577 U.N.T.S. 3, Nov. 20, 1989, http://treaties.un.org/pages/ViewDetails.aspx?src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=IV-11&chapter=4&lang=en, last accessed Mar. 25, 2014.
[20] 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 Apr. 28, 2014.
[21] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 1, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[22] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 40(3)(b), Act. No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012.
[23] 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. 25, 2014.
[24] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[25] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[26] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 19(2), Act. No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012.
[27] Lesotho Penal Code, art. 19(2), Act. No. 6 of 2012, Mar. 9, 2012.

International Commitments

ICCPR

Party?

Yes. [1]

Date of Accession

September 9, 1992. [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

September 6, 2000. [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

February 10, 1992. [10]

Signed?

Yes. [11]

Date of Signature

March 7, 1984. [12]

Protocol to the ACHPR on the Rights of Women in Africa

Party?

Yes. [13]

Date of Accession

October 26, 2004. [14]

Signed?

Yes. [15]

Date of Signature

February 27, 2004. [16]

African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child

Party?

Yes. [17]

Date of Accession

September 27, 1999. [18]

Signed?

No. No. [19]

Date of Signature

Not Applicable.

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

Yes. [20]

Vote

Abstained. [21]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [22]

2014 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

Vote

Not Present. [23]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

2012 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [24]

Vote

Abstained. [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

No. [29]

2008 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [30]

Vote

Abstained. [31]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [32]

2007 Record of Votes on the UN General Assembly Moratorium Resolution

Cosponsor

No. [33]

Vote

Abstained. [34]

Signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation

No. [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, last accessed Mar. 20, 2014.
[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 Mar. 20, 2014.
[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 Mar. 20, 2014.
[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 Mar. 20, 2014.
[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 Mar. 20, 2014.
[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 Mar. 20, 2014.
[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 Mar. 20, 2014.
[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 Mar. 20, 2014.
[9] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[10] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[11] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[12] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/achpr/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[13] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[14] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[15] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[16] African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, Ratification Table: Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, http://www.achpr.org/instruments/women-protocol/ratification, last accessed Apr. 28, 2014.
[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 Apr. 28, 2014.
[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 Apr. 28, 2014.
[19] 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 Apr. 28, 2014.
[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., 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, Note Verbale dated 7 September 2017, U.N. Doc. A/71/1047, Sep. 13, 2017.
[23] Aurélie Plaçais, affilitated with World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Email to DPW, Jan. 27, 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, including 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 Constitution provides: “Every human being has an inherent right to life. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” [1] This right is not violated if an offender dies “in execution of the sentence of death imposed by a court in respect of a criminal offence under the law of Lesotho of which he has been convicted.” [2]

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

No. [3]

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

Lesotho reported to the U.N. Human Rights Council that its last execution was carried out in 1995. [4] In the past decade, we have only found reports of one death sentence being handed down, in 2013, for multiple murder. [5]

Nevertheless, the use of capital punishment was expanded in 2003 when the Sexual Offences Act made rape by an HIV-infected person a capital offense. [6] Even though Lesotho has not carried out an execution in almost two decades, it has abstained from voting on all four UN General Assembly’s Resolution on a Global Moratorium on the use of the death penalty. [7] It also rejected the Human Rights Council’s recommendation to formalize the moratorium on the death penalty, abolish capital punishment, and conform the scope of the death penalty to its international treaty obligations. [8]

In a survey of cases we found that many prosecutions are unsuccessful and that death sentences are almost always commuted on appeal. [9]

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

No. Even though Lesotho has not carried out an execution in almost two decades, it has abstained from voting on all four UN General Assembly’s Resolution on a Global Moratorium on the use of the death penalty. [10] It also rejected the Human Rights Council’s recommendation to formalize the moratorium on the death penalty, abolish capital punishment, and conform the scope of the death penalty to its international treaty obligations. [11]

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

We have not found any landmark decisions, but our review of case law suggests that the death penalty is applied only for aggravated murders, and that the courts do not impose death sentences for murders that lack any aggravating factors. [12] A report written in or after 2004 by a law professor at the National University of Lesotho indicates that judges apply the provision prohibiting the death penalty in cases involving extenuating circumstances broadly, effectively eliminating death sentences in Lesotho. [13]

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

The Southern African Legal Information Institute (http://www.saflii.org/cgi-bin/search.pl) makes a large volume of judicial decisions available.

The Lesotho Legal Information Institute (http://www.lesotholii.org/) regularly uploads judgments of the Court of Appeal and the High Court.

What is the clemency process?

Petitions for pardon are submitted to a Pardons Committee, and the King exercises the prerogative of mercy in accordance with the advice of the Committee. [14] The King may grant pardon, respite, or commutation of the sentence. [15] The Pardons Committee, which consists of a Chairman and two other members appointed by the King, deliberates on submissions from the accused and counsel, judges involved in sentencing and appeals, the Director of Public Prosecutions and a District Secretary. [16]

Are jury trials provided for defendants charged with capital offenses?

No.In capital cases judges are advised by “assessors,” but their opinions are not binding and judges will sometimes deliver a lesser sentence than the assessors recommend. [17]

Brief Description of Appellate Process

Capital cases are decided in the High Court and are appealed to the Court of Appeals, which reviews questions of law and the facts as established by the court below. [18] The Constitution discusses some grounds on which appeals are as of right. [19] Appeals of capital sentences are automatic. [20]

Without access to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, which we were unable to locate, it is difficult to describe the appellate process in further detail.

References

[1] The Constitution of Lesotho, art. 5(1), Apr. 2, 1993, as amended through to 2001.
[2] The Constitution of Lesotho, art. 5, Apr. 2, 1993, as amended through to 2001.
[3] The Constitution of Lesotho, Apr. 2, 1993, as amended through to 2001.
[4] 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: Lesotho, para. 50, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[5] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2012, p. 40, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 10, 2013. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2011, p. 46, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 27, 2012. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, p. 34, ACT 50/001/2011, Mar. 28, 2011. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 22, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, p. 19, ACT 50/003/2009, Mar. 24, 2009. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, pp. 7-8, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2006, pp. 2-3, ACT 50/004/2007, Apr. 27, 2007. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2005, p. 2, ACT 50/002/2006, Apr. 19, 2006. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2004, p. 2, ACT 50/005/2005, Apr. 4, 2005. Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2003, p. 2, ACT 50/006/2004, Apr. 5, 2004.
[6] Lesotho Sexual Offenses, Act No. 3 of 2003, art. 32(a)(vii), Apr. 22, 2003.
[7] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012. U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010. 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., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[8] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Lesotho, paras. 55, 60, 81, 100.10, 100.11, 100.12, 100.15, 100.20, 100.21, 100.24, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/7, Jun. 16, 2010. U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Lesotho: Addendum, para. 4, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/7/Add.1, Sep. 15, 2010.
[9] Tlali Serine v. Rex, C of A (CRI) 2 of 1992, Court of Appeal of Lesotho, Jul. 20, 1992 (commuting the death sentence awarded in Rex v. Tlali Serine, CRI\T\90\89, High Court of Lesotho, Feb. 19, 1992).
[10] U.N.G.A., 67th Session, 60th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/67/PV.60, Dec. 20, 2012. U.N.G.A., 65th Session, 71st Plenary Meeting, pp. 18-19, U.N. Doc. A/65/PV.71, Dec. 21, 2010. 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., 62nd Session, 76th Plenary Meeting, pp. 16-17, U.N. Doc. A/62/PV.76, Dec. 18, 2007.
[11] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Lesotho, paras. 55, 60, 81, 100.10, 100.11, 100.12, 100.15, 100.20, 100.21, 100.24, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/7, Jun. 16, 2010. U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Lesotho: Addendum, para. 4, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/7/Add.1, Sep. 15, 2010.
[12] See the search available at the website of the Southern African Legal Information Institute, http://www.saflii.org/cgi-bin/search.pl, last accessed Mar. 25, 2014. Aggravated murders are not punished with death when there are mitigating circumstances. For example, contrast Tlali Serine v. Rex, C of A (CRI) 2 of 1992, Court of Appeal of Lesotho, Jul. 20, 1992 (commuting the death sentence awarded in Rex v. Tlali Serine, CRI\T\90\89, High Court of Lesotho, Feb. 19, 1992); with Rex v. Veddie Sello Nkosi, CRI\T\10\91, High Court of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1992 (not commuted by Veddie Sello Nkosi v. The Crown, C. of A. (CRI) No. 4/92, Court of Appeal of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1993). Courts sometimes give consideration to an absence of conduct that would have been an aggravating factor. Rex v. Lefu Ntobo, Adul Wahab Abubaker, Jian Zin Yan, Afzal Abubaker, CRI/T/68/2000, High Court of Lesotho, Dec. 13, 2001.
[13] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, pp. 2, 7, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[14] The Constitution of Lesotho, arts. 101-102, Apr. 2, 1993, as amended through to 2001.
[15] The Constitution of Lesotho, art. 101, Apr. 2, 1993, as amended through to 2001.
[16] The Constitution of Lesotho, art. 102 Apr. 2, 1993, as amended through to 2001. Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 7, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[17] See e.g. Rex v. Veddie Sello Nkosi, CRI\T\10\91, High Court of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1992; Rex v. Liau Lephema, CRI\T\64\91, High Court of Lesotho, Feb. 12, 1992.
[18] See e.g. Tlali Serine v. Rex, C of A (CRI) 2 of 1992, Court of Appeal of Lesotho, Jul. 20, 1992 (reviewing and commuting the death sentence awarded in Rex v. Tlali Serine, CRI\T\90\89, High Court of Lesotho, Feb. 19, 1992); Veddie Sello Nkosi v. The Crown, C. of A. (CRI) No. 4/92, Court of Appeal of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1993 (reviewing and upholding the death sentence awarded in Rex v. Veddie Sello Nkosi, CRI\T\10\91, High Court of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1992).
[19] The Constitution of Lesotho, arts. 5(1), 22, 129(1)(b), Apr. 2, 1993, as amended through to 2001.
[20] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 7, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.

Death Penalty In Practice

Where Are Death-Sentenced Prisoners incarcerated?

Maseru Central Prison is a major facility but we do not know which prisons, if any, house death row inmates. [1]

Description of Prison Conditions

We found no reports on prison conditions on death row. Prison conditions generally are inadequate and facilities are in disrepair.

Violence among prisoners is a serious concern. According to a Lesotho Correctional Service (LCS) official, prisoners brutalize other prisoners. The head of the Lesotho Ex-Offenders Association reported that rape was common among the prisoners, exposing them to the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. A full-time HIV/AIDS coordinator, condoms, HIV testing, counseling, and treatment have been made available to the prisoners by the LCS in order to prevent the spread of HIV. Nine prisoners have reportedly died in custody from AIDS, tuberculosis, cancer, and unconfirmed causes.

Prison guards also brutalize prisoners. In August 2012, LCS officers at the Leribe women’s correctional facility reportedly stripped six inmates naked, locked them in a cell for four days, and gave them only two meals per day to punish a fight. [2]

Prisoners are given water, but sanitation and facilities are poor. Facilities lack bedding and proper ventilation and heating/cooling systems, and some do not have proper lighting. Maseru Central Prison does not have food shortages, but the food quality is poor. Principal chiefs, church ministers, representatives of the business community, advocates of the court, and other citizens visit prisons to provide toiletries, food, and other services. [3]

Prisons generally have insufficient medical supplies and lack round-the-clock medical wards, which causes guards to confine sick prisoners to their cells from 3 pm to 6 am. However, prisoners can receive free medical care from government hospitals and some facilities own ambulances for emergency transportation. [4]

Prisoners with disabilities rely on voluntary assistance from other prisoners, as the LCS does not accommodate their special needs and prison buildings lack ramps and railings. [5]

Prisons have outdated and inadequate manual recordkeeping systems. The Office of the Ombudsman did not receive any complaints from prisoners in 2013, but this could be because prisoners are often unaware that they could submit complaints. Also, prisoners may fear retaliation, as complaints must go through prison authorities. [6]

Prisoners have reasonable access to visitors and can practice religious observance. Although prisoners can submit complaints to judicial authorities without censorship and request investigation, the LCS did not conduct any investigations in 2013. According to the inmates at the Maseru Central Prison, authorities only respond to some complaints. The International Committee of the Red Cross also visited Maseru Central Prison in September 2013. [7]

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

We found no reports of foreigners on death row. [8] The last individual executed (in 1995) was reportedly a foreigner. [9]

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

We found no reports of foreigners on death row. [10]

Are there any known women currently under sentence of death?

We found no reports of women under sentence of 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?

We found no reports of individuals under sentence of death for crimes committed while under the age of 18. Amnesty International reports that there have been no known executions of juveniles in Lesotho since 1990, when it started keeping records. [11]

Comments regarding the racial/ethnic composition on death row

We found no information on the racial or ethnic composition on death row.

Are there lawyers available for indigent defendants facing capital trials?

Lesotho reports that the Legal Aid Act of 1978 extends legal aid to defendants who face capital charges. [12] The government reports having established a Legal Aid Department under the Legal Aid Act, which holds roving Legal Aid Clinics and provides pro deo representation for individuals likely to face capital punishment. [13]

In practice, indigent defendants in both civil and criminal cases are provided with lawyers and free legal counsel is usually available from either the state or an NGO. [14] According to a law professor at the National University of Lesotho, legal aid is always assured for capital defendants, who are permitted to choose which attorney they want. [15] An indigent defendant typically selects a “famous” attorney who is usually too overloaded to represent him, and ends up working with the Registrar to select an available attorney—who is usually younger and somewhat less experienced than the defendant’s first selection. [16]

Are there lawyers available for indigent prisoners on appeal?

Lesotho reports that the Legal Aid Act of 1978 extends legal aid to defendants who face capital charges. [17] The government reports having established a Legal Aid Department under the Legal Aid Act, which holds and provides pro deo representation for individuals likely to face capital punishment. [18]

In practice, indigent defendants in both civil and criminal cases are provided with lawyers and free legal counsel is usually available from either the state or an NGO. [19] According to a law professor at the National University of Lesotho, appeal against a capital sentence is automatic and pro deo appointment of counsel for an indigent appellant is assured. [20]

Comments on Quality of Legal Representation

A review of case law suggests that attorneys or courts are effective at protecting the rights of the accused. [21] Well-known attorneys may be overloaded, and indigent defendants typically must select a relatively less experienced attorney. [22] Detainees are reportedly allowed prompt access to their lawyers, [23] can consult with an attorney of their choice, have adequate time to prepare their case, and may access government-held evidence. [24]

Free legal counsel is provided by either the state or an NGO. NGOs maintain a few legal aid clinics. Although the Legal Aid Division under the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Service also offers free legal assistance, the severe lack of resources undermines its effectiveness. [25]

Other Comments on Criminal Justice System

The Constitution assures the independence of the judiciary and the right to fair trial, [26] and the government generally respects this. [27] Our review of case law corroborates that the judiciary enforces the right to a fair trial. [28] Defendants enjoy the right to the presumption of innocence. [29] Trials are open to the public. [30] Defendants also have the right to access unclassified, government-held evidence, and the government cannot use classified evidence against a defendant. [31]

The criminal justice system, however, has failings. While confessions obtained through torture are not admissible in court, evidence obtained as the result of torture is. Bail for individuals charged with premeditated homicide may not be granted or may be difficult to obtain. There can be delays in bringing a case to trial and individuals suspected of a capital offense are generally arrested for a preliminary investigation, facing an average of two to four years’ detention before trial. In theory, preliminary investigation is intended to result in the discharge of some cases; in practice, no case is ever discharged at this stage of the proceedings. [32]

References

[1] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[2] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[3] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[4] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[5] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[6] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[7] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Prison and Detention Center Conditions, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[8] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, Jan. 19, 2013.
[9] Rex v. Veddie Sello Nkosi, CRI\T\10\91, High Court of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1992 (not commuted by . Veddie Sello Nkosi v. The Crown, C. of A. (CRI) No. 4/92, Court of Appeal of Lesotho, Mar. 4, 1993). 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: Lesotho, para. 50, p. 20 fn. 20, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[10] Mark Warren, Foreigners Under Sentence of Death Worldwide, http://users.xplornet.com/~mwarren/world.html, Jan. 19, 2013.
[11] Amnesty Intl., Executions of Juveniles Since 1990, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/executions-of-child-offenders-since-1990, last accessed Mar. 25, 2014.
[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: Lesotho, para. 54, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[13] 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: Lesotho, para. 54, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[14] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[15] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 5, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[16] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 7, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[17] 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: Lesotho para. 54, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[18] 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: Lesotho, para. 54, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/WG.6/8/LSO/1, Feb. 22, 2010.
[19] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[20] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 7, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[21] See the search available at the website of the Southern African Legal Information Institute, http://www.saflii.org/cgi-bin/search.pl, last accessed Mar. 26, 2014.
[22] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, p. 5, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.
[23] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[24] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Trial Procedures, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[25] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[26] The Constitution of Lesotho, arts. 4(1)(h), 118, Apr. 2, 1993, as amended through to 2001.
[27] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Denial of Fair Public Trial, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[28] See the search available at the website of the Southern African Legal Information Institute, http://www.saflii.org/cgi-bin/search.pl, last accessed Mar. 26, 2014.
[29] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Trial Procedures, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[30] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Trial Procedures, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[31] U.S. Dept. of State, 2013 Human Rights Reports: Lesotho, Trial Procedures, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2013/af/220126.htm, Feb. 27, 2014.
[32] Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, pp. 3-6, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Decisions of Human Rights Committee

The Human Rights Committee, in its 1999 concluding observations, noted that the death penalty was in practice no longer applied, and called for its abolition. [1]

Decisions of Other Human Rights Bodies

In 2010, members of the Human Rights Council recommended that Lesotho formalize its de facto moratorium on the death penalty, abolish capital punishment, continue commuting death sentences to life imprisonment, ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR with a view to abolish the death penalty, and conform the scope of the death penalty to its international treaty obligations. [2] Lesotho rejected the recommendations, indicating that it only applies the death penalty for murder, statutory rape, and high treason. [3]

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: Lesotho, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/79/Add.106, Apr. 8, 1999.
[2] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Lesotho, paras. 55, 60, 81, 100.10, 100.11, 100.12, 100.15, 100.20, 100.21, 100.24, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/7, Jun. 16, 2010.
[3] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Lesotho: Addendum, para. 4, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/15/7/Add.1, Sep. 15, 2010.

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

Amnesty Intl., Lesotho: Torture, political killings and abuses against trade unionists, AFR 33/01/92, Apr. 30, 1992.

British Institute of International and Comparative Law, Lesotho, http://www.biicl.org/files/2158_basic_country_report_lesotho.pdf, circa 2001.

Moses O A Owori, The Death Penalty in Lesotho: The Law and Practice, British Institute of International and Comparative Law, http://www.biicl.org/files/2197_country_report_lesotho_owori.pdf, published 2004 or later.

Additional notes regarding this country

None.

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