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Tunisia's president discusses reactivating death penalty

Presidential candidate Kais Saied makes a speech as he wins the presidential election according to unofficial results in Tunis on 15 September 2019. [Nacer Talel - Anadolu Agency]
Tunisia’s President Kais Saied in Tunis on 15 September 2019 [Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied on Monday spoke about reactivating the death penalty after executions were suspended in the country for nearly 29 years.

Saied’s announcement came after a meeting of the National Security Council in Carthage Palace, days after a girl was raped and brutally murdered north of the capital. The victim’s family had demanded the execution of the killer.

According to a presidential statement, Saied referred to “high crime rates in the country,” calling for “dealing firmly with this phenomenon”.

The statement said: “The perpetrators of such heinous crimes will not be considered for conditional release in the future, nor a reduction in the sentence, thus the pardon must be granted only to those who deserve it.”

The statement added: “The law is clear in this regard. Whoever kills a person for no reason shall be punished with the death penalty, especially those who commit multiple murders.”

READ: Tunisia not doing enough to abolish death penalty, says Amnesty

The statement explained that “the perpetrators of these crimes will be granted a fair trial and will be given the right to defend themselves.”

The Tunisian president also referred to “the slow pace of judicial procedures in corruption cases.”

Tunisia has not carried out any executions since 1991.

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