Mauritius: Capital punishment leads the headlines in Mauritius

Port-Louis, Mauritius (PANA) – The debate on the reintroduction of capital punishment has once again appeared on the forefront of newspapers in Mauritius this week, following the discovery of two dead bodies on 26 February.

A 54-year-old woman and her 14-year-old grand-daughter were killed with a knife and a 17-year old youth has been arrested in connection with the case.

It was two government ministers who launched the debate, as reported by the daily 'Le Défi' and broadcast also by the private radio ‘Radio Plus.’

"Housing and Land Minister Showkutally Soodhun and that of the Environment Raj Dayal have publicly declared that they are in favour of the reintroduction of capital punishment in the island," wrote ‘Le Defi’.

On the same radio, the President of the Republic Mrs Ameenah Gurib-Fakim said she was convinced that capital punishment was not necessarily a solution to reduce crime rate in the island.

According to her, this is a "very sensitive issue" that should be seen from all angles and submitted to a national debate.

"Several countries apply capital punishment, but the crime rate does not necessarily go down," she underlined.

'Le Défi' observes that the debate on capital punishment comes to the forefront in the island every time somebody is killed, saying that “the reintroduction of capital punishment is a risk that the government hesitates to take”.

It warns that "if the government reintroduces capital punishment, it will expose itself to international sanctions because Mauritius has signed several international conventions against State killings”.

"The Mauritian Parliament can still decide to reintroduce capital punishment despite the conventions, but we will be severely condemned by the United Nations and other institutions," Yousouf Mohamed, a lawyer, told the newspaper.

Capital punishment has been suspended in Mauritius since 14 December 1995.

Apart from capital punishment, the headlines were also dominated by the creation of a platform to make Mauritius "an international financial centre respected by the world".

The daily ‘Le Matinal’ quoted the Financial Services Minister Roshi Badhain as saying: “The Mauritian financial jurisdiction has developed a lot during the last fifteen years on the basis of treaties signed with only some countries… Now, the vision of the government is to make of Mauritius a place where investors come and invest with tangible investments."

On its part, the daily ‘Le Mauricien’ writes that Minister Bhadain "wants to position Mauritius as a base for investments in Africa”.
-0- PANA NA/JSG/ACK/MA 5March2016

05 march 2016 14:50:31

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