In English

Togo latest African state to abolish death penalty

Togo has become the latest country to abolish the death penalty, in a parliamentary vote held in the presence of visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

Togo is the 15th member of the African Union and the 94th country in the world to abolish the death penalty for all crimes, according to Amnesty International, which is campaigning for global abolition of the penalty.Addressing the parliament as part of a state visit to the West African country, Zapatero called the vote "a giant step for Togo".

Togo carried out its last execution in 1978, although the death penalty has remained on the statutes.

Under the unanimous parliament vote, convicts condemned to death will have their sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

Zapatero was accompanied to parliament by President Faure Gnassingbe, with whom he held talks on his arrival from Nigeria on the latest leg of a West African tour.

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