Presidential Decree on the abolition of the death penalty (3 August 2005)
3 August 2005
Decree of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
"On abolition of the death penalty in the Republic of Uzbekistan"
The most important objective of reforming the court-legal system of the Republic of Uzbekistan is a gradual stepwise liberalization of criminal, criminal-procedural legislation, and the system of criminal punishment.
In keeping with the Law of the Republic of Uzbekistan "On introducing amendments and addenda to the Criminal, Criminal - Procedural codes and Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan on administrative accountability in connection with liberalization of criminal punishments", laws on courts, on prosecutor's office, and number of other legislative acts adopted over the last years, the classification of crimes saw their change, the list of crimes, classified as heinous, has been decreased, the alternative types of punishment for the crimes were introduced, not related to imprisonment, - the institute of reconciliation. The number of other program measures was adopted, directed at liberalizing the system of criminal punishments.
The profound changes in penal policy and law enforcing practice are positively impacting the social - political situation, and the situation with infringement of laws in the country.
The most important direction of liberalization processes in the court - legal system, and criminal punishment, undertaken in the Republic of Uzbekistan, was the gradual narrowing of the sphere of application of death penalty. By the time of gaining independence the criminal legislation contained more than 30 articles, which have envisaged the punishment in the form of death penalty. In the Criminal Code of the Republic of Uzbekistan of 1994 the number of such articles came down to 13, in 1998 - down to 8, and in 2001 - down to 4. At the moment, following the undertaking of complex of measures in 2003 to liberalize the penal legislation, the death penalty is now applied only for the two crimes - the premeditated murder in aggravated conditions and terrorism.
The number of crimes, in which cases the death penalty can be applied, makes up less than one percent in criminal legislation out of total number of criminally prosecuted acts. Regardless of weight of the committed crime, the legislation bans the application of this type of penalty to those having not reached the age of puberty, women, and persons of above 60 years of age. The penal policy of the state in the area of application the capital punishment fully meets the world tendency and gradually reflects the principles of humanism and justice, as declared by the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
At the same time, the essence and content of the reforms carried out in the country on further democratic renewal of social and state life, modernizing the country, and the outcomes of the work on liberalizing the court - legal system condition the need to abolish the capital punishment as a type of penalty and replacing it with life, or the long term imprisonment.
In this, the reforms in this most important area must be carried out gradually, while taking into account the developing and humanizing the social relations and strengthening the democratic values in the minds of people.
The abolition of capital punishment shall call forth the broad public awareness works, and firstly, on substantiating the advancing path of our country along establishing the legal democratic state and civil society, consolidating in public perception of understanding the need to further liberalize the criminal penalty, including the abolition of capital punishment.
We need to realize the entire range of organizational and preparatory works with regard to building complexes and facilities, creating the necessary conditions to place the persons, whom the capital punishment has been altered to life, or the long term imprisonment, and training the personnel to employ them at these facilities.
The important task is to thoroughly elaborate and introduce amendments and addenda with criminal, criminal - procedural, criminal - executive legislation, while considering thorough study of international legal acts in this area, the parallel legislation in foreign countries, known to have abolished the death penalty and retain experience in applying penalty to those, who are sentenced to life, or long term imprisonment, instead of capital punishment.
Based on universally accepted principles and norms of international law, provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which stipulate and enshrine the right of person to life, and in order to realize specific measures to further liberalize the criminal punishment:
1. Starting January 1, 2008, the death penalty shall be abolished in the Republic of Uzbekistan, as a type of criminal punishment, and instead the punishment in the form of life, or long term imprisonment shall be introduced.
It shall be defined, that:
the penalties in the form of life, or long term imprisonment can be assigned by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Supreme Court of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, regional, Tashkent city penal courts, and Military court of the Republic of Uzbekistan;
the persons, sentenced for committed crimes for life, or long term imprisonment, serve their sentences in specialized facilities of imprisonment of special regime.
2. The Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court, Office of Prosecutor General, Ministry of Internal Affairs, and National Security Service by January 1, 2006, shall design proposals on introducing amendments and addenda with Criminal, Criminal - Procedural, and Criminal - Executive codes of the Republic of Uzbekistan, in relation with exclusion of death penalty from the system of criminal penalties, and alternating it to life, or long term imprisonment, and while having envisaged:
to define and substantiate the specific terms of imprisonment of persons, who have committed crimes, for which the application of death penalty is currently allowed;
the order of assigning punishment for such crimes, calculation of terms of imprisonment, as well as the order and conditions of serving punishment, introduced in place of death penalty.
3. The Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan in two month's time shall adopt resolution on measures of constructing and preparing for commissioning the complex of specialized facilities, needed to place the convicted, sentenced to life, or long term imprisonment, as well as on the procedure of funding these facilities, and training cadres to employ them there.
4. The Ministry of Justice, Supreme Court, Office of Prosecutor General, Ministry of Internal Affairs jointly with National Information Agency, Television and Radio Company of Uzbekistan, Uzbek Agency for Print and Information shall design and realize the complex of measures, aimed at holding broad public awareness work on abolition of death penalty.
5. The following Decree shall be introduced for discussion at the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
6. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Sh. M. Mirziyoev and State Advisor to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan T. A. Khudaybergenov shall be appointed responsible to oversee the execution of this Decree.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan
City of Tashkent
August 1, 2005