Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has commuted all the death sentences handed out in the East African country.

The president's press office said Monday that some 2,747 convicts on death row will now serve life sentences. These include 2,655 male convicts and 92 female convicts.

Kenyatta also signed pardons for 102 long-term serving convicts.

Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International's regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes says the decision to commute all death sentences brings Kenya closer to the growing community of nations which have abolished the death penalty, calling it a cruel and inhuman form of punishment.

The death penalty — by hanging — has not been carried out in Kenya since 1987. Many African countries maintain the death penalty in their constitutions as a carryover from colonial rule.