Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Save Malaysians on death row elsewhere too, says rights group

Malaysian Government's plans to abolish death penalty could save Sydney grandmother's life Malaysia set to abolish death penalty, in move which could spare lives of women accused of killing Kim Jong-nam
Jeannette Daniel | 11 October, 2018, 21:55

Mr Guterres noted the lack of transparency in some countries, where the death penalty was still used, underscoring its incompatibility with human rights standards.

The moratorium on the death penalty would save, among others, two women accused of assassinating the estranged half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un previous year.

"We will inform the Pardons Board to look into various applications for convicts on the (death penalty) waiting list to either be commuted or released".

"We are studying certain issues... we need to look into it and hear the views of all, but as it stands today, the decision is to abolish the death penalty".

Among which are the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Capital punishment in Malaysia is now mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes.

The next parliament sitting starts on Monday.

On the World Day Against Death Penalty, opposition Senator Leila De Lima called for a renewed and sustained campaign against the imposition of death penalty in the Philippines.

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In Malaysia, the death penalty carried out by hanging is mandatory for crimes such as murder with intent to kill, for trafficking excessive amounts of drugs and possession of firearms.

There are no jury trials in Malaysia for capital punishment.

In April past year, Amnesty International ranked Malaysia 10th in the use of death penalty among the 23 countries that carried out capital punishment in 2016.

Liew, adds that different consideration must also be given convicts who for example committed less serious offences such as being used as drug mule.

Between 2007 and 2017, 35 individuals faced the gallows.

Once capital punishment is scrapped, Malaysia will have the moral authority to fight for the lives of Malaysians facing death sentences overseas, he added. It said the death penalty has been a "terrible stain" on Malaysia's human rights record, and death row prisoners often have to wait years for their appeals to be processed.

However, Liew said that if their sentence is commuted then the inmates will have to face life imprisonment because they have been the cause of several deaths, which is why they were given the death penalty in the first place.

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