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How the death penalty is applied in Southeast Asian countries

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THE Malaysian government’s announcement on its decision to abolish the death penalty for all crimes has given a ray of hope for anti-capital punishment campaigners in the region.

Yesterday, the country’s defacto Law Minister, Datuk Liew Vui Keong said Cabinet has decided to come up with a bill to be tabled in the next parliament sitting which begins on Oct 15.

This came after the country announced a moratorium on executions in July 2018.

Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, said the announcement was a major step forward for all those who have campaigned for an end to the death penalty in Malaysia, adding the country will be joining 106 countries that have “turned their backs for good on the ultimate cruel, inhumane, degrading punishment.”

“Malaysia’s resort to the death penalty has been a terrible stain on its human rights record for years. In Malaysia death row prisoners are often cruelly kept in the dark about the outcome of their clemency applications and notified of their executions just days or hours before they happen,” Kumi said.

“There is no time to waste – the death penalty should have been consigned to the history books long ago. Malaysia’s new government has promised to deliver on human rights and today’s announcement is an encouraging sign, but much more needs to be done.”

According to Amnesty, at least 93 executions in nine countries were known to have been carried out throughout the Asia Pacific in 2017 – down from at least 130 in 11 countries in 2016.

The decrease, it said in a report earlier this year, was linked to a decline in Pakistan, where executions reduced by 31 percent. However, these figures do not include the thousands of executions that the rights group believed were carried out in China.

SEE ALSO: Pakistan: Man gets death sentence for blaspheming on Facebook


Singapore doubled its number of executions last year, from four to right, compared to 2016, all of which were for drug-related offences, according to Amnesty.

Kirsten Han, co-founder of Singapore anti-death penalty advocacy group, We Believe in Second Chances said since the execution of........

© Asian Correspondent