Sunday, October 05, 2008

Death Penalty Not The Way To Address Criminality, Says Amnesty (Bernama)

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 12 (Bernama) -- It is the responsibility of governments to address criminality effectively without resorting to the death penalty, said Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Nora Murat.

She said public support for the death penalty was most often based on the "erroneous belief that it is an effective measure against crime".

"The reasons for a seemingly strong public support for the death penalty can be complex and lacking in factual foundation. If the public are fully informed of the reality of the death penalty and how it is applied, many people may be more willing to accept abolition (of the death penalty)," she said at an inter-college debate on the death penalty, here Friday.

The debate on "Should Malaysia Abolish the Death Penalty?", organised by Amnesty International Malaysia, was between ATC College and Help University College.

Nora said in December 2007, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty and executions.

"The decision, adopted by the UN highest political body with universal membership, is a clear recognition of the growing international trend towards worldwide abolition of the death penalty, endorsed by the UN Secretary-General."

She said that today, two-thirds of the countries in the world had abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

Malaysia is among the countries where the death penalty is in place for offences such as drug-related.


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