On 18 December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a second resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty.
106 countries voted in favour of the draft resolution, 46 voted against and 34 abstained. This resolution was first discussed and voted upon in the Third Committee of the UNGA on 20 November 2008. A range of amendments proposed by a small minority of pro-death penalty countries were overwhelmingly defeated in the Third Committee of the UNGA, and the draft resolution was adopted by 105 votes in favour, 48 against and 31 abstentions.
The increased support for this resolution is yet further evidence of the worldwide trend towards the abolition of the death penalty.
The UNGA - the main UN deliberative body with universal membership - will continue to debate and make recommendations on the issue of the death penalty at the end of 2010.
BUT sadly, Malaysia demonstrated a disrespect to both United Nations General Assembly Resolution of December 2007 (Resolution 62/149), and the recent 18th December 2008 Resolution - both of which called for a MORATORIUM on executions - by proceeding with an execution on 19th December 2008 at 6.05 am.
Hanafi Mat Hassan, the bus driver convicted in the murder and rape of computer engineer Noor Suzaily Mukhtar was hanged at the Kajang prison this morning.
A prison spokesperson confirmed that Hanafi, 40, was hanged at 6.05am.
Kajang Hospital also confirmed the time of death and that his body had been collected by his relatives from Kampung Renik, Bachok, Kelantan at 3pm. - Malaysiakini, 19/12/2008 Noor Suzaily's killer hanged
The report of the execution was also carried in the New Straits Times..
Noor Suzaily Mukhtar (left) was raped and murdered eight years ago; her killer Hanafi Mat Hassan was hanged at the Kajang Prison in Selangor
KANGAR: "If I had the chance, I would have wanted to be the person who presses the switch to hang him when the orders were given."
These were the words of Mukhtar Ibrahim, 63, the father of Noor Suzaily Mukhtar, a computer engineer, who was raped and murdered eight years ago.
Her murderer, Hanafi Mat Hassan, was hanged at 6am yesterday at the Kajang Prison in Selangor.
"I am no one and in no position to forgive him (Hanafi). Only God can forgive him," said a tearful Mukhtar at his house in Taman Suraini yesterday.
"However, I am grateful to God that justice has taken place, even if only after a long time. Eight years is such a long time when one is waiting for justice to take place.
"I was waiting to receive the news of Hanafi being hanged from the prison authorities but they did not inform me. However, I am grateful to the New Straits Times and Berita Harian reporters who brought the news to me." - New Straits Times, 20/12/2008 - Noor Suzaily murder case: Long eight-year wait for justice
The General Assembly,
Guided by the purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations, Recalling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rightsand the Convention on the Rights of the Child,
Recalling also the resolutions on the question of the death penalty adopted over the past decade by the Commission on Human Rights in all consecutive sessions, the last being its resolution 2005/59,in which the Commission called upon States that still maintain the death penalty to abolish it completely and, in the meantime, to establish a moratorium on executions,
Recalling further the important results accomplished by the former Commission on Human Rights on the question of the death penalty, and envisaging that the Human Rights Council could continue to work on this issue,
Considering that the use of the death penalty undermines human dignity, and convinced that a moratorium on the use of the death penalty contributes to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights, that there is no conclusive evidence of the death penalty's deterrent value and that any miscarriage or failure of justice in the death penalty's implementation is irreversible and irreparable,
Welcoming the decisions taken by an increasing number of States to apply a moratorium on executions, followed in many cases by the abolition of the death penalty,
1. Expresses its deep concern about the continued application of the death penalty;
2. Calls upon all States that still maintain the death penalty to:
(a) Respect international standards that provide safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty, in particular the minimum standards, as set out in the annex to Economic and Social Council resolution 1984/50 of 25 May 1984;
(b) Provide the Secretary-General with information relating to the use of capital punishment and the observance of the safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty;
(c) Progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed;
(d) Establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty;
3. Calls upon States which have abolished the death penalty not to reintroduce it;
4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the implementation of the present resolution;
5. Decides to continue consideration of the matter at its sixty-third session under the same agenda item.
Resolution 217 A (III).
See resolution 2200 A (XXI), annex.
United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1577, No. 27531.
See Official Records of the Economic and Social Council, 2005, Supplement No. 3 and corrigenda (E/2005/23 and Corr.1 and 2), chap. II, sect. A.
Source: Amnesty International Website