MADPET is for the Abolition of Death Penalty, an end of torture and abuse of rights by the police, an end to death in custody, an end to police shoot to kill incidents, for greater safeguards to ensure a fair trial, for a right to one phone call and immediate access to a lawyer upon arrest, for the repeal of all laws that allow for detention without trial and an immediate release of all those who are under such draconian laws.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Government should look into fully abolishing death penalty, says Suhakam and MADPET(Rakyat Post)
Government should look into fully abolishing death penalty, says Suhakam
Malaysia's use of capital punishment, including a mandatory death
sentence for drug dealing, has been criticised by human rights groups
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18, 2015:
The government should look into fully
abolishing mandatory death penalties, joining the ranks of the majority
in the United Nations member states, says a human rights body.
Human Rights Commission of Malaysia
(Suhakam) chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam, while applauding the recent
announcement stating that Malaysia may soon see the end of mandatory
death sentence for drug related offences, said that the next step the
government should take is to review all criminal laws.
This, he added, is to ensure that the
death penalty, if imposed, is applicable only to the most serious crimes
as defined by Article 6(2) of the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights (ICCPR).
Accordingly, Suhakam recommended that the
government look into the possibility of acceding to the ICCPR, and its
Second Optional Protocol, and aim towards the eventual abolition of the
death penalty in the country.
also said that Malaysia should follow the steps taken by 140 of the 193
United Nations member states that have not only abolished the death
penalty but had also introduced moratoriums.
“The Commission believes that this
positive development will bring Malaysia’s position on the issue closer
in line with many countries that have in recent years abolished the
mandatory death sentence.
“The Commission in 2012 welcomed this
proposal following an announcement by the then de facto Law Minister
Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, and reiterates that the death
penalty undermines human dignity and violates the right to life.
“The Commission hopes that these proposed
amendments will be expeditiously brought to Parliament and that pending
such an outcome, there will be a moratorium on all executions,” said
Hasmy in a statement today.
He was commenting on a statement made by
de facto law minister Nancy Shukri yesterday announcing that the
government was currently pursuing plans to abolish the mandatory death
penalty for drug-related offences.
She told reporters present at a press
conference in the Parliament that a bill would be tabled in March next
year which would allow judges to use their discretion to choose between
sentencing a person to jail or a death sentence, such as in cases of
Malaysians Against Death Penalty and
Torture (Madpet) today also welcomed the move, saying that the nation
may finally see the plan, announced since 2010, become a reality.
Madpet coordinator Charles Hector pointed
out to the recent statistics provided by the government, which stated
that at present, there are 1,022 persons on death row, while from 1998
until Oct 6 this year, 33 individuals have been executed under the death
“It is not clear as to how many persons
have been executed, if any, after Dec 18, 2007, the date the United
Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for ‘a moratorium
on executions’ pending abolition.
“On Dec 18, 2014, the UN General Assembly (UNGA) reaffirmed for the fifth time since 2007 the call for a stop of all executions.
“Being a member of the United Nations,
Madpet hopes that Malaysia has been in compliance with this UN General
Assembly Resolution and there have been no executions for many years,”
said Hector in a statement issued this morning.
He expressed satisfaction at the fact
that Malaysia had commuted the sentence of 127 persons on death row
since 1998 and urged for the same to be done for all other individuals
currently on death row.
He also urged for the government to look
into including provisions allowing the court to review the death
sentence of all those currently on death row and alternatively, have all
their sentences commuted to “life imprisonment or imprisonment until
end of natural life”.
While noting that the recent announcement
showed that the government has taken a necessary and positive first
step, Madpet urged for the nation to aim further, and fully utilise its
position as the head of Asean Chair and urge all other nine Asean member
states to also move towards abolishing the death penalty. - Rakyat Post, 18/11/2015