Amnesty continues fight to abolish death penalty

08 Apr 2015 / 00:50 H.

    PETALING JAYA: Amnesty International Malaysia said sentencing drug mules to death is not an effective solution in tackling the drug trafficking problem in Malaysia.
    Its executive director Shamini Dharshni said based on interviews with lawyers and family members, most of those caught for trafficking don't even know that they are carrying drugs.
    "Many who face the death sentence often develop mental or intellectual disabilities from being in solitary confinement which can stretch for years. Malaysia is amongst the countries that would execute those with mental or intellectual disabilities," she added.
    In its Death Sentences and Executions Report 2014, Amnesty reports that at least 38 people in Malaysia were sentenced to death and at least two were executed last year, 16 of the convictions were for drug-related offences.
    Last year, a total number of 117 of the United Nation's 193 members voted in favour for the resolution in calling for a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty globally. Malaysia had voted against this resolution.
    "The death penalty is used in contravention of international law and standards. Unfair trials, confession extracted through torture or ill treatment, and using the death penalty against juveniles and people with mental or intellectual disabilities continues to be featured," Shamini said yesterday during the release of the report here.
    Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime, the guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.
    "The death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment," she said.

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