Asian Regional Congress on The Death Penalty
The 2nd Asian Regional Congress on the Death Penalty will be held in Malaysia with an academic programme that will reflect the challenges linked to the abolition of the death penalty in the region, particularly in its usage to fight drug trafficking and the law of mandatory death sentences that limits the judiciary.
The academic programme of the Regional Congress will be defined in direct relation to the academic programme of the 6th World Congress.
To guarantee coherency, a Scientific Committee will be charged with incorporating the themes of the Regional Congress into the worldwide strategy toward universal abolition.
It will be composed by one representative from, respectively, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the Anti Death Penalty Asia Network, ECPM, and the International Academic Network for the Abolition of Capital Punishment.
The Regional Congress will grant a special place to the legal profession in partnership with the Bar Council of Malaysia.
Finally, the Regional Congress will propose various times for informal conversations between participants.
Plan your participation at this congress and register yourself for a seat at the workshops :
The Regional Congress will be held on the 11th and 12th of June 2015 at Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The academic programme will include an opening ceremony, a plenary session, two roundtables, four workshops and a closing ceremony.
At least 300 activists, lawyers and law makers from around the region are expected to attend the Congress, so REGISTER NOW.
Admission is free.
Plenary session: Drugs and death penalty (June 11th 1:30PM to 3:30PM)
In the latest death sentences pronounced in Asia in the context of drug trafficking cases, the main argument used was the number of victims caused by drug use in Asia. However, few figures are communicated by the judiciary or medical authorities concerning the evolution of drug use in the region.
Information from the field is essential to open a debate on the inefficiency of death penalty to fight drugs and to contradict the prominent argument in civil society, according to which death penalty is the only way to fight drug traffic.
Workshop 1: The mandatory death penalty (June 11th 4PM to 5PM)
As most of the Asian public is in favour of capital punishment, distinguishing between the death penalty in general and the mandatory death penalty in particular is crucial to advance the abolitionist cause. Offering the possibility of judging on a case-by-case basis is necessary to help advance legislation.
Testimonies: Judicial Officials /Judges and the death penalty
This session is the opportunity to give voice to judges / judicial officials, to testify their personal experiences when dealing with a death penalty case: how they made decisions; what are their reflections.
First roundtable discussion: Diplomacy and death penalty (June 12th 9AM to 10:30PM)
The diplomatic pressure tactics are a useful tool to advance the cause of human rights and the abolition of the death penalty. The significance of the diplomatic role of the Holy See and Spain in the abolition process in the Philippines is one example.
At a time when numerous Asian citizens are sentenced to death in the Arabic peninsula and numerous citizens from Europe and the Pacific area are convicted in Asia, a diplomatic and consular cooperation between these regions would help guaranteeing a better defence for the accused and the respect of their rights.
Regional organisations, such as ASEAN, are key players in the promotion of abolition. UN agencies, such as the UNODC, also have a role to play by making their support to the fight against drug trafficking conditional upon the respect of the right to life.
Workshop 2: Diplomacy and death penalty (June 12th 11AM to 12:30PM)
Following the roundtable on diplomacy and death penalty, this workshop will be an opportunity to share experiences with different INGOs present at the Regional Congress, to develop common strategies adapted to the particular context of the considered area: East and South East Asia.
Workshop 3: Working with the victims’ families (June 12th 11AM to 12:30PM)
The death penalty should not be only tackled through law and legislation approaches. Telling stories, talking about individuals who are directly affected by the death penalty is essential to raise awareness among the media and the public. It is also important, for that work to be efficient, to create educational tools, which take into account the regional particularities of the targeted zone, in order to work with the testimonies of victims’ families. The workshop should focus on how we can work with the victim’s family from an NGO’s point of view: how to reach them without scaring them away and develop a relationship with the victim’s family? How to reach out to different victims groups and work with them?
Workshop 4: Teaching abolition (June 12th 11AM to 12:30PM)
ECPM developed an educational programme adapted to the French academic system that has been duplicated in Morocco, among other countries. This workshop should be an opportunity to replicate the experiment in Asia, by developing educational programmes destined to each country of the targeted zone.
Second roundtable discussion: The elements of unfair trials (June 12th 1:30PM to 3:00 PM)
The lack of transparency in the judiciary sector in the Asian region, for pronounced sentences as well as procedures, does not guarantee the rights of the defendant. The weakest people are unable to face the pressures exerted by different judicial bodies – police forces during the arrest, law court during the trial, etc.
(To be confirmed)
- YB Senator Datuk Paul Low Seng Kuan, Minister In The Prime Minister’s Department, Malaysia
- Nagarajan Surendran - Vice President of Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Member of Parliament of Malaysia
- José Ramos-Horta - Former President of Timor and 1996 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
- Luvsanvandan Bold - Former Minister of Foreign Affairs in Mongolia and current Member of Parliament of Mongolia
- Hanne Sophie Greve - Commissioner at the International Commission against the Death Penalty and judge and Vice President of the Gulating High Court for Western Norway
- Steven Thiru - President of Bar Council Malaysia
- Tan Sri Hasmy Agam - Chairman of the National Commission for Human Rights (SUHAKAM)
• ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty) • ADPAN (Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network) • Amnesty International • FIDH (International Federation for Human Right) • Harm Reduction International • Death Penalty Project • Reprieve • World Coalition Against the Death Penalty • PGA (Parliamentarians for Global Action)
• UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) • AICHR (ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights)
Parliamentarians meeting / Intergovernmental organisations gathering :
Thanks to the support of the PGA (Parliamentarians for Global Action), the Regional Congress will be the opportunity to mobilise parliamentarians from the target area.
The ability to organise high level meetings with Malaysian authorities and regional intergovernmental organisations as ASEAN, but also to hold private meetings on the fringe of debates during the
Regional Congress are the challenges of the congress. Side events will enable to establish a dialogue between non-profit, political and legal players in order to draw up concerted strategies aimed to mobilise actors of the Malaysian, and more generally, Asian political stage. This will make the creation of a dialogue between civil society and the legislative sector possible.
A structured and active abolitionist movement
Over the last decades, Asian civil society’s commitment to abolition the death penalty has increased.
The Malaysian abolitionist movement, led by the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN, co-organiser of the Regional Congress) to which Amnesty International Malaysia is a member of, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM), and Bar Council Malaysia (all partners of the Regional Congress), has strengthened.
The cooperation of these structures on the Regional Congress will reinforce and empower the existing Asian abolitionist movement, making it more visible at the global level.
Aims specific to the region
The Regional Congress will be aimed both at civil society and politicians, governments and regional organisations. Its aims are as follow :
- Encourage the emergence of new forms of political cooperation to encourage States to make concrete commitments
- Support the work of civil society actors and strengthen their role in the promotion of human rights and abolition of the death penalty
- Assist progress in the region by:
- Defining a concerted strategy with clear elements in terms of progress, obstacles and outlook
- Breaking the isolation of abolitionist players by encouraging networking
- Producing political, legal, and sociological arguments in support of abolition
- Developing concerted lobbying strategies
- Mobilise the media so that it can raise awareness among citizens about the reality of the death penalty
- Organise the regional debate with a view to the 6th World Congress and guarantee an important place for the region’s players at the 6th Congress
For more details from the organisers, CLICK HERE.
This 2nd Regional Congress on the death penalty will take place at Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.
(Metro stations : KL Monorail Bukit Nanas Station or Kelana Jaya Line - Dang Wangi) on June 11th and 12th, 2015.
Scroll up for detailed provisional programme and plan your time.