Help Malaysia #AbolishDeathPenalty
YAB Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
Main Block, Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre
Dear Prime Minister,
The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It is the premeditated and cold-blooded killing of a human being by the state. This cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment is done in the name of justice but violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
According to Parliamentary replies in March and May 2016, 1042 people – 629 Malaysian and 413 foreign nationals – were under sentence of death for murder, drug trafficking, firearms trafficking or kidnapping as at 30 April 2016. Of these, 649 prisoners had legal appeals pending, while 393 were seeking pardon from the state Pardon Boards after exhausting all legal avenues available to them.
While welcoming recent reports that the Malaysian government would review its mandatory laws relating to drug offences, we are concerned that the government has yet to introduce amendments to bring national legislation in line with international law and standards on the use of the death penalty.
We urge the Malaysian Authorities to:
- provide to all those facing the death penalty, their families and lawyers, adequate notice of their imminent execution, including with exact date and time of their implementation, to allow them to prepare for the event and seek any recourse available to them against their execution, and to make this information also available to the public;
- provide information to those facing the death penalty on the status of their pardon applications;
- publish, for each category of offence for which the death penalty is authorized, and if possible on an annual basis, information about the use of the death penalty, including the number of persons sentenced to death, the number of death sentences reversed or commuted on appeal and the number of instances in which clemency can still be granted, and include information on the extent to which international safeguards on the use of the death penalty are incorporated in national law, with a view to informing transparent national debates;
I also urge you to put in place at the soonest possible a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition of the death penalty.
In no way do I downplay the seriousness of crimes committed, but the death penalty remains the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights.