Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. We campaign for total abolition of capital punishment.
Crimes punishable by death in Malaysia:
- Drug trafficking
- Waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the King)
- Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder
- Possession of Firearms
- Abetting Mutiny (Armed Forces)
- Hostage taking
Death sentences are carried out by hanging as provided in Section 281 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Pregnant women and children may not be sentenced to death.
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Malaysia’s International commitments
Malaysia is neither a party to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) nor its Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (1989). In March 2014, Malaysia rejected all recommendations to establish a moratorium on executions and abolish the death penalty made by fellow UN-member states at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review, aimed at improving the country’s human rights situation.
A public opinion survey carried out in 2012 by, the Death Penalty Project (DPP) in association with the Malaysian Bar Council, found that “Malaysians believed in the death Penalty but were not willing to mete it out”. This encouraging outcome indicates that with the right amount of awareness and education the public can be convinced that the death penalty is in fact an in-
fringement of one’s human rights.
Lack of transparency in meting out death sentences in Malaysia
Malaysia has earned a reputation for meting out death sentences in secrecy. Along with countries like India, Indonesia, Japan, and South Sudan, as well as in some cases in Iran, neither prisoners nor their families or lawyers were informed of their forthcoming execution. AI Malaysia criticises Malaysia for continuing to carry out executions in secrecy which is in direct violation of international standards. In 2013, there were at least two executions which were known to have taken place in Malaysia and both executions were shrouded in secrecy as the authorities did not make any public announcement about the imminent executions nor were there any posthumous information about the executed individuals.