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 is the ultimate 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 the Prisons Department, the pardons board of various states in Malaysia commuted the death sentences of 165 people who had been sent to death row from 2007 to 2017. During the same time, 35 executions took place. As of June 2018, 1,267 are people on death row.
While welcoming recent reports that the Malaysian government would review the country’s mandatory death penalty laws, 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. The mandatory death penalty, as well as the imposition of the death penalty for drug-related offences, violates international law and standards.
Last year, 170 of the 193 UN Member States were execution-free, while 106 countries have fully abolished capital punishment from their legislation, and 142 in total – more than two-thirds of the world’s countries – have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice.
We urge the Malaysian Authorities to fully abolish the death penalty in Malaysia. Pending this, I also seek your urgent intervention to:
- establish an official moratorium on executions to include all cases and cover all stages of Malaysia’s journey towards abolition;
- 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;
- ensuring that all existing death sentences are reviewed and commuted, including those imposed as a resulted of the mandatory use of the death penalty, for offences other than intentional killing and interested by concerns on the fairness of the proceedings;
In no way do I downplay the seriousness of crimes committed, but the death penalty remains the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights.
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