Pakistan Ends Moratorium in 2013 – First execution only for ‘terror convicts’ – but in March extended to all capital crimes..

Pakistan resumes capital punishment after one month break

27 July 2015 @ 3:04 PM MULTAN, (Pakistan):

Pakistan on Monday resumed executions by hanging two murder convicts following a one-month break during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan that ended last week. The hangings, which took place in the central city of Multan early in the morning, brought to 176 the total number of people executed since December when the country ended a six-year moratorium on the death penalty, according to the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

“Two prisoners, Farooq alias Farooqa and Karim Nawaz, who had been awarded capital punishment, have been hanged in central jail in Multan today,” Chaudhry Arshad Saeed, a senior government advisor for prisons in the Punjab province told AFP. “Both of these convicts were awaiting the death penalty for murdering people in separate cases.

They have been executed today after resumption of hangings following a temporary moratorium because of Ramadan,” he said.

Another senior official of the prisons department who is responsible for all operations confirmed the hangings. Pakistan ended its 2008 – 2013 moratorium on the death penalty following a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar that killed more than 150 people – mostly children – in the country’s deadliest ever terror attack.

The death penalty was initially reserved for terror convicts but was extended to all capital crimes in March. Critics say the country’s criminal justice system is marred by police torture and poor legal representation, meaning many of those now facing the gallows have not had a fair trial.

Among those currently on death row are murder convict Shafqat Hussain, whose case has drawn international criticism because his family and lawyers say he was under 18 at the time of the killing and claim he was tortured into confessing. The European Union, the United Nations and human rights campaigners have all urged Pakistan to reinstate the moratorium. Amnesty International estimates that Pakistan has more than 8,000 prisoners on death row, most of whom have exhausted their appeals. -AFP

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Death penalty 2015: the good and the bad

Death penalty 2015: the good and the bad

23 July 2015, 11:08 UTC
The first six months of 2015 have seen starkly contrasting developments on the death penalty. While the bad news has been very bad, the good news has been very good.
The bad
1. Indonesia resumed executions.
The year began on a tragic note when Indonesia, ignoring pleas from around the world, put six people to death for drug trafficking. The executions were the first in Indonesia since 2013.
2. Pakistan may soon be counted among the world’s top executioners.
Pakistan is edging closer to membership of the unenviable club of the world’s top executioners (China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and USA). At least 150 people have been put to death since a freeze on executions was lifted in December 2014, following a Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar. 
3. Indonesia and Pakistan used crime and terrorism as an excuse to bring back executions.
Both Indonesia and Pakistan justified bringing back the death penalty by claiming it is an effective response to crime and terrorism.  But there is no evidence to show that the death penalty is more effective at addressing crime than a prison term, nor does abolition lead to a sharp increase in crime, as some fear.
4. Iran looks set to surpass its execution figures for 2014.
Iran has so far this year executed nearly 700 people – many of these executions were not officially acknowledged. In 2014, Amnesty recorded at least 743 executions in Iran over 12 months. That the country put more than 600 people to death just six months into this year is deeply troubling. 
5.  Saudi Arabia has already executed more people than it did in 2014.
Amnesty has recorded 102 executions in Saudi Arabia so far this year, exceeding the total number of executions (at least 90) for 2014. Almost half of these executions were for drug-related offences. 
The good
1. Three countries abolished the death penalty in the first three months of 2015.
In January Madagascar abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Fiji followed suit in February. And in March, the South American State of Suriname also removed the death penalty from its legal books. The abolition of the death penalty in three countries in the space of three months gives further momentum to a trend that has been evident for decades – the world is consigning capital punishment to history.
2. Another three countries are close to abolishing the death penalty.
The Mongolian Parliament is considering a draft penal code abolishing the death penalty. Burkina Faso and South Korea are also considering similar draft laws.
3. The trend towards abolition in the USA is picking up steam.
One more US state, Nebraska, has abolished the death penalty, becoming the 19th abolitionist state in the USA. And in February, Pennsylvania’s governor announced a suspension of all executions.
4. Those countries that execute are in the minority.
Over the last five years, the average number of countries that have carried out executions each year stands at 22.
5. More than half the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty.
In total, 101 countries have completely abolished the death penalty – that’s more than half the countries in the world. Another 33 countries are abolitionist in practice – meaning they have not executed anyone for at least 10 years and have a long-standing policy of not executing. Despite the sharp rise in executions in some countries, abolitionist countries still represent the clear global majority.



Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – June 12, 2015

WE, the over 300 participants in the First Asian Congress on the Death Penalty, taking place in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), on June 11th and 12th, 2015, co-organized by the Association Together Against the Death Penalty (ECPM) and the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN), in partnership with the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) and the Bar Council Malaysia;

ADOPT the following Declaration;


that every human being has the inherent right to life. This right must be protected by law;

– that over the last decades, five countries in the Asia region have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, Nepal, Bhutan, Philippines, Cambodia and Timor Leste;

– that Mongolia committed to the abolition of the death penalty by ratifying the 2nd Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of the United Nations (ICCPR);

– that some countries are abolitionist in practice (Brunei Darussalam, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, South-Korea, Thailand);

– that the relationships between civil society, National human rights institutions, bar councils, academics, jurists, journalists, and prominent figures for the abolition of the death penalty are being strengthened;


– Asia remains the continent with the highest number of executions in the world.

– Since the beginning of 2015, some countries have resumed executions after the death penalty was suspended, such as Pakistan (over than 155 executions), Singapore and Indonesia (14 executions), while others plan to reintroduce the death penalty such as Sri Lanka and Papua New Guinea;

– The death penalty is still applied for non-most serious crimes with reference to ICCPR definition and international standards;


Asian Retentionist states:

– To work toward the abolition of the death penalty to comply with the resolutions for a moratorium on executions, pending the abolition of the death penalty, passed by the General Assembly of the United Nations since 2007;

– To publish transparent, regular and reliable information on their implementation of the death penalty;

– To reform the justice criminal systems to ensure fair trials and stop the use of mandatory death penalty: “the automatic and mandatory imposition of the death penalty constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of life, in violation of Article 6, paragraph 1 of the ICCPR”, and is fundamentally incompatible with the right to fair trial and due process guaranteed in Article 14;

– To reduce by law the list of crimes punishable by death, including those related to the drug trafficking and the fight against terrorism in accordance with the “most serious crimes” provision of the ICCPR;

Intergovernmental regional organizations and international organizations:

– To continue and intensify their cooperation with States toward abolition;

– To collaborate with Asian and international civil society to promote the universal abolition of the death penalty;

Asian Abolitionist states:

– To commit, beyond words, in concrete and stronger actions in favour of the universal abolition of the death penalty, especially in their diplomatic relations with the retentionist states and with the inter-governmental regional organisations;

– To take the lead of the abolitionist movement among regional human rights bodies;

– To sign and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR and to call on other Asian states to do the same;

– To provide assistance and support to national citizens on death row abroad;

People’s representatives (Parliamentarians, Congressmen, Deputies):

– To gather in national, regional and international networks and bring the debate to abolish into the heart of retentionists Parliaments;

National Human Rights Institutions:

– To work jointly at a national and regional level to bring the issue of the abolition of the death penalty among their priorities and recommendations;

Bar Councils:

– To mobilize, raise awareness and train lawyers and jurists everywhere in Asia on the fight against the death penalty, including on defences in capital cases, for due process and fair trials

Judges in retentionist countries:

– To use their discretionary power to individualize sentences, to not sentence to death or to encourage juries to decide not to condemn to death;

Abolitionist civil society and academic actors:

– To NGOs, lawyers, academics and human rights defenders in Asia-Pacific to join the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) to promote human rights and the abolition of the death penalty;

– To act jointly with, and eventually join, the World Coalition against the Death Penalty and strengthen interactions;

– To undertake educational activities in favour of abolition with the public, including policy makers, students; and to celebrate every year the annual World Day against the Death Penalty on October 10th and the Cities for Life on November 30th;

– To actively continue in our work towards abolition of the death penalty including supporting and attending the upcoming World Congress against the death penalty in Oslo in June 2016.

Kuala Lumpur

June 12, 2015

World Day Against the Death Penalty – 10 Oct. 2014 – Press Statement

In conjunction with the 12th World Day Against the Death Penalty (WDADP), the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) strongly presses for and renews its call to Asian governments to abolish capital punishment.
ADPAN is a network of organisations and individuals from about 28 Asia-Pacific countries working for the abolition of the death penalty across the Asia-Pacific region.
Capital punishment is a grave violation of the right to life as enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). ADPAN strongly advocates and supports the rehabilitation – not execution – of death row prisoners.
The statistics are chilling: More people are executed in the Asia-Pacific than in the rest of the world combined. However, the number of executions is declining worldwide; and 140 countries out of 198 worldwide (36 out of 62 in Asia-Pacific) have abolished1 the death penalty in law or in practice.
According to data available across the globe, the death penalty is an ineffective means of reducing crime, and has no unique deterrent effect. In March 2012, the Malaysian Bar Council stated that empirical evidence from surveys has shown that despite the introduction of mandatory death sentences for drug trafficking, the number of cases continues to increase2.
Failures or miscarriages of justice, where innocent persons are executed, or made to languish on death row, are gross violations of human rights. The following three cases in recent years highlight that miscarriages of justice have taken place in the Asia.
In March this year in Japan, a retrial3 has been ordered for Iwao Hakamada, 78, the world’s longest-serving death row inmate. He was convicted of a 1966 quadruple murder, but after almost 48 years, the Shizuoka District Court suspended his death sentence and released Hakamada after DNA testing indicated key evidence against him may have been fabricated.
In 2011, the government of Taiwan publicly apologized to the family of former air force private Chiang Kuo-ching for his wrongful execution4 in 1997.
In China, Nie Shubin was executed5 in 1995 for the rape and murder of a woman. In 2005, another person called Wang Shujin admitted to the police that he had committed the murder.[
In another positive development in November 2013 in Singapore, Yong Viu Kong’s death penalty6 was officially lifted. He become the first drug trafficker on death row to have his sentence reduced to life imprisonment and 15 strokes of the cane, under amendments made to the Misuse of Drugs Act.
ADPAN is gravely concerned that executions7 have taken place this year in the following Asian countries: China, Iran, Iraq, Japan, North Korea, Palestine, Singapore, Saudi Arabia Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
Despite appeals by anti-death penalty groups in at least three of these countries (Japan, Singapore and Taiwan), these Asian governments have carried out this irreversible and irreparable penalty in contravention of the policy and principle of the UDHR.
ADPAN notes that out of 41 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, 13 still retain the death penalty. ADPAN urgently appeals to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam to immediately abolish the death penalty, and in the interim, enforce a moratorium on all executions. This is in line with UNGA Fourth Resolution8 passed on 20 December 2012.

Ngeow Chow Ying
on behalf of the
Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network
10 Oct. 2014, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Thailand: Action, not words, needed to abolish the death penalty

FIDH – International Federation for Human Rights
and its member organization in Thailand
Union for Civil Liberty (UCL)

Joint press release

Thailand: Action, not words, needed to abolish the death penalty


Paris, Bangkok, 9 October 2014: Thailand must go beyond words and take rapid and tangible steps to abolish the death penalty, FIDH and its member organization UCL said one day before the 12th World Day Against the Death Penalty (10 October 2014).

On 22 July 2014, in a letter to the UN General Assembly’s President which contained Thailand’s candidature for a seat at the UN Human Rights Council for the 2015-2017 term, Thailand pledged to “study the possibility” of abolishing capital punishment. Thailand’s third National Human Rights Plan also mentioned the possibility of abolishing the death penalty.

Thailand must quickly turn its tepid commitment to consider the abolition of the death penalty into concrete action. This includes the ratification of relevant international instruments and the adoption of necessary domestic laws that will finally make state-sanctioned killing an aberration of the past,” said FIDH President Karim Lahidji.

Recent political and social developments in the country have created conditions that risk undermining efforts to abolish capital punishment. The National Human Rights Plan was expected to be submitted to the Cabinet earlier this year. However, its status remains unclear following the22 May military coup.

In addition, instead of proposing the reduction of the number of offenses that are punishable by death, decision-makers, politicians, and activists have recently supported the introduction of new capital crimes.

On 19 September, it was reported that Thailand’s military junta, the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), proposed a bill that prescribed the death penalty for those found guilty of causing the closure of an airport or damaging airport facilities or aircraft at an airport. The proposed legislation has already passed its first reading in the junta-backed National Legislative Assembly (NLA).

On 14 July, it was reported that former Home Affairs Deputy Minister and Phum Jai Thai Party MP Boonchong Wongtrasirat proposed the amendment of existing laws in order to make the buying and selling of votes and offence that is punishable by death.

Following the rape and murder of a 13-year-old girl on a Bangkok-train on 6 July, activists and key public figures launched a campaign that called for the death penalty for convicted rapists.

Emotional responses to political developments or horrendous crimes are major setbacks on the path to the abolition of the death penalty in Thailand,” said UCL Senior Advisor Danthong Breen. “Decision-makers must reject capital punishment as a solution. Vengeance achieves nothing, fails as a deterrent, and exacerbates the culture of violence.”

FIDH and UCL urge Thailand to announce an official moratorium on capital punishment, to sign and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, and to vote in favor of a resolution calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in December.

As of 31 August, there were 623 prisoners (572 men and 51 women) under death sentence in Thailand. Forty percent of the men and 82% percent of the women were sentenced to death for drug-related offenses.

Thailand has not executed anyone since 24 August 2009, when two men, Bundit Jaroenwanit, 45, and Jirawat Poompreuk, 52, were put to death by lethal injection with just one-hour notice at Bang Khwang Prison, located just north of Bangkok. The two had been convicted of drug trafficking on 29 March 2001.

FIDH is a member of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty.


Press contacts:
Arthur Manet (French, English and Spanish)  – Phone: +33 6 72 28 42 94 (Paris) –
Audrey Couprie (French, English and Spanish) – Phone: +33 6 48 05 91 57 (Paris) –

The International Federation for Human Rights, known by its French acronym FIDH, is an international human rights NGO representing 178 organizations from close to 120 countries. Since 1922, FIDH has been defending all civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights as set out in the Universal Declaration for Human Rights.

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