Regional Consultative Campaign Meeting on the Abolishment of
Death Penalty in ASEAN
Jakarta, April 22-23, 2016
The program was concerned with the campaign of ASEAN to adopt a policy for abolition of the death penalty. As such, the main focus would be ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) – but sadly Dinna Wisnu, AICHR Representative for Indonesia, who was also scheduled to present a paper, did not turn up. New Malaysian AICHR Representative, Mr Edmund Bon, who was also invited did not attend. Thailand’s rep, Dr. Seree Nonthasoot, who was also scheduled to present a paper also did not turn up.
The absence of the national AICHR representatives was disturbing and one wonders whether the new AICHR reps will be as committed to the abolition of the death penalty in ASEAN. With the appointment of new national AICHR reps, one hopes that the work our work with the old reps for the abolition of the death penalty will not be lost. Both the past Malaysian and Thailand AICHR reps were for the abolition of the death penalty.
The program looked at both national and regional updates – and there seem to be a common understanding that the target of the lobby should not merely be AICHR representatives and ASEAN leaders, but also the people of ASEAN. Some proposals were made including anti-death penalty events at all ASEAN events, and a photo exhibition in all ASEAN member nations.
The initiative was by the Indonesian Coalition on the abolition of Death Penalty – but discussion suggested that it best be an initiative that is seen to be ASEAN – possibly ASEAN Coalition on the abolition of Death Penalty, which would involve all anti-death penalty groups in ASEAN.
ADPAN proposed that it should be a Joint initiative with ADPAN, given that ASEAN is certainly withing area of work of ADPAN. ADPAN also proposed that Indonesian Coalition on the abolition of Death Penalty consider applying to be a member of ADPAN.
There were several members of ADPAN that were in attendance during the said program. ADPAN members AI Malaysia, AI Thailand, IMPARSIAL(Indonesia) and Think Centre made presentations. Charles Hector, representing ADPAN and also MADPET[Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture) also made a presentation about the region. Mr Ravi Madasamy from ADPAN also was a moderator for one of the sessions.
ADPAN also did extend invitations to other groups from the Asia-Pacific region to consider applying to be come members of ADPAN.