Malaysia – Still delaying abolition whilst Human Rights Commission wants no delay..

Malaysia’s new government says that they intend to abolish the death penalty, for a start the mandatory death penalty …but again not a firm commitment, but just intention to ‘review’. Malaysia’s National Human Rights Commission(SUHAKAM) wants no delays…

Suhakam wants no delay in abolition of death penalty

Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said the commission would let Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed decide on the matter without interference from other parties. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said the commission would let Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed decide on the matter without interference from other parties. ― Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR July 2 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) hopes that the government will not delay in abolishing the death penalty.
Suhakam chairman Tan Sri Razali Ismail said the commission would let Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed decide on the matter without interference from other parties.
“If we take a poll from the Malaysian people now, a lot of them will agree to get rid of the death penalty.
“We should get going and do it within this year.
“Of course there will be many quarters that will review it from various aspects and on how to deal with certain custom practices, religion and all, but for me that is the business of the PM to put it all together.”
Razali said this to reporters after attending the workshop on the United Nations Convention Against Torture And Other Cruel, Inhuman Or Degrading Treatment Or Punishment (Uncat) with the Malaysian Islamic Community here today.
Meanwhile, Deputy Secretary-General of the Ministry of Home Affairs (Moha) Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron said that the death sentence on 17 inmates in death row had been put on hold pending a government review on capital punishment.
He stated that the outcome might take a while as the Cabinet would have to deliberate on the findings if the review.
Nadzri said the review process on capital punishment would begin as soon as possible, as it is a directive from the government.
“The review will involve all laws where the death penalty is prescribed, including the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and the Firearms Act 1971,” he said. — Bernama, Malay Mail, 2/7/2018

Home Ministry says death penalty under review, reprieve for 17

Deputy Secretary General of the Home Ministry, Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron, speaks during the agenda workshop on Malaysia Accession to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment in Kuala Lumpur July 2, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Deputy Secretary General of the Home Ministry, Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron, speaks during the agenda workshop on Malaysia Accession to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment in Kuala Lumpur July 2, 2018. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
KUALA LUMPUR, July 2 — The sentences of 17 inmates on death row have been put on hold pending a government review of the penalty, the Home Ministry announced today.
The ministry’s deputy secretary-general Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron indicated that the outcome may take a while as the Cabinet will have to deliberate on the review findings.
“The review process will begin as soon as possible, as it is a directive from the government,” he said during the agenda workshop on Malaysia Accession to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment (Uncat) here.
Nadzri said the review will involve all laws where the death penalty is prescribed, including the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and the Firearms Act 1971.
“The PH manifesto clearly stated that the use of the death penalty would be reviewed. Whether it will be retained or abolished will depend on the Cabinet,” he said, using the initials for the Pakatan Harapan coalition that came into power after the May 9 general election.
On the government’s accession to the Uncat, Nadzri said the ministry will soon form a special committee to review seven acts pertaining to detention without trial.
“We have been instructed to review these laws as soon as possible alongside the Attorney-General’s Chamber. The review will most probably conclude by the year’s end,”
“Three of the seven acts to be reviewed include the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, the Prevention of Crime Act 2014, and the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2015,” he said. – Malay Mail, 2/7/2018

DPM: Govt may abolish death penalty

As of now, the government had deferred the death penalty for drug-related offenders, Dr Wan Azizah said. — AFP pic
As of now, the government had deferred the death penalty for drug-related offenders, Dr Wan Azizah said. — AFP pic
BANGI, June 29 — The government is looking into the need to make amendments to do away with the mandatory death penalty in legislation pertaining to criminal offences, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said today.
As of now, the government had deferred the death penalty for drug-related offenders, she said.
“The last Cabinet meeting resolved to implement the government decision to defer the death penalty imposed on 17 people convicted of drug offences.
“In a broader context, we also touched on the need to consider whether the same thing can be applied for offenders in other crimes,” she said at a press conference after launching EduWAQF, an educational ‘wakaf’ (Islamic endowment) initiated by AWQAF Holdings Berhad, here.
Wan Azizah said this measure would enable Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted and sentenced to death over the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, to return to Malaysia from Australia if he wanted to.
She said Sirul Azhar, who had sought protection in Australia, was unlikely to be allowed to return to Malaysia so long as he had to face a death penalty upon his coming back.
“That’s why we are discussing whether it is necessary for us to change the sentence or replace it with any penalty,” she said.
It had been reported that Australia authorities had allowed a Malaysian request for Sirul Azhar to be extradited on condition that Malaysia agreed to bear the costs but the former Special Action Unit member reportedly refused to return home for fear of having to face the death penalty. — Bernama – Malay  Mail, 29/6/2018
See more at MADPET Blog

Japan – 7 executions in one day?

AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Asahara, 6 ex-followers executed at once

Shoko Asahara (Mainichi)
Seiichi Endo (Mainichi)
Tomomasa Nakagawa (Mainichi)
Masami Tsuchiya (Mainichi)
Tomomitsu Niimi (Mainichi)
Yoshihiro Inoue (Mainichi)
Kiyohide Hayakawa (Mainichi)

TOKYO — AUM Shinrikyo cult founder Shoko Asahara, 63, who orchestrated the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin gas attack and other murders and six former members of the cult were executed on the morning of July 6, the Ministry of Justice announced.

The executions came 11 years and 10 months after the Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that sentenced the former AUM leader to death in September 2006 as the “mastermind” of the series of crimes by the cult, which sent shockwaves through Japanese society and carved a place in the history of Japan’s Heisei era.

Along with Asahara, whose real name was Chizuo Matsumoto, 12 other former top members of AUM Shinrikyo were also sentenced to death. The six other members executed on the same day as Asahara were Kiyohide Hayakawa, 68, at the Fukuoka Detention Center; Yoshihiro Inoue, 48, and Tomomitsu Niimi, 54, at the Osaka Detention Center; Masami Tsuchiya, 53, at the Tokyo Detention Center; Tomomasa Nakagawa, 55, at the Hiroshima Detention Center; and Seiichi Endo, 58, also at the Tokyo Detention Center. The death sentences for the six were finalized between 2009 and 2011.

The latest executions bring the total number signed off by Minister of Justice Yoko Kamikawa to 10, including during her previous run in the same position from October 2014 to October 2015. In addition, seven death row inmates is the highest number ordered executed in a single day in Japan since executions resumed in the country in 1993.

Asahara was born in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture, in 1955, and established the predecessor of AUM Shinrikyo, “AUM Shinsen no Kai” in 1984. The organization attracted believers through yoga and meditation classes that claimed to give practitioners special abilities. In 1987, the organization changed its name to AUM Shinrikyo and became an incorporated religious body in 1989.

In 1990, Asahara himself and other followers ran as candidates for the House of Representatives, but none of them were successfully elected to office. Trouble continued with members leaving the cult and the payment of expensive “offerings,” attracting harsh criticism from the public.

After the 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway system, Metropolitan Police Department raided the cult’s facility in the then village of Kamikuishiki in Yamanashi Prefecture, and arrested Asahara and other leaders of the cult, and subsequently indicted Asahara on murder and other charges in 17 cases. In order to speed up proceedings, the prosecution subsequently dropped relatively light charges against Asahara in four of these cases. The remaining 13 cases included the 1989 murder of anti-cult lawyer Tsutsumi Sakamoto and his family, and a 1994 sarin gas attack in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, in central Japan, which killed eight people. In total, 29 people died (27 confirmed by the court as victims) and over 6,500 people were injured.

When his trial began in the Tokyo District Court in 1996, Asahara asserted that he was almost completely innocent, claiming that it was his disciples who carried out the attacks. However, he was handed the death penalty 2004 on the grounds that “committing crimes that stole the lives of so many people based on fictitious fantasies is foolish and despicable and deserves maximum social condemnation,” citing that Asahara had “planned to expand the power of the religious cult by arming it, and imagined taking over Japan in the name of salvation and installing himself as king.”

A total of 13 former members were sentenced to death for their involvement in either the death of the Sakamoto family or the two sarin gas attacks, or a combination of the incidents. In addition, six received life sentences, 81 prison time, 87 suspended sentences and three were fined. Two former members were found not guilty.

Following the cult leader’s sentencing, because his legal group “could not communicate” with Asahara, they missed the deadline for submitting paperwork to appeal the court’s decision on the grounds that he was mentally unfit to stand trial. Because of this, the Tokyo High Court struck down an appeal in 2006. The Supreme Court also upheld the Tokyo High Court’s ruling, and Asahara’s death sentence was finalized the same year.

In 1995, the Tokyo District Court revoked the legal status of AUM Shinrikyo as an incorporated religious organization. In 2000, the group renamed itself Aleph, and a new group called “Hikari no wa” (The Circle of Rainbow Light) broke away in 2007.

The trials over incidents related to AUM Shinrikyo’s activities came to an end in January 2018. In March, the Justice Ministry moved seven of the 13 death row inmates, excluding Asahara, from where they were being held in the Tokyo Detention Center in the capital’s Katsushika Ward to five regional centers, and the details of the execution of their sentences and the timing started being considered.

Minister of Justice Yoko Kamikawa answers media questions at the prime minister’s office on July 6, 2018. (Mainichi) – The Mainichi, 6/7/2018

 

Thailand – Man executed by lethal injection – First since August 2009

Man executed by lethal injection

  • 18 Jun 2018 at 20:45
  • WRITER: KING-OUA LAOHONG

A man has been executed, a first in eight years, according to the Corrections Department.

Teerasak Longji, 26, who was convicted of aggravated robbery, received a lethal injection at 3-6pm on Monday, said Pol Col Narat Svetanan, director-general of the department.

Teerasak robbed and killed a man in Trang province on July 17, 2012. He took a mobile phone and a wallet from the victim and stabbed him 24 times.

The first court handed down a death sentence on him, and the Appeal Court and the Supreme Court upheld it.

He was the seventh prisoner executed by lethal injection after the method replaced firing squad 15 years ago.

Since 1935, 325 convicts have been executed. Firing squad was used on 319 prisoners. The last time was on Dec 11, 2003.

Lethal injection replaced it on Dec 12, 2003. Before Teerasak, it was administered on Aug 24, 2009.

Punishments under the Thai Criminal Code are fining, asset seizures, detention, imprisonment and execution. – Bangkok Post, 18/6/2018

Director General Naras Savettanan announced that on 18 June 2018 at 15.00-18.00pm, the Department of Correction has executed a death row prisoner, Mr. Theerasak Longji, 26 years old, who cruelly murdered someone to steal on 17 July 2012 in Trang province. He assaulted, stole wallets and mobile phone, and stabbed the person 24 times to death. The case reached its final verdict by the Supreme Court.

The execution was conducted according to the Section 245 of the Criminal Procedural Code, together with Section 19 of the Criminal Code, and the Ministerial Regulation of the Ministry of Justice related to the regulations and methods of execution of prisoners, which prescribes lethal injection as a method. This is the 7th prisoners who had been executed by lethal injections since the method was changed by law from shooting to applying lethal injection in 2003.

Director General also shared that since 1935, there has been 325 prisoners executed:

– 319 prisoners by shooting (last execution on 11 December 2003)
– 6 prisoners by lethal injections (first execution on 12 December 2003 and last execution on 24 August 2012

Death penalty is the most severe penalty in Thai law, although there are many countries that have abolished the death penalty, some countries including Thailand, US and China still retain the death penalty. These countries focuses on protecting the society and the general public from crimes more than focusing on rights and freedom of wrongdoers.The Department of Correction hopes that this execution will serve as a lesson for those who is thinking of committing serious crimes or violating the laws.