Death Penalty in 2013 by Amnesty International
Executions rose by almost 15% in 2013, compared with 2012. Excluding China, at least 778 people were executed worldwide. Nearly 80% of them were in just three countries: Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Despite setbacks during 2013, there was progress in all regions of the world, with positive moves towards abolition in several countries.
Justice in Thailand’s South? A study of four capital punishment cases from Thailand’s southern border provinces
The right to life is the foundation of all other human rights. If this right is not established in a country, no other human right is secure; whatever rights may be assured, all are lost with an imposed death penalty. Thailand, whatever its formal commitment to human rights in UN International Conventions may be, has a record of serious infringements of basic liberties, and despite a declared gradual approach to de facto abolition of the death penalty, still imposes death penalties at a rate among the highest in the world. In recent years death penalty sentences in Thailand’s turbulent southern border provinces form the majority of Thailand’s death penalties and reveal a continued adherence to capital punishment. The Union for Civil Liberty is a Civil Society Organization dedicated to the protection of civil liberties of all residents in Thailand. Thailand is listed among countries guilty of horrendous human rights violations.The most severe human rights abuses of Thailand occur in the southern border Muslim provinces where an age long hostile administration has led to a 4 predictable insurgent reaction. The problem is now inflamed and entrenched. Unfortunately, there is neither an understanding of the genesis of the problem, nor any inkling of how to solve it among Thai security forces, police and military, who are burdened with a responsibility that is political and national in scope but abdicated by all recent governments. Justice in Thailand south Final Eng
The Death Penalty in Malaysia – Public Opinion on the Mandatory Death Penalty for Drug Trafficking, Murder and Firearms Offences
In association with the Bar Council Malaysia, the Death Penalty Project launched on 8 July a report of the findings of a public opinion survey of a representative sample of 1,535 Malaysian citizens on the mandatory death penalty. The findings suggest that there would be little public opposition to abolition of the mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking, murder, and firearms offences. Public support for the death penalty for murder is also lower than is assumed. http://portfolio.cpl.co.uk/DPP/Malaysia-report/1/
The Death penalty Worldwide
A worldwide database of laws and information on the death penalty. This report has been written by the Centre for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law in partnership with the World Coalition against the Death Penalty and the Council of Europe. http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org/
“The Death Penalty in North Korea: in the Machinery of a Totalitarian State” – Report by FIDH – published May 2013
This major report includes questions around unfair trials, secrecy and public executions and concludes that the death penalty amounts to the arbitrary deprivation of life in the People’s Republic of Korea. http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/en-report-northkorea-high-resolution.pdf
Report of International Commission Against the Death Penalty (ICDP), Oslo, April 2013, “How States Abolish the Death Penalty”
The report examines the experiences of 13 countries and the steps they took to abolish the death penalty. http://www.icomdp/icdp-reports/
Release of AI’s Annual Statistics for 2012 on the Death Penalty – 10 April 2013
Despite several set backs the overall global trend towards ending the death penalty has continued during 2012. The top five executing countries in 2012 were China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and USA, with Yemen closely behind. ADPAN’s work is also included in this report. The death penalty is restricted to an isolated group of countries. 21 countries were recorded as having carried out executions in 2012 and at least 682 executions were carried out worldwide – at least 1,722 death sentences were passed in 58 countries. None of these figures include the thousands of executions that AI believes were carried out in China. Once again China executed more people than the rest of the world put together and accurate data difficult to obtain. Set backs in Asia-Pacific region in 2012:
- India, Japan and Pakistan all resumed executions.
- Executions took place in Afghanistan (14), Bangladesh (1), India (1), Japan (7), North Korea (+6), Pakistan (1), Taiwan (6).
- Death sentences took place in Afghanistan (+),Bangladesh (45+), China (+),India (78+), Indonesia (12+), Iran (79+), Iraq (81+), Japan (3), Laos (+), Maldives (2+), Malaysia (60+), Mongolia (+),Myanmar (17+), North Korea (+), Pakistan (242), Singapore (2+), South Korea (2), Sri Lanka (7+), Taiwan (7), Thailand (106+), Viet Nam (86+).
Positive developments in Asia – Pacific:
- Viet Nam, Singapore did not carry out any executions and Mongolia ratified the 2nd Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights committing the country to abolition.
- The Pacific continued to be a virtually death penalty-free area.
http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/death-penalty-2012-despite-setbacks-death-penalty-free-world-came-closer-2013-04-10-0 Translated into Chinese: https://www.amnesty.org.hk/web/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/20130528-aihk-death_penalty_report_2012-ZH-HK.pdf
- The Death Penalty in Japan
A Report on Japan’s legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and an assessment of public attitudes to capital punishment March 2013 This report describes how Japan is failing to meet its legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) with regards to the death penalty and provides an assessment of public attitudes to the death penalty in Japan. The Death Penalty Project, published this excellent report in association with the Centre for Prisoners’ Rights in Japan. It was co-written by ADPAN member Maiko Tagusari, Secretary-General of the Centre for Prisoners’ Rights, Professor Johnson, University of Hawaii, and Dr Mai Sato, from the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford. It provides:
- background on Japan’s obligations under the ICCPR, ratified by Japan in 1979; it demonstrates that Japan is failing to meet the requirements of the ICCPR in relation to fair trial guarantees, procedures for appeal and clemency, as well as the humane treatment of prisoners facing the death penalty.
- It challenges the notion that majority public support for the death penalty is an obstacle to abolition and presents the findings of three surveys conducted by Dr Mai Sato and a critique of the Japanese government’s public opinion survey.
Saul Lehrfreund, co-executive director of The Death Penalty Project, said: “…This report demonstrates an urgent need for Japan’s government and judiciary to reform the use of the death penalty pending its abolition. We hope this report will be of great interest and concern to all those who seek to bring about improvements in the processes and conditions under which the death penalty is enforced in Japan and its eventual abolition”. http://deathpenaltyproject.vm1-host0592.cammail.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/DPP-Japan-report.pdf
The death penalty and the “most serious crimes” – International Commission against the Death Penalty
A country-by-country overview of the death penalty in law and practice in retentionist states January 2013 This report gives a break down of the term “most serious crimes” in the context of the gradual abolition of the death penalty citing countries from across the world including the following from Asia: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Korea (North), Pakistan, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. http://www.icomdp.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Most-serious-crimes_final_6Feb2013.pdf
The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: A Global Overview – Tipping the Scales for Abolition – Harm Reduction International – November 2012
This report challenges capital drug laws and highlights how these laws have been discussed in their national legal contexts. One of its key findings is that of the 33 states that retain the death penalty for drug offences only 13 of these apply a mandatory death penalty for drug offences. http://www.ihra.net/files/2012/11/13/Death_penalty_2012_Tipping_the_Scales_Web.pdf
Report of the International Commission against the Death Penalty (ICDP), Roundtable on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, Madrid, 8 October 2012
The ICDP meeting identified strategic priorities following discussions with representatives from IGOs, NGOs, lawyers and governments. ADPAN was represented at this meeting – below is the full report of the meeting. http://www.icomdp.org/cms/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/ICDP-report-roundtable-Madrid-8-October-2012-Final.pdf
- ODHIKAR Human Rights Report 2012
Report on the situation of Human Rights in Bangladesh 2012 This report includes reference to the death penalty in particular in relation to the Anti- Terrorism Amendment Bill, introduced in February 2012, which was passed despite strong opposition by civil society groups and increased the punishment to the death penalty. http://odhikar.org/documents/2013/AHRR_2012/AHRR_English_2012.pdf