5th World Congress against the Death Penalty – 12-15 June 2013

Over 1,500 participants met in Madrid  to discuss death penalty developments and abolitionist strategies. The 5th World Congress against the Death Penalty  invited government officials,  civil servants, international experts, NGOs, activists, Nobel Peace Prize laureates, ADPAN members, former death row prisoners and families of people sentenced to death from over 90 countries.

ADPAN meeting World Congress 2013 2

During this 5th World Congress, an ADPAN meeting was held  on 12 June. Attended by the ADPAN coordinator and over 30 members, ADPAN discussed a World Congress in Asia, setting up ADPAN in the region and requested  more work on unfair trials.

On 14 June , Professor Roger Hood, Professor Emeritus of Criminology at the University of Oxford,  opened the Asia Plenary Session introducing five speakers:  Sosormaa Chuluunbaata , Policy Adviser to the President of Mongolia, Yug Chaudhry, lawyer, ADPAN member from India;  Otto Nur Abdullah, former President of the National Commission of Human Rights, ADPAN member,  Indonesia; Maiko Tagusari, lawyer, ADPAN member and Director of Center for Prisoners’ Rights and Parvais Jabbar,  Executive Director, Death Penalty Project and ADPAN member.

In a Workshop on China held on 14 June,  three Chinese lawyers who are ADPAN members,  Teng Biao, Liang Xiajun, Liu Weiguo, described  their experience as  lawyers defending clients in a jurisdiction which is unable to guarantee a fair trial and in the absence of an independent bar association. Former Minister of Justice from France, Robert Badinter opened the Workshop.

ADPAN gained members at the Congress and its work as a cross regional  network was raised as important  to support the challenge facing abolitionists  from the region. Despite recent set backs in Asia-Pacific and other parts of the world,  the Congress showed once again that the abolitionist movement worldwide is gaining momentum.

The Congress sent a powerful  moral and political message for abolition to retentionist countries.

The 5th World Congress, organised by Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM) in partnership with the World Coalition against the Death Penalty supported by the governments of France, Norway and Switzerland, and hosted by the government of Spain, closed on Saturday 15 June.

The next 6th World Congress  is likely to be held in a retentionist country.


VIET NAM – Over 100 Executions could take place imminently

117 prisoners could face imminent execution following a change in the law which comes into force on 27 June 2013.  There are more than 530 prisoners under sentence of death.  Prisoners are not informed in advance about their date of execution.

ADPAN is appealing to the Minister of Public Security to halt all future executions.

In June 2010, the method of execution was changed from firing squad to lethal injection. There have been no executions in Viet Nam since January 2012 because the relevant authorities were unable to import the necessary drugs. The shortage followed changes made to European Union (EU) regulations in December 2011, when the EU added barbiturate anaesthetic agents to the list of articles needing an export authorization. As a result Viet Nam changed its law in May 2013 so drugs from outside the EU can be used in lethal injections.

Courts continue to pass death sentences. Drugs for use in lethal injection are now being produced locally and Viet Nam has the facilities and trained staff to administer them.

Recently, the Minister of Public Security announced that 117 prisoners will be executed immediately using drugs manufactured in Viet Nam.

In 2009, Viet Nam reduced the number of capital crimes.  ADPAN regrets the Minister of Public Security’s announcement to execute over one hundred prisoners.

Urgent Twitter Action: Urge the Japanese government not to carry out executions

Five people have been executed in Japan since the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was elected in December 2012. It has been nearly two months since Japan carried out executions and there are concerns that more executions could be about to take place during the month of June. Please see below information to take action to urge the Japanese government not to carry out any executions.

What you need can do:
Please send the following tweets calling on the Japanese authorities (see targets below) not to carry out executions. You can also create your own message to urge Japan not to carry out executions. Please ALWAYS include “#deathpenalty” and/or #abolish.

Model Tweets
@AbeShinzo @kantei @MOJ_HOUMU 死刑は、生きる権利を踏みにじる刑罰です。国際社会からの声を真摯に受け止め、ただちに死刑執行を停止するよう、強く求めます。そして、死刑廃止に向けた議論を開始するよう要請いたします。#deathpenalty

@AbeShinzo @kantei @MOJ_HOUMU Fears of more executions in Japan. It’s time to stop the death penalty. #deathpenalty #abolish

@AbeShinzo @kantei @MOJ_HOMU The world is moving away from the #deathpenalty / 世界は 死刑廃止の向かって進んでいます #abolish

Please take action from 20 June to 28 June 2013. This is the period when we expect executions are most likely to take place in Japan.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe @AbeShinzo
The Office of the Prime Minister @kantei
Ministry of Justice @MOJ_HOUMU

Additional materials
Press release, Japan: Executions show chilling escalation of death penalty use, 26 April 2013. http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/japan-executions-show-chilling-escalation-death-penalty-use-2013-04-26
Press release, Japan hangs three in first executions under ‘merciless’ Abe government, 21 February 2013. http://www.amnesty.org/en/for-media/press-releases/japan-hangs-three-first-executions-under-merciless-abe-government-2013-02-2

Updates to the action will be posted here.

Thank you.