Pakistan: ADPAN calls on Pakistan to lead in South Asia and for the government to commit to a moratorium on executions

ADPAN appeals to the Pakistani government to extend the informal moratorium introduced in 2008 and halt all future executions.

More than 8000 prisoners face imminent execution after a presidential order suspending executions by the previous government expired on 30 June 2013.

In late 2008, President Asif Ali Zardari suspended executions but this decision is currently being reviewed by the newly elected government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director Polly Truscott said, “at a time when Pakistan’s justice system is struggling to cope with the law and order situation, it can be all too easy for governments to see the death penalty as a quick fix solution. But the death penalty is not the answer to Pakistan’s justice problems.”

“Resuming executions would do nothing to tackle crime or militancy, but instead just perpetuate a cycle of violence,” she added.

Zohra Yusuf, Chairperson of ADPAN member organisation the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), said, “well-documented deficiencies of the law, administration of justice, police investigation methods, as well as chronic corruption in Pakistan today have not improved since the government first decided to suspend executions in 2008…capital punishment allows for a high probability of miscarriages of justice, …wholly unacceptable in any civilised society, but even more so when the punishment is irreversible.”  Zohra Yusuf went on to say, “…the systematic and generalised application of death penalty has not led to an improvement of the situation of law and order in the country…”

This echoes recent comments made by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon last month, where he urged member states to abolish the death penalty, “We have a duty to prevent innocent people from paying the ultimate price for miscarriages of justice”.

With the exception of the execution of a soldier in November 2012, death sentences have not been carried out in Pakistan since 2008.

ADPAN with members from across the Asia Pacific region including Pakistan work for an end to the death penalty across the region.

ADPAN members : 

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan

Prison Fellowship Pakistan

Democratic Commission for Human Development (DCHD)

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.

TAIWAN – Another Six Executions 21 December 2012

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) joins the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty (TAEDP) in condemning the executions today of another six people in Taiwan.

Zeng Si-ru, Hung Ming-tsung, Huang Hsien –cheng, Chen Chin-huo, Kuang Te-chiang and Tai Te-ying were executed at different locations across Taiwan. Family members are not informed about executions in advance and find out only when they are invited to collect the body after the execution.

ADPAN regrets that since taking office in 2010, fifteen execution warrants have been signed by Minister of Justice Tseng Yung-fu. Four executions took place in 2010 and five last year.

The executions by shooting are the first in the country this year. 55 people are facing execution and have exhausted all appeals.

“The death penalty is the cheapest method but also the least effective in stopping crime, says Lin Hsinyi, Executive Director of the TAEDP. “If the government really wanted to put a stop to crime, it should not look to the death penalty as the cure. Instead, it should strive to solve crimes and mete out appropriate punishments”, Lin Hsinyi said.