Wednesday, April 02, 2014

AI claims 2 persons secretly executed in Malaysia in 2013? What is the source of this information?

Amnesty International claims in its Amnesty International's Death Sentences and Executions 2013 report that 2 persons were executed in Malaysia in 2013, but alas after perusing the said report, I saw no details as to who was executed or the source AI based in making this claim. Obviously, the advocates for the abolition of the Death Penalty in Malaysia, including the Malaysian Bar, is hearing this for the very first time. Such information or 'fact', when known should be speedily disseminated - not be delayed until a REPORT is published.

If the Malaysian Bar, for example, had been aware of this alleged 'secret executions', there would have been a strong response...and maybe even a strongly worded Resolution passed at the recent Malaysian Bar AGM in March. Likewise, there would have been strong reaction from about 30 civil society groups and trade unions that have called for the abolition of the Death Penalty in Malaysia.

If what AI is saying is true, that a person was executed for 'drug trafficking', we in Malaysia will even be more angry given the popular sentiment and even government indication that the mandatory death penalty(or death penalty) for drug offences will be abolished.

See earlier posts:-

Shocking attempt by Malaysia to hang Philip Michael discovered at the last minute and stopped

Osariakhi Ernest Obayangbon (aka Philip Michael), convicted for murder, to be hanged on 14/3/2014 - Execution stayed & the Malaysian Minister and Attorney General helped in getting the execution stayed.

Chandran Paskaran saved at the last minute from being hanged to death

Chandran s/o Paskaran, convicted for murder was to hang on 7 February 2014 - the swift intervention by civil society groups led to the Sultan of Johore granting a stay of execution of the death sentence

It seems obvious that the Malaysian government and even the royalty will act swiftly to stop any executions - and, as such I have serious doubts about Amnesty International's claim that 2 were executed in Malaysia in 2013.

I have written to AI Malaysia asking for verification of this claim, and would inform the readers of this Blog if it TRUE or NOT the allegation that Malaysia executed 2 persons in 2013.

I believe that Malaysia is really serious about abolishing the death penalty, and in the meantime has stopped executing people. This is consistent with the increase in numbers of persons in death row, which at present may be about 900. 



Malaysia urged to ‘kill’ death penalty
Friday, 28 March 2014 08:57am
by Lee Hooi Boon

KUALA LUMPUR: With 992 prisoners in death row in Malaysia, Amnesty International Malaysia today called on the federal government to do away with the death sentence.

Its executive director Shamini Darshni said that continuing to carry out the executions in secrecy and refusing to divulge information about the executions was in violation of international standards.

"Only one in 10 countries worldwide used the death penalty last year. It is shameful that Malaysia is still part of this isolated group," she told a press conference here to release Amnesty International's Death Sentences and Executions 2013 report.

She said that according to the report, there was a notable rise in death sentences imposed in Malaysia last year compared to the previous year.

In 2012, there were 60 death sentences handed down by the courts, while last year, the figure was 76, of which 37 were foreigners and 10 women, she said.

"At the same time, two people were put to death last year, one for murder and one for drug trafficking," she said, adding that both executions were carried out in secrecy.

She said the authorities did not make public the imminent executions and no post-mortem information was released.

She said that what made the executions even more disappointing is that there is actually genuine progress being made towards abolishing the death penalty in Malaysia.

This is in reference to the government's commitment in 2012 to review the law on mandatory death sentence for drug offences, she said. - The Sun Daily, 27/3/2014, Malaysia urged to ‘kill’ death penalty 


Amnesty International raps Putrajaya for carrying out executions in secrecy

March 27, 2014
Amnesty International Malaysia today criticised Malaysia for continuing to carry out executions in secrecy, in direct violation of international standards.

"Only one in 10 countries worldwide used the death penalty last year," said executive director Shamini Darshni.

"It is shameful that Malaysia is still part of this isolated group where judicial systems are used to kill people."

She said that there were at least two executions which were known to have taken place in Malaysia last year.

One person was executed for murder while the other was for drug trafficking. Both executions were shrouded in secrecy.

"Authorities did not make any public announcement about the imminent executions nor were there any posthumous information about the executed individuals," Shamini said.

There was also a notable rise in death sentences imposed last year compared to 2012, Amnesty International found in its annual review of the death penalty globally.

"Last year's executions were disappointing because there had been genuine progress towards abolishing the death penalty in Malaysia," Shamini said.

She urged Putrajaya to review the law on mandatory death sentences for drug offences, as had been promised in 2012.

"The secrecy around executions in Malaysia has allowed Putrajaya to effectively kill individuals without public scrutiny," she said.

"Transparency is a safeguard of due process. But Putrajaya seems to be trying to hide its human rights abuses from the world."

Earlier this month, Putrajaya rejected all recommendations to establish a moratorium on executions and abolish the death penalty.

The recommendations were made by fellow United Nations member states at the UN Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review.

Amnesty International today published its report on the death penalty worldwide in 2013.

At least 778 executions were known to have been carried out in 22 countries in 2013, compared to 682 and 22 respectively in 2012.

These numbers, however, do not include China, where Amnesty International believes thousands were executed – more than the rest of the world put together.

But with executions treated as a state secret, the correct figure is impossible to determine.

The alarming rise in executions in 2013 was mainly due to Iran and Iraq, where authorities markedly stepped up their use of the death penalty.

The top five executing countries in 2013 were China (thousands), Iran (369), Iraq (169), Saudi Arabia (79) and the USA (39).

Despite the setbacks in 2013, there has been a steady decline in the number of countries using the death penalty over the last 20 years, and there was progress in all regions last year.

Many countries who executed in 2012 did not implement any death sentences last year, including Gambia, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan, where authorities again suspended the use of the death penalty, the report said.

Belarus also refrained from executions, meaning Europe and Central Asia was execution-free for the first time since 2009.

Twenty-five years ago, 37 countries actively implemented the death penalty.

This number had fallen to 25 by 2004 and was at 22 last year, said the report.

Only nine of the world’s countries have executed year on year for the past five years.

Methods of executions in 2013 included beheading, electrocution, firing squad, hanging and lethal injection.
Public executions took place in Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Somalia.

People faced the death penalty for a range of non-lethal crimes including robbery, drug-related and economic offences, as well as acts that should not be a crime at all such as “adultery” or “blasphemy”.

The report also said many countries used vaguely worded political “crime” to put real or perceived dissidents to death. – March 27, 2014, Malaysian Insider, Amnesty International raps Putrajaya for carrying out executions in secrecy