Press Statement on World Day Against The Death Penalty 世界反死刑日联合声明

In commemoration with the World Day Against Death Penalty on 10th October, The Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall Civil Rights Committee and Amnesty International Malaysia, once again urge the Malaysia Government to expedite its efforts on the abolition of the mandatory death penalty, with a view towards a total abolition in the near future.

Malaysia has announced the completion of a comprehensive study on death penalty in June 2016, followed by another announcement in August 2017 by Minister in the Prime Minister Department Azalina Othman Said, which states that the decision to scrap the mandatory death penalty on drug offences has been approved by the cabinet.

It is now time to materialize that decision by amending the relevant laws in Parliament.

Based on unofficial statistics, approximately 70% of death row inmates are convicted under the Dangerous Drug Act which carries the mandatory death penalty. We cannot ignore the fact that some of them are of very young age who fall under the trap of becoming drug mules in the chain of supply. We also cannot ignore that the double presumption in the Act may lead to possible miscarriage of justice. Recently, a key witness to a drug trafficking trial was found to have lied in court, resulting in the accused person being acquitted and discharged after one year in remand.

All this leads us to believe that our criminal justice system may be flawed and if an innocent was hanged, there is nothing we can do to bring him/her back. The death penalty is inhuman and irreversible.

When life hangs in the air, time is of essence. While we congratulate the Government’s decision to take step towards abolition, it is also important for the Government to recognize the urgency of the matter as life is at stake.

We urge the Government of Malaysia to take immediate steps towards abolition of the death penalty and in the mean time, cease all executions and impose a moratorium. We look forward to the review of the relevant laws very soon.

Civil Rights Committee of The Kuala Lumpur & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall
Amnesty International Malaysia

今天是世界反死刑日,吉隆坡暨雪兰莪中华大会堂(隆雪华堂)民权委员会和国际特赦组织马来西亚分会要求马来西亚政府尽速推动废除强制死刑,并期待在不久的将来全面废除死刑。

马来西亚于2016年6月完成一项关于死刑的全面研究报告,随即在2017年8月首相署部长阿扎丽娜透露,内阁已同意废除对毒品犯罪执行强制死刑。

如今,是国会修改相关法律来落实这项决定的时候了。

根据非官方统计,约有70%被告是在毒品危险法令下被判强制死刑。惟不容忽视的是,其中不乏年龄较低者,不慎落入陷阱,成为贩毒集团的运毒者之事实。我们也不得忽视相关法令的双重推定可能导致司法不懂。最新的近例是,某宗贩运毒品案中的重要证人在法庭上作出不实证供,导致被告在还押一年后无罪释放。

所有这一切令我们相信,现有刑法制度可能存在缺陷,如果一名无辜者绞死,我们就算竭尽所能也无力回天。死刑是不人道和不可逆转的。

命悬一刻间,时间诚可贵。虽然我们乐见政府向废除死刑迈进一步,惟人命关天,当局应该认识到其急迫性。

我们敦促马来西亚政府立即採取废除死刑的步骤,同时暂停执行一切死刑。期待立法机关很快就能完成修法。

隆雪华堂民权委员会
国际特赦组织马来西亚分会   同启

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