Amnesty calls for moratorium on executions

death penaltyKUALA LUMPUR: Amnesty International Malaysia (AI-M) have called on the Malaysian Government to impose an immediate moratorium on executions. “Authorities must also end secrecy on executions,” it said in a statement.

AI-M was condemning the execution of Ahmad Najib Aris. He was hanged on Friday after serving 13 years on death row for the rape and murder of Canny Ong Lay Kian.

“The death penalty is never an answer. Hanging a man for murder is not justice, it’s revenge,” said AI-M Executive Director Shamin Darshni Kalimuthu. “We oppose the use of capital punishment regardless of the crime committed.”

While international law allows for the death penalty for the most serious crimes, she added, the lack of transparency raises crucial concerns.

From AI-M’s experience in dealing with imminent executions, families are only informed between 72 and 24 hours before.

Also, the authorities deliberately conceal or minimise public scrutiny on imminent executions.

This is the fourth known execution in Malaysia this year.

On 25 March 2016, Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu and brothers Ramesh and Sasivarnam Jayakumar were hanged in the Taiping Prison between 4.30 and 5.30 am.

The authorities do not make public disclosures of hangings. Lawyers in Malaysia are not informed of impending executions of their clients

AI-M statistics from countries which have abolished the death penalty show no increase in the crimes previously subject to capital punishment.