Lawyers For Liberty calls on the Government of Malaysia to immediately abolish the death penalty which resonates the global call to end the death penalty as a form of punishment. The Government of Malaysia is urged to immediately abolish the death penalty, in line with its re-election as a member of the UN Human Rights Council in 2010 to reflect its responsibility in strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe.
This global call to end the death penalty is in line with the studies conducted throughout the world over the past seventy years which show the absence of convincing evidence that the death penalty is a more effective deterrent of crime than long-term imprisonment.
The call for the immediate abolition of death penalty coincides with the fact that Malaysia lacks safeguards that would ensure a fair trial such as the right to immediate access to a lawyer upon arrest, right to full disclosure of evidence in the possession of the police and prosecution, and has to the extreme prejudice of accused persons loaded a capital crime statute such as the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 ( which generates the largest number of death sentences annually ) with presumptions of trafficking that compromise the presumption of innocence which is integral to any fair and just criminal justice system.
Lawyers For Liberty reiterates that in the absence of a fair and just criminal justice system, the imposition of the death penalty will result in high probability of innocent lives being subject to the death penalty. The imposition of death penalty is irreversible and wrongful convictions cannot be remedied.
In light of the above, Lawyers For Liberty therefore urges the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz and the Attorney General, Abdul Gani Patail who will be addressing a public event in Kuala Lumpur on 13 October 2011 on the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia to move the Government of Malaysia to commit to the following:-
1) Abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia;
2) An immediate moratorium on all executions pending abolition;
3) Commutation of the sentences of all persons currently on death row;
4) Ratification by Malaysia of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR.
Issued by Lawyers For Liberty
12 October 2011