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Malaysia Set To Abolish Death Penalty

The law minister mentioned that those on death row would be referred to the country’s Pardons Board, which will decide whether to release the prisoners or commute their sentences.

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The Malaysian government announced on Wednesday that it intends to abolish the death penalty. The country’s cabinet approved a bill that will be presented to the Parliament during its next session on October 15.

“All death penalty will be abolished. Full stop. All the papers are in the final stage. The Attorney-General has also indicated to us that it is ready to be tabled, hopefully in this (parliamentary) session,” Law Minister Liew Vui Keong said, according to Channel NewsAsia.

“Since we are abolishing the sentence, all executions should not be carried out,” Liew added..

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“When commuted, they would have to face life imprisonment because there had been several deaths that were caused by the offender and so they were sentenced to death by the court,” Liew said, according to the Malay Mail.

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The decision, welcomed by human rights groups, will affect more than 1,200 people who are on death row for crimes including murder, kidnapping, and drug trafficking. The Southeast Asian country carries out executions by hanging.
“Malaysia must now join the 106 countries who have turned their backs for good on the ultimate cruel, inhumane, degrading punishment – the world is watching,” Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo said in a statement, calling Malaysia’s use of the death penalty “a terrible stain on its human rights record for years.”

 

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