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Amnesty calls for death penalty axe

Apr 13. 2018
Photo from: Amnesty
Photo from: Amnesty
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By The Nation

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Amnesty International has called on the Thai government to officially suspend the use of the death penalty to elevate the country’s development on human rights as stated in its road map.

The move came after the release of its 2017 annual report on Thursday which recorded at least 993 executions in 23 countries last year with the Chinese government putting the most people to death.

The figure showed a 4 per cent decline from 2016, when 1,032 executions were recorded. 

According to the report, Thailand last year issued 75 death sentences. The number was reduced from 216 in 2016. 

Although Thailand is one of 56 countries that still has the death penalty, the last execution was conducted in August 2009, said Piyanut Kotsan, director of Amnesty International Thailand. 

“Thailand is now walking towards being an abolitionist in practice. If there is no execution in 10 consecutive years, the United Nations will recognise Thailand as a nation without execution in practice. It would mean a significant step forward in the development of human rights,” she said.

The latest update from Department of Corrections in late December said there were 502 inmates with the death sentence, of which 404 were male. More than half were sentenced for drug-related crimes.

The group also called for the government to continue working towards its human rights road map by reducing the number of crimes with a death penalty. 

Amnesty called for Thailand to accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aimed at the abolition of the death penalty. 

Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam still have the penalty.

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