Save Malaysians on death row elsewhere too, says rights group

Save Malaysians on death row elsewhere too, says rights group

"We need to look into it and hear the views of all, but as it stands today, the decision is to abolish the death penalty, " Liew stressed after a law reform talk at a Malaysian university.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo confirmed that the cabinet, which met on Wednesday, had resolved to end the death penalty.

Malaysia now has the death penalty for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

Among which are the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, the Organization of American States and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

However, Liew said that if their sentence is commuted then the inmates will have to face life imprisonment because they have been the cause of several deaths, which is why they were given the death penalty in the first place.

Malaysia's Cabinet announced on Thursday it would abolish the death penalty for all crimes and halt pending executions.

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, who is the de facto law minister, said the only issue was what to do with the convicts now on death row.

Liew said the amended law would be put before parliament next Monday.

"The death penalty will be abolished, full stop".

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The government's announcement was "an encouraging sign", Amnesty International's Kumi Naidoo said in a statement.

"All death penalty will be abolished".

Amnesty International said the move would be a major advance but urged the government to "completely abolish the death penalty for all crimes, with no exceptions".

Two Chilean tourists, now on trial for the murder of a Malaysian man, would also have faced the death penalty if found guilty of murder.

Between 2007 and 2017, 35 individuals faced the gallows.

Neighbouring Singapore, also a former British colony, maintains the death penalty for certain crimes such as murder and drug trafficking.

A total of 1,267 prisoners are on death row, making up 2.7 percent of the 60,000-strong prison population. The decision was welcomed by rights advocates, who said there was never any proof that mandatory death sentences deterred offenders from violent or drug-related crimes.

Surendran claimed there were now "hundreds of Malaysians" on death row in foreign countries, particularly for being drug mules.

The UN envoy noted the majority of executions today are carried out in China, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

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