EU in favour of Malaysia abolishing death penalty – Bernama

The European Union (EU), which holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty, is in favour of Malaysia abolishing the capital punishment.

Published: 8 October 2014

The European Union (EU), which holds a strong and principled position against the death penalty, is in favour of Malaysia abolishing the capital punishment.

EU ambassador and head of delegation to Malaysia, Luc Vandebon said the EU was awaiting Malaysia’s review on abolition of the death penalty for drug trafficking, as announced earlier this year following the framework of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR).

“We understand that Malaysia’s Attorney-General is already conducting a  study into the death penalty for drug trafficking. We also understand that the result of this study will be ready by the end of 2014,” he told reporters at the “Give Life A Second Chance” exhibition, in Petaling Jaya, today.

“So all of us, very patiently, but with a lot of interest want to find out the result of this study,” he said.

The exhibition is held in conjunction with the 12th World Day Against The Death Penalty, celebrated yearly on October 10.

It is organised by the delegation of the EU to Malaysia, Embassy of Switzerland, British High Commission, Malaysian Bar Council, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Amnesty International Malaysia and the KL & Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.

Vandebon said the EU opined that abolishing the death penalty would contribute to the enhancement of human dignity and progressive development of human rights.

The most powerful argument against such punishment was that any miscarriage of justice was irreversible, he noted.

Vandebon added that today, Europe was the only region in the world where the death penalty was no longer applied and abolition was also a precondition for candidate countries seeking accession to the EU.

He said currently, Malaysia remained one of the 58 countries in the world that retained the death penalty.

According to Amnesty International’s Death Sentences and Executions 2013 report, Malaysia imposed at least 76 new death sentences last year compared to 60 in 2012.

There were some 992 people on death row in the country and most were sentenced for drug trafficking.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International Malaysia executive director, Shamini Darshni said the exhibition was organised to create awareness among Malaysians on the issue.

At the same time, the organisation also encouraged the people to sign up for three petitions, especially to express their support to the abolition of the death penalty in Malaysia, she said.

She added that the petition, also available online at, would be collected at the end of November before a memorandum was submitted to the prime minister.

The exhibition is being held at the centre court of One Utama Shopping Centre until Sunday before moving to The Ledge Art Gallery from October 15 until 26.

Among the highlights of the exhibition are portraits of death row inmates by New York-based photographer Toshi Kazama and a prison cell that is modelled after the prison cells in the former Pudu Prison. – Bernama, October 8, 2014.