PETALING JAYA: Human rights movement Hindraf today called on the government to suspend all death sentences pending Putrajaya’s decision to look into Human Rights Council’s recommendations by March 2014.
Hindraf chairman P Waythamoorthy, who is also a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said Putrajaya had agreed during the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the Human Rights Council in Geneva in October 2013 to heed the call made by the international community to abolish death sentence.
“The government had committed to respond to the Human Rights Council by March 2014 on the recommendations made,” he said today.
He added that the call for the abolition of the death sentence in Malaysia has been in place since October 2012 when the then da facto law minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz had expressed his intention to move a moratorium bill to abolish death sentence in Malaysia.
Waythamoorthy said that a public survey conducted in July 2013 also found that the public was favourable in abolishing death penalty.
“With this progress taking shape, it is time for the government to suspend all death sentences until it has decided on the death penalty by March as it had promised the Human Rights Council,” he said.
He added that for starters, the Attorney General’s Chambers can take immediately steps in suspending the execution of one P Chandran which is scheduled to take place this Friday (Feb 7) in Kajang prison.
“A death sentence is incompatible with human rights and human dignity as it violates the right of life which is most basic human rights.
“Therefore we also urge the Bar Council, Suhakam and all like-minded civil societies to lend their support in safeguarding and promoting human rights by voicing together in an effort to halt the impending execution of Chandran,” he added.
He also pointed out that neighbouring Singapore too had amended its laws in regards to death sentence in July 2013, and in November 2013 had substituted MalaysianYong Vui Kong’s death sentence with a life imprisonment.