UNITED NATIONS, Aug 03 (IPS) – A spike in state-sanctioned executions worldwide – together with in Iran, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, and extra lately Myanmar – has triggered sturdy condemnations from the United Nations and several other civil rights and human rights organizations.
As Covid-19 restrictions that had beforehand delayed judicial processes had been steadily lifted in lots of elements of the world, says Amnesty Worldwide (AI), judges final yr handed down a minimum of 2,052 demise sentences in 56 international locations—a near 40% enhance over 2020—with massive spikes seen in a number of international locations together with Bangladesh (a minimum of 181, from a minimum of 113), India (144, from 77) and Pakistan (a minimum of 129, from a minimum of 49).
Different international locations imposing the demise penalty, based on AI, embrace Egypt, Iraq, Somalia, South Sudan, Belarus, Japan, the United Arab Emirates, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), China, North Korea, Viet Nam and Yemen.
In army regimes, resembling Myanmar, the armed forces play a triple position: choose, jury and hangman.
Dr Simon Adams, President of the Heart for Victims of Torture, the world’s greatest group that works with torture survivors and advocates for an finish to torture worldwide, instructed IPS the latest execution of 4 pro-democracy activists by Myanmar’s army junta represents a sickening return to the “politics of the hangman’s noose”.
Arbitrary detention and torture have additionally been dedicated on an industrial scale, he mentioned.
The army regime has detained over 14,000 folks and sentenced greater than 100 to demise for the reason that (February 2021) coup. Whereas many governments all over the world have condemned the latest hangings, it will take greater than phrases to finish atrocities in Myanmar, he identified.
“Persons are crying out for focused sanctions on the Generals, for an arms embargo, and for Myanmar’s torturers and executioners to be held accountable below worldwide legislation”, mentioned Dr Adams, who additionally helped provoke the case on the Worldwide Court docket of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, the place The Gambia is attempting to carry Myanmar accountable for the genocide towards the Rohingya.
The London-based Amnesty Worldwide (AI) mentioned final Might that 2021 “noticed a worrying rise in executions and demise sentences as a few of the world’s most prolific executioners returned to enterprise as standard and courts had been unshackled from Covid-19 restrictions.”
Iran accounted for the most important portion of this rise, executing a minimum of 314 folks (up from a minimum of 246 in 2020), its highest execution complete since 2017.
This was due partly to a marked enhance in drug-related executions—a flagrant violation of worldwide legislation which prohibits use of the demise penalty for crimes aside from these involving intentional killing, mentioned AI.
Antony J. Blinken, US Secretary of State, mentioned final week america condemns within the strongest phrases the Burma army regime’s executions of pro-democracy activists and elected leaders Ko Jimmy, Phyo Zeya Thaw, Hla Myo Aung, and Aung Thura Zaw for the train of their elementary freedoms.
“These reprehensible acts of violence additional exemplify the regime’s full disregard for human rights and the rule of legislation.’
For the reason that February 2021 coup, he identified, the regime has perpetuated violence towards its personal folks, killing greater than 2,100, displacing greater than 700,000, and detaining 1000’s of harmless folks, together with members of civil society and journalists.
The regime’s sham trials and these executions are blatant makes an attempt to extinguish democracy; these actions won’t ever suppress the spirit of the courageous folks of Burma, (Myanmar), he added.
“The US joins the folks of Burma of their pursuit of freedom and democracy and calls on the regime to respect the democratic aspirations of the individuals who have proven they don’t wish to stay yet one more day below the tyranny of army rule,” Blinken declared.
Condemning the execution of the 4 democracy activists by the army regime in Myanmar, UN Excessive Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet mentioned final week: “I’m dismayed that regardless of appeals from the world over, the army carried out these executions with no regard for human rights. This merciless and regressive step is an extension of the army’s ongoing repressive marketing campaign towards its personal folks.”
“These executions – the primary in Myanmar in a long time – are merciless violations of the rights to life, liberty and safety of an individual, and truthful trial ensures. For the army to widen its killing will solely deepen its entanglement within the disaster it has itself created,” she warned.
The Excessive Commissioner additionally known as for the speedy launch of all political prisoners and others arbitrarily detained, and urged the nation to reinstate its de-facto moratorium on the usage of the demise penalty, as a step in the direction of eventual abolition.
In the meantime, in an announcement launched August 2, Liz Throssell, a Spokesperson for the UN Human Rights Workplace in Geneva mentioned : “We deplore the hanging as we speak of two males in Singapore and are deeply troubled by the deliberate execution of two others on 5 August.
The 2, a Malaysian and a Singaporean, had been hanged at Changi Jail this morning after they had been convicted in Might 2015 of drug trafficking and their appeals subsequently rejected.
Two different males, Abdul Rahim bin Shapiee and his co-accused Ong Seow Ping, are at present anticipated to be executed on Friday after Bin Shapiee’s household was notified of his destiny on 29 July.
They had been each convicted in 2018 of possession of medicine for the aim of trafficking and their sentences upheld on enchantment. Up to now, co-accused individuals have nearly at all times been executed on the identical day.
“We urge the Singapore authorities to halt all scheduled executions, together with these of Abdul Rahim bin Shapiee and Ong Seow Ping. We additionally name on the Authorities of Singapore to finish the usage of obligatory demise sentences for drug offences, commute all demise sentences to a sentence of imprisonment and instantly put in place a moratorium on all executions, with a view to abolishing the demise penalty”, the assertion mentioned.
“The demise penalty is inconsistent with the suitable to life and the suitable to be free from torture or merciless, inhuman or degrading remedy or punishment and there may be rising consensus for its common abolition. Greater than 170 States have thus far abolished or launched a moratorium on the demise penalty both in legislation or in follow,” she famous.
Agnes Callamard, AI Secretary-Basic, mentioned that “China, North Korea and Viet Nam continued to shroud their use of the demise penalty behind layers of secrecy, however, as ever, the little we noticed is trigger for excellent alarm.”
The identified variety of ladies executed additionally rose from 9 to 14, whereas the Iranian authorities continued their abhorrent assault on youngsters’s rights by executing three individuals who had been below the age of 18 on the time of the crime, opposite to their obligations below worldwide legislation.
In the meantime, Saudi Arabia greater than doubled its variety of executions, a grim pattern that continued in 2022 with the execution of 81 folks in a single day in March, based on AI
In addition to the rise in executions seen in Saudi Arabia (65, from 27 in 2020), important will increase on 2020 had been seen in Somalia (a minimum of 21, from a minimum of 11) South Sudan (a minimum of 9, from a minimum of 2) and Yemen (a minimum of 14, from a minimum of 5). Belarus (a minimum of 1), Japan (3) and UAE (a minimum of 1) additionally carried out executions, having not accomplished so in 2020.
Important will increase in demise sentences in comparison with 2020 had been recorded within the Democratic Republic of the Congo (a minimum of 81, from a minimum of 20), Egypt (a minimum of 356, from a minimum of 264), Iraq (a minimum of 91, from a minimum of 27), Myanmar (a minimum of 86, from a minimum of 1), Viet Nam (a minimum of 119 from a minimum of 54), and Yemen (a minimum of 298, from a minimum of 269), AI mentioned.
In a number of international locations in 2021, AI mentioned, the demise penalty was deployed as an instrument of state repression towards minorities and protestors, with governments exhibiting an utter disregard for safeguards and restrictions on the demise penalty established below worldwide human rights legislation and requirements.
IPS UN Bureau Report
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