Open letter to the China National People’s Congress


on 26 February 2008

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) and Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) are publicising today an Open Letter to the China National People’s Congress (NPC) which will be meeting on 5-16 March 2008.
The Open Letter calls for the Chinese legislators to take concrete measures towards the abolition of the death penalty in China.
Each year, thousands of people are executed in China, where the death penalty remains classified as a state secret. This is of particular concern with persisting reports on miscarriages of justice following hasty and unfair trial and the widespread use of torture to extract confessions.

Lift the state secret

The Chinese authorities have recently introduced an important reform restoring the Supreme People’s Court’s review of all death penalty sentences, which should result in a reduction in the number of executions and ensure that the sentence is applied more evenly throughout the country.
The WCADP and ADPAN emphasize that the impact of such reforms could only be assessed through transparency, which is also the only safeguard of fairness. They call upon the NPC to lift the state secret on all death penalty related information.
The abolition of the death penalty has now become a universal and irreversible trend, as was recognized with the recent adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.
“A positive legacy for the Beijing Olympics can only be achieved when China’s world record of executions comes to an end”, states the Open Letter. As the Olympic Games draw nearer and the eyes of the world turn towards China, the WCADP and ADPAN invite the Beijing authorities to show leadership on the abolition of the death penalty in line with worldwide trends and to establish a moratorium on executions.

Download the open letter
Find out more about the World Coalition’s China 2008 campaign

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