Joint Statement on Malaysia


World Day

By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 10 October 2019

As we mark the 17th World Day against the Death Penalty, a year after the government of Malaysia announced the revision of the country’s laws to fully abolish the death penalty on 10 October, we, member organizations of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty:

•    Positively note the support by Malaysia for the seventh United Nation General Assembly resolution for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty adopted on 17 December 2018;

•    Express full support for the leadership and commitment shown by the government to abolish the mandatory death penalty for all offences in national legislation at the next session of the Malaysian Parliament.

•    Note the encouragement expressed on 5 October 2019 by Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to the government to “sustain the current moratorium on the death penalty and welcome the announcement […] that a special taskforce will be set up to examine alternative forms of punishment to the mandatory death penalty”; and that her office “stands ready to share evidence-based experience from other countries – both those who retain the death penalty and those who have abolished it.”

•    Welcome the publication by Amnesty International of research highlighting multiple layers of arbitrariness in the use of capital punishment. The burden of the death penalty in Malaysia has largely fallen on those convicted of drug trafficking, who disproportionately include women and foreign nationals. A significant proportion of those on death row are people from less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds and from some of Malaysia’s ethnic minorities.

•    Join the call to commute existing death sentences during the review of the mandatory death penalty, as a critical first step towards full abolition of this ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

•    Look forward to Malaysia becoming an abolitionist country, joining the majority of UN Member States.

Amnesty International
Capital Punishment Justice Project
Coalition marocaine contre la peine de mort
Communità di Sant’Egidio
ECPM (Ensemble contre la peine de mort)
FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
Observatoire Marocain des Prisons
The Advocates for Human Rights
The Rights Practice
World Coalition Against the Death Penalty



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