Bar Council: Abolish the death penalty, Plead for Vui Kong

The Malaysian Bar calls for the abolition of the death penalty, as every individual has an inherent right to life.  This right is absolute, universal and inalienable, irrespective of any crimes that may have been committed.

Although crimes such as rape of children are very serious offences, and heavy sentences, commensurate with the gravity of the offences committed, must be meted out, the Malaysian Bar is categorically opposed to the imposition of either capital or corporal punishment as the penalty for crimes.  This position was clearly articulated in resolutions adopted at the Malaysian Bar’s Annual General Meetings in March 2006 and March 2007, respectively.

The Malaysian Bar has consistently argued that there is no empirical evidence that the death penalty serves as an effective deterrent to the commission of crimes.  Arguably, there has been no significant reduction of crimes for which the death penalty is mandatory.  Furthermore, it is not possible in any system of human justice to prevent the horrifying possibility of the execution of innocent persons.

The trend worldwide has been to abolish the death penalty, as the execution of human beings by the State serves as an “example of barbarity” to society and legitimises the taking of human life.  In 2005, the UN Commission on Human Rights passed Resolution 2005/59 calling upon all states to abolish the death penalty, and stated that the abolition of the death penalty is essential for the protection of the right to life of every human being.

While the call for the imposition of the death penalty may be a reflection of society’s abhorrence towards rapes of children, the penalty would have serious repercussions on efforts to prosecute and prevent the incidence of such crimes, protect rape survivors, and reduce further victimisation of the survivors under the legal process.  As the prosecution of rapists depends on the existence of a complaint by a rape survivor, the death penalty may discourage rape survivors from reporting the matter, especially if the perpetrator is a family member.

We also appeal to the President of the Republic of Singapore to act in accordance with international human rights norms and to show compassion by exercising clemency in the case of Malaysian Yong Vui Kong, who is in imminent danger of being hanged in Singapore for a drugs-related offence.  We encourage our colleagues at the Law Society of Singapore to continue to speak out against the use of the death penalty in Singapore.

The death penalty has no place in any society that values human rights, justice and mercy.  The Malaysian Bar calls on the Malaysian Government to immediately abolish the death penalty.

Ragunath Kesavan
President
Malaysian Bar

6 August 2010

律师公会促新国宽赦杨伟光
反对儿童性侵害案强制死刑

律师公会主席拉古纳(Ragunath Kesavan)表明,律师公会的立场是反对死刑,因此反对将性侵儿童者处予强制死刑,同时也呼吁新加坡总统宽赦马来西亚死囚杨伟光。

拉古纳(右图)今天发表文告表示,律师公会呼吁政府废除死刑,认为个人有固有的生命权,这项权利是普遍绝对的,不可任意剥夺,而不管个人犯下任何罪行。

他说,性侵害儿童是严重的罪行,应该判以严重的刑法,尽管如此,律师公会仍坚持反对将性侵害儿童者处予强制死刑或鞭刑。这是律师公会在2006年与2007年大会达致的决议。

他说,律师公会一贯的认为,没有经验证据证明死刑能够有效地防治罪案。强制死刑处分并不能明显地减少罪案。

“更甚的是,人类的正义体制难以避免可能处决无辜者,这是令人忧惧的。”

近 来发生数宗儿童遭性侵害的个案,民主行动党全国主席卡巴星更建议处死性侵儿童者,招致党团的抨击。党团认为,死刑非解决性犯罪的方法,反之应该改革我国的 刑事司法制度,以更有效地审理性侵害个案,同时,必须定下长期方案改变人民对性犯罪的态度,必须马上在校园内落实性教育。 【点击:改善司法制度处理性侵案  党团促在校园教导性教育】

废除死刑是国际趋势

拉古纳表示,现今国际趋势主张废除死刑,国家处决个人已被指为是“野蛮的象征”,因其以合法的方式剥夺生命权。2005年,联合国人权委员会通过2005/59号决议,呼吁所有国家废除死刑,并将废除死刑视为保护生命权的重要指标。

拉 古纳表示,社会人士建议将性侵害儿童者处予强制死刑,显示社会对其强烈憎恨,但是这可能会对该案件造成影响,导致性侵害者不保护幸存者、司法控诉难以办 理,或者司法过程对幸存者的伤害没有减少,因为性侵害案件需要幸存者站出来举报,若实施强制死刑,可能会造成幸存者不愿意出来举报,尤其是犯案者是幸存者 家属的时候更是如此。

他也呼吁,新加坡总统遵循国际人权规范,积极表达宽赦马来西亚公民杨伟光。杨伟光因为运带毒品而被判死刑。律师公会也呼吁新加坡的法律界站出来反对死刑。

他表示,律师公会呼吁政府废除死刑,因为这项刑罚违反社会主张的人权、正义与怜悯价

About givelife2ndchance

Give Life 2nd Chance is a movement dedicated to work on abolish death penalty in Malaysia.
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