Amnesty International Malaysia welcomes the 2 July announcement by Datuk Seri Nadzri Siron, deputy secretary-general of the Ministry of Home Affairs, that the government of Malaysia has put the implementation of the death sentences of 17 prisoners on hold, pending the review of the country’s death penalty laws.
The announcement comes only days after Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Deputy Prime Minister, confirmed the government’s commitment to consider abolishing the mandatory death penalty for all crimes.
“We have long waited for the suspension of executions in Malaysia and yesterday’s announcement of a reprieve for 17 people fills us with hope for a new chapter in the protection and promotion of human rights in the country. This first step must promptly be followed by the total abolition of the death penalty for all crimes,” said Gwen Lee, Interim Executive Director at Amnesty International Malaysia.
According to figures revealed by the deputy director of the Prisons Department, 1,267 people are under sentence of death in Malaysia, including 442 who have had their legal appeals finalized.