Indonesia should follow Malaysia on death penalty: Amnesty International

The Jakarta Post/Vellen Augustine


Indonesia should follow in Malaysia’s footsteps in abolishing the death penalty, a human rights group has said.

Amnesty International Indonesia director Usman Hamid said an initiative to abolish the death penalty could come from the House of Representatives.

“In Malaysia, the initiative comes from the government. In Indonesia, it could come from the House, as the initiator of the abolition of the death penalty for all crimes,” he said, adding that such a move would be supported by the global community.

Usman said he appreciated a statement made by Charles Honoris, a member of the House’s foreign affairs and defense commission who suggested that Indonesia learn from Malaysia.

“We recommend that the House communicate with the Malaysian parliament as soon as possible to process the proposal of a death sentence abolition” Usman said.

Previously, Malaysia’s cabinet agreed to abolish the death penalty, with more than 1,200 people on death row set to win a reprieve following a groundswell of opposition to capital punishment, AFP reported.

Capital punishment in Malaysia is currently mandatory for murder, kidnapping, possession of firearms and drug trafficking, among other crimes, and is carried out by hanging – a legacy of British colonial rule.

Malaysia’s communications and multimedia minister Gobind Singh Deo confirmed that the cabinet had resolved to end the death penalty.

“I hope the law will be amended soon,” he said as quoted by AFP.

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