Monday, 19 February 2007

South Korea: death penalty not on 'roadmap'

A new human rights 'roadmap' issued by South Korea's Ministry of Justice has ignored calls for the abolition of the death penalty.

The roadmap for human rights protection, announced on 13 February, deferred a decision on abolishing the death penalty, according to the English language edition of The Hankyoreh.

South Korea's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has repeatedly called for the country to move towards abolition.

The roadmap also ignored calls for the abolition of the country's notorious National Security Law.

The ministry said it was deferring a decision on the death penalty, but in the first half of this year it would review whether the penalty should be abolished.

It said the government would consider the introduction of an 'absolute life sentence' and would try to take into account the outcome of the current National Assembly discussion of a bill abolishing the death penalty.

In February 2006, the Ministry of Justice also announced it would review the death penalty and consider replacing it with a sentence of life imprisonment. At the time, this was seen as a significant concession from a ministry that had previously opposed moves towards abolition in the National Assembly.

The Hankyoreh report said the NHRC "could not understand why the Ministry of Justice's draft sought to defer a decision on abolishing the National Security Law and [the] death penalty".

In 2005, South Korea’s National Human Rights Commission recommended the death penalty be abolished, and in early 2006 it recommended the government set out a plan for human rights.

The last executions in South Korea were carried out in December 1997, when 23 people were hanged.

Related stories:
Call for South Korea to show 'leadership' -- 27 June , 2006
South Korea death penalty hearing -- 10 April, 2006
South Korea: Kim Dae-jung's call for abolition -- 06 March, 2006
South Korea – former president calls for abolition -- 27 February, 2006
Positive signs in the Philippines and South Korea -- 22 February, 2006

1 comment:

IAN ALEXANDER CROFTS said...

YES THE DEATH PENALTY IS WRONG BECAUSE YOU ARE ACTUALLY KILLING PEOPLE FOR DOING THE WRONG THING AND THIS HAS BEEN GOING ON FAR TO LONG. THE DEATH PENALTY CAN BE COMPLETLY ABOLISHED.