Saturday, 29 April 2006

Malaysia may execute water polluters

Amnesty International Malaysia has condemned the country's proposal to extend the death penalty to people found guilty of contaminating water sources.

In a statement issued on 20 April, AI Malaysia said the death penalty provisions in the government's proposed Water Industry Bill 2006 were "bucking" the worldwide trend towards abolition of the death penalty.

It said Malaysia was one of 74 countries which still imposes the death penalty. It is mandatory for crimes including murder, certain firearms offences and drug trafficking offences, and is a discretionary punishment for crimes linked to kidnapping, firearms and waging war. The majority of death sentences are carried out for drug trafficking.
Josef Roy Benedict, Executive Director of Amnesty International Malaysia, said however there were "encouraging signs of a renewal of debate on abolishing the death penalty in Malaysia" with the resolution passed by the Bar Council on 19 March calling for the death penalty to be abolished and for a moratorium on all executions.

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