Anti death penalty campaigners urge the National Peoples’ Congress to take concrete measures to abolish the death penalty in China

Anti death penalty campaigners urge the National Peoples’ Congress to take concrete measures to abolish the death penalty in China

Embargo date: Midnight GMT
27 February 2008

The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP) and Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) are publicising today an Open Letter to the China National People’s Congress (NPC)  which will be meeting on 5-16 March 2008.
The Open Letter calls for the Chinese legislators to take concrete measures towards the abolition of the death penalty in China.

Each year, thousands of people are executed in China, where the death penalty remains classified as a state secret. This is of particular concern with persisting reports on miscarriages of justice following hasty and unfair trial and the widespread use of torture to extract confessions.

The Chinese authorities have recently introduced an important reform restoring the Supreme People’s Court’s review of all death penalty sentences, which should result in a reduction in the number of executions and ensure that the sentence is applied more evenly throughout the country.

The WCADP and ADPAN emphasize that the impact of such reforms could only be assessed through transparency, which is also the only safeguard of fairness. They call upon the NPC to lift the state secret on all death penalty related information.

The abolition of the death penalty has now become a universal and irreversible trend, as was recognized with the recent adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution calling for a moratorium on the death penalty.

“A positive legacy for the Beijing Olympics can only be achieved when China’s world record of executions comes to an end”, states the Open Letter. As the Olympic Games draw nearer and the eyes of the world turn towards China, the WCADP and ADPAN invite the Beijing authorities to show leadership on the abolition of the death penalty in line with worldwide trends and to establish a moratorium on executions.


World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP)

The WCADP is composed of 66 NGOs, bar associations, local authorities and trade unions from around the world. It aims to strengthen the international dimension of the struggle against the death penalty and to contribute to bringing a definitive end to death sentences and executions.
On the occasion of the Beijing Olympic games, the WCADP recalls that the death penalty is incompatible with the principles promoted by the Olympic Charter in favour of “a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity”.
In a worldwide campaign entitled ‘China Olympics, some records must be broken’, it invites citizens of the world to sign a petition calling upon the Chinese authorities to lift the state secret on death penalty and introduce a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition.
→    Find out more about the WCADP campaign
→    Sign the petition “Some records must be broken”

Anti-Death Penalty Asian Network (ADPAN)

ADPAN is an independent informal network with over 34 members made up of individuals and organizations mainly from the Asia-Pacific Region. Members are committed to working for the abolition of the Death Penalty within the Asia Pacific Region. The network is not linked to any political party or religion and is independent of all governments. Members include lawyers, parliamentarians and activists from 18 countries.

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