UN applauds steps by China and India to reduce, abolish death penalty
Sept.13, Geneva: Two independent United Nations human rights experts welcomed the recommendation to abolish the death penalty by India, as well as the decision to reduce the number of crimes subject to the death penalty by the Chinese authorities.
In August, the Indian Law Commission issued a report concluding that the death penalty does not act as an effective deterrent, and recommended its abolition for all crimes except terrorism-related offences, and waging war.
Juan Méndez, the Special Rapporteur on torture, said that the Commission “recognized the immense suffering caused by the death row phenomenon as a seemingly inevitable consequence of the imposition of the death penalty; this recognition supports the emergence of a customary norm that considers the death penalty as, per se, running afoul of the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.”
The Indian authorities should review the findings very carefully and ratify the Convention against Torture, he said.
China amended several provisions of its Criminal Law after the session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, replacing the death penalty by life imprisonment for several offences, including the smuggling of weapons, ammunition, nuclear materials and counterfeit currency; arranging for a person or forcing a person to carry out prostitution; the obstruction of duty of a police officer; and creating rumours during wartime to mislead people.
The Oslo Times