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Amnesty International

No death sentences without fair trials

A hardline group of Asian countries are defying the global trend against the death penalty and putting to death thousands of people after unfair trials every year, the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) said today in a new report. When Justice Fails: Thousands executed in Asia after unfair trials highlights, through the cases of eight people on death row, the struggle to secure a fair trial in 14 Asian countries, that taken together, execute more people than the rest of the world combined."Only a small number of countries in Asia are still using the death penalty but their actions cast a shadow over the entire region. With high numbers of people being sentenced after unfair trials, causing innocent people to be executed," said Louise Vischer, Coordinator of the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN).The report calls for action for eight people facing execution in China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Pakistan. In each case a death sentence was delivered after an unfair trial, and in six of the cases conviction relied on confession extracted through torture. "The flawed justice systems in many of these countries creates a situation where people are executed after blatantly unfair trials where they have had little or no access to legal advice and may even have been convicted after being tortured into confessing," said Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Asia-Pacific.Over half of Asian countries have abolished the death penalty or have not carried out executions in the last 10 years.Taiwan restarted executions in 2010 after a four-year break, despite declaring a policy of gradual abolition in 2000. Thailand resumed executions in 2009, despite committing to abolishing the death penalty in its human rights action plan.In January 2011, Taiwan’s Ministry of Justice admitted that Chiang Kuo-ching, a private in the Air Force, had been executed… Read More