Malaysia postpones execution after outcry

2014-02-07 10:06

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Kuala Lumpur - Amnesty International said on Friday that Malaysia has postponed plans to execute a man for murder in a case that sparked an outcry from rights groups.

Chandran Paskaran, a Malaysian, was sentenced to hang in 2008 for killing another man in a fight five years earlier in the southern state of Johor.

Amnesty had earlier revealed that it learned the execution of Chandran - reported by Malaysian media to be around 30 years old - was set for Friday.

The government of the Muslim-majority country is tight-lipped about its application of capital punishment and has not confirmed the global rights group's claim.

Shamini Darshni, executive director of Amnesty International's Malaysia chapter, told AFP the execution had been postponed on the order of Johor's state sultan.

She had no further details.

Amnesty had said the hanging would be an "enormous step backwards on human rights" and chided Malaysia for "secretively" staging executions to evade criticism.

Its call to halt the execution was echoed by New York-based Human Rights Watch, the Malaysian Bar Council, and the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf), which advocates for the rights of Malaysia's ethnic Indian minority.

A Prisons Department official declined to comment on Friday, and other relevant officials did not immediately respond.

About 900 people were on death row in Malaysia as of 2012, mostly for drug offences, according to the government.

In 2012 a government minister said the country may reconsider a mandatory death sentence for drug trafficking, but nothing further has been announced.

Between 1960 and 2011, nearly 450 people were executed, according to data released in 2011.

Read more on:    amnesty international  |  malaysia  |  human rights
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