Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka urges President Maithripala Sirisena to reconsider re-imposing death penalty

The demand against the death penalty came days after President Sirisena had announced that he was ready to sign the documents to award the death penalty to 19 drug convicts.

Published: 14th July 2018 09:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th July 2018 09:18 PM   |  A+A-

Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena (File)

By PTI

COLOMBO: The Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka today urged President Maithripala Sirisena to reconsider his decision to re-impose the death penalty, saying other measures can be taken to eradicate serious crime and drug menace.

In a letter to the President, the Commission said that drug menace needs eradication through a proper legal framework where convicts are fined appropriately.

The Commission said that modern technology should be used in prisons to prevent convicts from carrying out the drug trade from jail.

"We, therefore, urge you to reconsider the decision to re-impose death penalty and take other measures to eradicate serous crime and drugs," Chairman of the rights body N D Udagama said in the letter.

He said that the Commission regrets the decision to hang people.

The demand against the death penalty came days after President Sirisena had announced that he was ready to sign the documents to award the death penalty to 19 drug convicts.

The decision to re-impose death penalty came despite Sri Lanka voting in favour of a UN moratorium on capital punishment.

Although the capital punishment is in the statute, Sri Lanka has commuted death sentences for serious crimes to life in prison since 1976, when the last execution took place.

Executions are not carried since 1978 as successive Presidents in office refused to issue death warrants.

Amnesty International, an international human rights body, also condemned Sri Lankan government's recent decision to hang convicts, and urged it to pull back from any plans to re-implement the death penalty.

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