Death penalty for drug crimes in Asia: a widespread and illegal practice

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Asia is the continent that executes the most people for drug-related crimes, a report released today by the FIDH and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty reveals. The report also explains how imposing the death penalty has not proven to be effective in reducing drug crimes in Asia.

The report, published for the 13th World Day against the Death Penalty, analyzes how the death penalty is applied for drug-related crimes in Asia, evaluates the most common arguments used by governments to justify their use of this inhumane and illegal measure, and exposes why these arguments are unjustified.

The application of the death penalty to drug-related crimes also constitutes a clear violation of international human rights standards. International treaties have limited the use of the death penalty to the “most serious crimes,” but drug crimes do not meet that threshold and thus cannot be subjected to capital punishment.

"In addition to not reducing crime, the death penalty for drug-related offences is applied in a discriminatory manner against those in the most vulnerable situations"

Karim Lahidji, FIDH President

Indeed, the death penalty is often executed following unfair procedures and in violation of basic human rights. It is also a source of further discrimination, targeting in particular the poorest and most vulnerable, including foreigners and women.

On the occasion of the release of this report, the FIDH and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, also published an interactive map indicating some key facts and figures on the death penalty in Asia over the last 10 years.

FIDH, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, and their respective member organizations oppose the death penalty for all crimes and in all circumstances, and actively work towards its abolition worldwide.

To read the full report on the death penalty for drug crimes in Asia, click on "attached documents" below.

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