Another execution

16/09/2003
Press release
en fr

On 12 September the Minister of Justice of Japan ordered execution by hanging a person on death row whose identity, as is customary, was withheld. The last two executions were carried out in September 2002.

This execution barely precedes the debate scheduled to be held on 1 October in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the death penalty in countries with observer status, such as the United States and Japan. The Japanese sentence ignores the recommendations of the Council of Europe and compromises prospects for progress in abolishing capital punishment.

In a report published last May, FIDH observed that the death sentence was generally meted out to persons who were not given a fair trial, which is a violation of the international instruments on the protection of human rights, that Japan has endorsed. FIDH stressed that incarceration in death row in Japanese prisons could be seen as a type of torture or, at least, inhuman and degrading treatment. As concerns the conditions of the executions, FIDH deplores the secrecy enshrouding the sentenced prisoners and the hanging itself which makes the sentence even more inhuman and degrading (see http://www.fidh.org/asie/rapport/2003/jp359f.pdf).

Further to the above, FIDH again encourages Japan to adopt a moratorium on capital punishment and, ultimately, to abolish it.

FIDH will hold a press conference in Strasbourg on the death penalty in the United States and Japan, just prior to the debate in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe.

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