Sri Lanka interviews 47 potential executioners as rights groups slam return of death penalty – National


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Sri Lankan authorities have reportedly begun interviewing 47 candidates for 2 positions as hangmen, whilst rights teams slammed the nation’s transfer to carry again the demise penalty after a decades-long moratorium.

The island nation hasn’t executed a prison in 43 years, however President Maithripala Sirisena revealed final yr that hangings can be introduced again as a part of a renewed battle on medicine — Sirisena is a famous admirer of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Sri Lankan president Maithripala Sirisena, third proper, watches as officers in protecting costumes put together to destroy a haul of seized cocaine in Colombo, Sri Lanka, April 1, 2019.

AP Photograph/Eranga Jayawardena

The nation started promoting the grim profession alternative in newspapers in February. The advert referred to as for candidates with “wonderful ethical character” and “psychological energy.”

In March, the state-run Day by day Information reported that 102 purposes had been acquired for the 2 accessible positions. An American nationwide was among the many candidates, although the advert mentioned Sri Lankans solely want apply.

Now, AFP stories that the candidates have been whittled all the way down to 47.

However there’s a catch — with no executions having been carried out since 1976, the chosen candidates will must be despatched overseas to allow them to be taught the ropes from seasoned hangmen, an official instructed AFP.

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Rights teams condemned the approaching restoration of the demise penalty, saying that executions gained’t make a dent in drug-related crime and that they carry the chance of harmless individuals being killed.

“There isn’t any proof that implementing the demise penalty will finish drug-related crime. Executions are by no means an answer,” mentioned Biraj Patnaik, South Asia director at Amnesty Worldwide.

“Certainly, they could lead to individuals being put to demise following unfair trials. The demise penalty can also be a punishment that disproportionately impacts individuals from much less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds.”

Patnaik mentioned that torture and compelled confessions are a routine incidence in Sri Lanka’s justice system, that means there’s a excessive chance that convicts might be put to demise following unfair trials.

“No prison justice system is able to deciding pretty who ought to reside or who ought to die,” he mentioned.

READ MORE: California Gov. Gavin Newsom to put moratorium on the state’s demise penalty, supply says

Human Rights Watch mentioned the truth that Sirisena’s push for the demise penalty was impressed by Duterte’s “murderous” drug battle makes it all of the extra clear that the demise penalty has no place beneath worldwide legislation.

“President Sirisena’s determination to revive the demise penalty as a result of he was impressed by the Philippines’ murderous ‘drug battle’ stands out as the worst attainable justification and would violate worldwide legislation,” mentioned Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

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Human Rights Watch famous a number of research that discovered no proof that the demise penalty deters criminals, even for crimes like homicide.

“The Sri Lankan authorities ought to publicly recommit to its moratorium on using the demise penalty with a view to completely abolishing the observe,” Ganguly mentioned.

“Executions, whether or not imposed by a choose or carried out unlawfully by the police, usually are not the best way to handle drug offences.”

On Sunday, Sirisena mentioned a date had been set for the demise penalty’s comeback, though he didn’t reveal the date, The Hindu reported.

Practically 1,300 individuals are on demise row in Sri Lanka, based on Human Rights Watch, though the state-run Day by day Information put the determine at 400.

The nation’s Ministry of Justice has accomplished “administrative procedures” for the execution of 5 drug offenders, the Day by day Information reported.

— With information from Reuters

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