World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Death Penalty Moratorium must be the priority

* News Release Issued by the International Secretariat of Amnesty International *

18 December 2000
MDE 18/016/2000 238/00

"Lebanon should start the new century by declaring an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty and commute all outstanding death sentences as a first step towards its abolition," Amnesty International said today.

"The memory of the years of bloodshed suffered by the Lebanese people is all too recent, all too painful," Amnesty International's Secretary General Pierre Sané said. "We are looking to the state and to the people to reinforce the precious values of tolerance and respect for human life and dignity historically associated with Lebanon. A moratorium on the death penalty would be a symbolic gesture for the future of the country and for the start of the new century."

Lebanon has a history of opposition to the death penalty. One death sentence was carried out between 1972 and 1994, but at least 13 executions took place during the period 1994 - 1998. No executions have taken place since President Emile Lahoud took office in November 1998.

Amnesty International unconditionally opposes the death penalty under all circumstances. It believes every death sentence is an affront to human dignity: the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

No study, including those carried out by the United Nations, into the use of the death penalty, has demonstrated that its use is an effective deterrent against even the most heinous crimes. Indeed, in those countries where the death penalty has been reintroduced capital crimes have not been reduced as a result.

Amnesty International believes that miscarriages of justice happen in all systems of the world. The death penalty is sometimes inflicted on those innocent of the crime for which they were condemned. For example, in 1998, an appeal court in the United Kingdom posthumously overturned the conviction of Mahmoud Hussein Mattan, a Somali national executed in 1952 after a trial strongly tainted by racism. The judge concluded that "capital punishment was not a prudent culmination for the criminal justice system which is human and therefore fallible."

"The death penalty dehumanizes our world, it actually legitimizes an irreversible act of violence by the state and society which cuts off human life," Pierre Sane said. "More than half the countries of the world do not use the death penalty, they have abolished it in law or no longer implement it in practice. We hope that Lebanon will be joining them very soon."

You may repost this message onto other sources provided the main text is not altered in any way and both the header crediting Amnesty International and this footer remain intact.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>


Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>


Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>


Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>



Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC