Groups want end to drug offense executions

June 22, 2009 at 9:31 AM

LONDON, June 22 (UPI) -- The governments of Asia should stop applying the death penalty for drug-related offenses, advocates said Monday.

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network, of which Amnesty International is a member, Human Rights Watch and the International Harm Reduction Association said in a release as the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking approaches June 26, Asian governments need to rethink their willingness to execute people for drug-related offenses.

The groups say 16 Asian countries now do so, adding that while it is impossible to know exactly how many such death sentences are imposed, reports from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand indicate a high percentage of executions in those countries are imposed on those convicted of drug offenses.

ADPAN, Human Rights Watch and the IHRA singled out China, Indonesia and Vietnam for particular concern, saying they continue to execute people for drug offenses and that some countries have marked the occasion of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking with such executions.

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