Saturday, July 15, 2006

Labor pushes Asia to end executions

The Border Mail reports LABOR has demanded Australia press regional nations to abolish the death penalty, as three Bali bombers and two Australian drug smugglers sit on death row in Asia.

Indonesia announced on Monday that the three Islamic terrorists responsible for the October, 2002, bombings, which claimed 202 lives including 88 Australians, could go before a firing squad by the end of the month.

Opposition legal affairs spokeswoman Nicola Roxon said July 11 marked the 15th anniversary of the United Nations Death Penalty Protocol.

“Death by hanging, beheading, electrocution, firing squad, or stoning is inhumane, no matter what the crime,” she said.

“Australia needs to use its position internationally and in the region to abolish the death penalty universally.

“In the past year, we have been sadly reminded of this by the hanging of Van Nguyen in Singapore, the first Australian to be executed since Michael McAuliffe was hanged in Malaysia in 1993.”

Mrs Roxon called for Australia to advocate more strongly for the abolition of the death penalty to regional neighbours and allies and to encourage their ratification of the protocol, which came into force under international law on July 11, 1991.

So far, just 57 countries have signed and ratified this protocol, including Australia.

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