UN raises concern over the growing use of the death penalty

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Several countries in the Middle East and Asia have abandoned their moratorium on the death penalty and executed criminals according to the UN Human Rights office (OHCHR).

This week, three men were executed in Kuwait – the first time since May 2007, while Iraq is reported to have executed at least 12 people this year.

In Asia, the death penalty has been carried out for the first time in several years in both India and Indonesia, while Japan resumed executions in 2012. An unknown number of people are executed every year in China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Iran.

Rupert Colville from the UN Human Rights office says the executions are being carried out despite the overwhelming global trend towards abolishing the death penalty.

"In many cases, the death penalty involves clear violations of international norms and standards: for example when fair trial guarantees and due process are not respected, and when executions of juvenile offenders take place in violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. In general we appeal to all Governments concerned to take necessary measures and establish an official moratorium on all executions with the aim of abolishing the death penalty in accordance with the recent resolutions of the General Assembly.”

The UN Human Rights office says it has serious reservations about the independence and fairness of criminal justice system in some of the countries that were using the death penalty as a form of punishment.

Patrick Maigua United Nations Radio Geneva.

Duration 1.31″

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