An International body World Coalition Against Death Penalty (WCADP), which works for the abolition of Death Penalty around the world held its General Assembly in Rome, Italy on 13th June 2009. The World Coalition comprises of 88 International NGO’s , Bar Assoc, Trade Unions local governments and Non-governmental organizations. It aims at strengthening the international dimension of the fight against the death penalty and at contributing to put an end to death sentences and executions. Its main activities are the World Day against the Death Penalty, which will focus on teaching abolition in 2009, a ratification campaign for the United Nations Protocol to Abolish the Death Penalty and a campaign for a universal moratorium on executions.
Lawyers For Human Rights International is actively involved in the campaign since last many years and in this effort had been working in close association with the World Coalition. LFHRI had been holding seminars in order to educate the masses regarding the redundancy of the use of death penalty in the civilised society as the same has no effect on the crime rate. Studies have shown that in the countries or areas where the Death Penalty has been frequently used as a punishment ,it has no deterrent effect on the crime rate, where as in places where Death Penalty has been abolished or not being executed principally the crime rate has decreased rather than increasing.
The Six Targeted Countries. These changes are signs of hope for a death penalty-free Asia. For the 2008 World Day, the WCADP calls for the support of the abolitionist movement in Asia by focusing on six countries: India, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Taiwan and Vietnam. Three countries were chosen because progress towards abolition has been made (India, South Korea and Taiwan). The same demand is linked to these three countries: the introduction of moratoria on executions In the three other countries (Japan, Pakistan and Vietnam) there are concerns about the application of the death penalty, and especially about the non respect of transparency for the death row inmates and the application of the death penalty in Japan; the high frequency of unfair trials in Pakistan; and the important number of capital offences in Vietnam. China was not chosen as a targeted country despite the huge number of executions carried out each year because it was already the target of a specific campaign focusing on China in the view of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. This campaign started in January 2008 and ended in July 2008 with the symbolic handover of the petitions to the Chinese authorities following a press conference in Hong Kong.
[ India– STATUS – Retentionist
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: ratified in 1979.United Nation General Assembly Resolutions 62/149 and 63/168 for a moratorium on the death penalty: India has voted against but did not sign the statement of dissociation initiated by Singapore5.
– HISTORICAL BACKGROUND –
At independence in 1947, India retained the 1861 Penal Code which provided for the death penalty for murder
r– FIGURES –1950-1980: between 3000 and 4000 executions1980-1997: 2 to 3 people hanged per year 1997-2004: de facto moratorium on executions August 2004: 1 execution for rape and murder After 2004: no execution
– EVOLUTION –
Although every year tens of people are still sentenced to death, there has been only one execution since 1997.Minister of Justice declared to “the Indian Express” newspaper that he was against death penalty and that it shouldn’t exist in Indian legislation, but it’s only the competence of the Parliament to abolish it. Private members’ bills to abolish the death penalty were introduced in both houses of parliament in the last two decades, but none of them was adopted.