Mongolia took a welcome step toward abolishing the death penalty in January, when it announced a moratorium on executions.
Now it is time for the country to take the necessary steps to abolish the death penalty in law.
The President of Mongolia, Tsakhia Elbegdorj said: "There are instances where the death penalty was imposed on an innocent individual instead of the actual offender. Without fully abolishing it we cannot completely end miscarriages of justice surrounding this form of penalty."
President Elbegdorj also said that he has commuted the death sentences of all death row inmates who have appealed for clemency during his presidency.
Asia continues to execute more individuals than the rest of the world combined. Amnesty International estimates at least 1,838 individuals were executed in 11 countries in Asia in 2008. In China, Mongolia and North Korea, the use of the death penalty is also shrouded in secrecy and lacks transparency.
In Mongolia there are no official statistics on death sentences or executions. Families of those on death row are not notified in advance of the execution and the bodies of those executed are not returned to the family. Prison conditions for death row inmates are reported to be poor.
President Elbegdorj's actions demonstrate commitment to the protection of human rights and set a good example for other Asian countries in the region.
Call on the government of Mongolia to abolish the death penalty in law.
Image:A protester carrying demonstrates outside a Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong July 2005. Copyright: Private.