Malaysia: Decision to review mandatory death penalty for drug trafficking must be first step towards wider reform

On 23 March 2017 Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and de facto Law Minister Azalina Othman Said stated in response to a parliamentary question that the cabinet had tasked the Attorney General with the preparation of amendments to the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1952. Amnesty International welcomes the decision to move forward with the reforms, first announced in October 2012. However, while the move could result in a significant reduction in the use of the death penalty, the Malaysian authorities should not limit reform to drug trafficking offences or the mandatory death penalty. They should go further and immediately establish a moratorium on all executions, as first steps towards full abolition of the death penalty.

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