The secretive judicial execution of two men on Tuesday reflects the Japanese government’s unrepentant contempt for the right to life, Amnesty International said.
Today’s executions are an abhorrent and bloody stain on Japan's human rights record. Once again, the Japanese government has shown contempt for the right to life.Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.
Teruhiko Seki, 44, who was convicted of murder and robbery, and Kiyoshi Matsui, 69, who was convicted of murder, were executed early on Tuesday morning at Tokyo Detention Centre. Seki was 19 years old when the crime was committed. Both were seeking retrials at the time of execution.
“Today’s executions are an abhorrent and bloody stain on Japan’s human rights record. Once again, the Japanese government has shown contempt for the right to life,” said Roseann Rife, East Asia Research Director at Amnesty International.
This month marks ten years since the UN General Assembly adopted its first resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. As the global momentum towards abolition continues unabated, Japan continues to ignore the trend.
“The government is deluding itself if it thinks the death penalty is an effective tool to deliver justice. This is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment – a fact the vast majority of the world’s countries have recognized,” said Roseann Rife.
The executions take the total executed in Japan in 2017 to four. Prisoners are typically given only a few hours’ notice of their execution, and some given no warning at all. Their families, lawyers and the public are usually notified only after it has taken place.
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender or the method used by the state to carry out the execution and has been campaigning for abolition of the death penalty for over 40 years.
*Please note the first name of Teruhiko Seki was corrected on 19 December.