The report has it that many of the convicts were sentenced to death for drug-related crimes and murder, while other offences include use of firearms, robbery and waging war against the king or ruler of a state.
Penpushing further reports that in the Southeast Asian country, 33 offences are punishable by death, while as at the time of filing this report on Monday, it was not clear whether the Nigerian Government has responded to the new data in the country
The Article 5(3) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and the Criminal Procedure Code guarantee the right of a person and the relative of such person to be informed, within 24 hours, of the grounds of their arrest as well as the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of their choice.
Penpushing also reports that Amnesty International explained that representatives of legal aid schemes whom it spoke with expressed no concern about the timeliness of the notification of arrest which was received from law enforcement agencies.
“However, they mentioned concerns related to practical issues, such as the receipt of the fax or email notifications after office hours which would not be acted on until the following day; and the low availability of lawyers when the notification comes in,” the group said.
Penpushing reports that, the group stated that the family members of defendants said their relatives saw lawyers when they were charged at the Magistrate Court, days after their arrest, adding, “similarly, representatives of foreign embassies indicated that they usually get the notification of arrest of their own nationals with a time gap of more than 24 hours or even days’.
“Amnesty International was also told by representatives of foreign embassies that in several cases involving foreign nationals, the Malaysian authorities had failed to correctly identify or verify the identity and nationality of the defendants, with the result that those defendants were not able to exercise their right to seek assistance from the consular authorities of their states of origin at the time of arrest,” the report added.
Penpushing further reports that, the Amnesty International report has it that foreign nationals who are far from their relatives and have little or no support from their embassies are at a disadvantage to file pardon petitions.
The Executive Director of Amnesty International, Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu faulted the use of death penalties by Malaysian authorities and called on the authorities to completely abolish the death penalty for all crimes while also reviewing all cases where people have been sentenced to death, with a view to commuting the sentences.
“Our research found a pattern of unfair trials and secretive hangings that itself spoke volumes. From allegations of torture and other ill-treatment to an opaque pardons process, it’s clear the death penalty is a stain on Malaysia’s criminal justice system. Malaysia has a golden chance to break with decades of cruelty and injustice, disproportionately inflicted on some of the most marginalised”,he emphasised