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Guest Stop the Killing

China Executions are highest in the world

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Guest Stop the Killing   
Guest Stop the Killing

In a new report published today, Amnesty International revealed that at least 1,200 people were executed in 2007 and expressed deep concern that many more were killed by the state, in secret. Amnesty can confirm at least 470 executions by China - the highest overall figure. The true figure for China is undoubtedly much higher.

 

China -- the world’s top executioner -- classifies the death penalty as a state secret. As the world and Olympic guests are left guessing, only the Chinese authorities know exactly how many people have been killed with state authorization.

 

"The secretive use of the death penalty must stop: the veil of secrecy surrounding the death penalty must be lifted. Many governments claim that executions take place with public support. People therefore have a right to know what is being done in their name," Amnesty International said.

 

But 2007 was also the year in which the United Nations General Assembly voted – by 104 to 54, with 29 abstentions – to end the use of the death penalty.

 

"The UN General Assembly took the historic decision to call on all countries around the world to stop executing people. That the resolution was adopted in December with such a clear majority shows the global abolition of the death penalty is possible," said Amnesty International.

 

"The taking of life by the state is one of the most drastic acts a government can undertake. We are urging all governments to follow the commitments made at the UN and abolish the death penalty once and for all."

 

Please copy the words below and send to the Chinese Embassy

 

2133 Wisconsin Ave NW

Washington, DC 20007

(202) 625-2030

 

We the undersigned, are deeply concerned over the extensive use of the death penalty in China. China executes more people than every other country in the world put together. We welcome the recent introduction of the Supreme People's Court's review of all death sentences in China, and note official statements that this has led to a reduction in the number of those sentenced to death and executed. However, we remain deeply concerned that national statistics on the death penalty remain a state secret.

 

In the interests of transparency, we urge you to ensure the regular publication of official statistics on the total number of death sentences and executions in China. We are concerned that the measures taken so far to reform the death penalty system in China are limited in scope and fail to address key human rights concerns. In particular we remain concerned that the death penalty remains applicable to some 68 crimes in China, including non-violent offences. We urge you to take measures to reduce the number of crimes punishable by death, by removing economic and drug-related crimes from the scope of the death penalty.

 

The death penalty violates the right to life and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. It also contravenes fundamental principles of the Olympic Charter relating to the preservation of human dignity and respect for universal, fundamental, ethical principles. With a view to ensuring a positive human rights legacy for the Olympic Games in August 2008, we urge you to put further measures in place to increase transparency and move towards abolition of the death penalty in China.

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