Strategy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty
The launch today of the new Strategy for the Abolition of the Death Penalty has been welcomed by Liberal Senator and Chair of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee Senator Abetz.
The formal release of the new Strategy comes at a time when Pakistani Asia Bibi is facing the death penalty for blasphemy and there is an Australian potentially facing the death penalty in the United States. The strategy will see Australia advocate for nations to abolish the death penalty or at least improve conditions and access to justice.
“Australia has comprehensively rejected the death penalty in all jurisdictions and the introduction of this new strategy is a welcome use of Australia’s international standing to advocate for an end to this inhumane practice,” Senator Abetz said.
“Each year around the world, it is estimated that more than 2,000 people are sentenced to death, often in barbaric ways. Worse still, in some countries there is limited access to justice and some death sentences on the basis of religion, sexuality or gendered roles.”
“While some nations may not be minded to repeal the death penalty, it is vital that appropriate safeguards are in place to ensure basic justice and humanity throughout the process.”
“Importantly, this strategy will ensure that Australia does not embark on extradition treaties with nations – like China – who maintain the death penalty and that we more robustly make the case for people sentenced abroad to death not be executed.”
“Further, I am hopeful that the new strategy will continue to take a strong stand against cases like that of Asia Bibi who is facing the death penalty over blasphemy claims in Pakistan – in defiance of international covenants protecting freedom speech and freedom of religion.”
“Recent developments in Malaysia promising to repeal the death penalty is another move to achieving this common bi-partisan goal.”
“I congratulate the Government on the implementation of this important strategy and look forward to working towards the full abolition of the death penalty around the world,” Senator Abetz concluded.