[JURIST] A spokesperson for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) [official website] on Friday urged [press release] the Indonesian government to halt all executions of people convicted of drug-related offenses. Christof Heyns, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, made this statement in response to Indonesian officials’ announcement that eight more convicted drug traffickers will be executed by firing squad in the coming days. Despite international pleas and the UN’s open criticism, the Indonesian government executed six drug smugglers [JURIST report] by firing squad in January. UN rights experts continue to urge authorities in Southeast Asia to place a moratorium on executions for drug-related offenses, and encourage a move towards the complete abolition of the death penalty.
The death penalty [JURIST news archive] is a controversial issue worldwide, and a trend toward reinstatement has caused international concern. In December the Interior Ministry of Jordan announced [JURIST report] that 11 men were executed by hanging, which marks the first time Jordanian authorities delivered capital punishment in eight years. In October UN officials called on the government of Iraq [JURIST report] to impose a moratorium on the death penalty in response to a significant increase in executions since restoration of capital punishment in 2005. Earlier in October the OHCHR called for an international abolition of the death penalty [JURIST report]. In September two experts from the OHCHR encouraged [JURIST report] Saudi Arabia to implement an immediate moratorium on the death penalty following an increase in executions, with a significant number of the executions completed by beheading. In July Italian advocacy group Hands off Cain released a report [JURIST report] claiming the number of deaths by capital punishment increased despite a global trend away from the practice. In May the OHCHR urged the US to impose a moratorium [JURIST report] on the use of the death penalty following a botched execution.