Amnesty International

6 August 2013

The first execution in Viet Nam in more than 18 months is outrageous and puts hundreds of death row prisoners at risk, Amnesty International said.

Nguyen Anh Tuan, convicted for murder in 2010, was reportedly executed today in the Ha Noi Police prison through lethal injection – the first execution in the country since around January 2012.

Tighter EU regulations on the export of the drugs needed for lethal injections meant that Viet Nam did not carry out any executions during this period, but a new law that came into effect on 27 June 2013 states that Viet Nam can now use drugs produced outside the EU or domestically.

According to media reports, there are currently 586 people on death row in Viet Nam, of which at least 116 have exhausted their final legal appeals.

“It is deplorable that Viet Nam has resumed executions and reflects a ruthless determination by the authorities to continue using the death penalty,” said Isabelle Arradon, Amnesty International’s Deputy Asia Pacific Director.

“These state sanctioned killings have to stop. The Vietnamese government should have used the suspension of executions imposed by EU export regulations to review its use of capital punishment and move away from the death penalty altogether.”

With so many lives at risk of immediate executions, the government must immediately halt any plans to put more prisoners to death.

“Amnesty International sympathizes with the victims of serious crime who deserve justice, but there is no evidence that the death penalty works as a particular deterrent. The death penalty is the ultimate form of cruel and inhuman punishment and a clear violation of human rights.”

“Viet Nam is out of step with the rest of the world when it comes to the death penalty. Only 21 countries carried out executions in 2012 and other South-East Asian countries have been reviewing their death penalty laws and restricting the use of capital punishment. Viet Nam should be exploring alternative solutions rather than overseeing the state killing of hundreds of men and women,” said Isabelle Arradon.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution.

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