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Nobel Peace Laureate joins Appeal to end Death Penalty in Vietnam
PARIS, 11 October 2011 (VIETNAM COMMITTEE) - International personalities and organizations have joined the appeal launched on the 9th World Day against the Death Penalty by Quê Me: Action for Democracy in Vietnam and the Vietnam Committee for Human Rights (VCHR) for an end to capital punishment in Vietnam (1). The two organizations first began campaigning for the abolition of capital punishment in Vietnam at the 56th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in 2000. At that time, death sentences were increasing annually in Vietnam, with 194 death sentences pronounced in 1999.
In the appeal issued yesterday, Quê Me and the VCHR expressed concern about Vietnam’s lack of transparency on death penalty statistics, the use of the death penalty to sanction vaguely-defined “national security” crimes that could apply to legitimate acts of freedom of expression, and the adoption of a new law in 2011 to execute convicts by lethal injections instead of the firing squad in order to make the death penalty “more humane”.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mrs. Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, sent the following message today to VCHR President Vo Van Ai. Mrs. Corrigan-Maguire, a Roman Catholic, was awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace prize along with Betty Williams, a Protestant, for uniting Catholics and Protestants in a common initiative to end sectarian violence in their native Northern Ireland.
“Please add my support to your call for an end to the death Penalty in Vietnam.
“The death penalty can never be called 'humane' as it means the Vietnam Government is choosing to take the lives of its citizens when Governments are called to protect human life and uphold UN Declaration of Human Rights and many other international laws. We call upon the Vietnamese Government to abolish the death penalty and join the many world Governments who have already done so”.
Nobel Peace Laureate
(1) See 9th World Day against the Death Penalty: Vietnam makes the Death Penalty “more humane” (Vietnam Committee on Human Rights, 10 October 2011).