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Anti-death penalty advocates get boost
Architect behind end to executions in Philippines urges end to practice in Thailand
- ucanews.com reporter, Bangkok
- March 12, 2012
Pimentel was a key figure in a three-year campaign which saw the death penalty abolished in the Philippines in 206.
â€śWe find the death penalty an outmoded method of exacting justiceâ€¦. It is an ineffective method of deterring criminals â€¦ and itâ€™s cruel,â€ť Pimentel said at a discussion at the Foreign Correspondentsâ€™ Club of Thailand during his March 7-9 visit to Bangkok.
He was speaking several days before Thailand tells the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva this week why it still implements capital punishment.
â€śIt is biased against the poor, the unlettered, the unconnected,â€ť he said, pointing out that majority of death row convicts are poor and have had minimal education,â€ť he told Thai senators,Â government officers and reporters.
Pimentel was in Thailand at the invitation of Amnesty International Thailand to share his experience in campaigning against the death penalty in Philippines with Thai senators, government officials and civil society groups.
â€śPimentelâ€™s views were very useful particularly with regard to our senatorsâ€ť, said Parinya Boonridrerthaikul, director of Amnesty International Thailand.
â€śThey are more open these days to discuss this issue.â€ť
Most countries which have abolished the death penalty started with having the political will to changing the law, she said.
â€śWe hope Pimentel will inspire our senators and government to move forward and end the death penalty in our country,â€ť she added.
As of late last year, 140 out of 192 UN member states have either abolished the death penalty or introduced a moratorium on executions, according to the secretary-generalâ€™s office. In the Asia Pacific, 17 countries have abolished the death penalty, while 14 countries, including Thailand, retainÂ it.