Japan: Impose A Permanent Moratorium On All Executions And Take Urgent Steps Towards Its Abolition Of The Death Penalty

MEDIA STATEMENT – 31 AUGUST 2014

 

The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) condemns the execution of two Japanese death row prisoners, Mitsuhiro Kobayashi, age 56, and Tsutomu Takamizawa, age 59, who were executed on 29th August 2014 at Sendai Detention Center and Tokyo Detention Center respectively. This is the second and third execution in this year that took place within two months since last June when Masanori Kawasaki, aged 68 was executed on 26 June at Osaka Detention Center.

This recent execution of Mitsuhiro Kobayashi, Tsutomu Takamizawa and Masanori Kawasaki is really disappointing more so since the recent release of Iwao Hakamada on 27 March 2014, who had spent 45 years on death row. In Hakamada’s case, the court in releasing him expressed concern that investigators could have falsified the evidence against him.

Since Prime Minister Abe’s government took office in December 2012 eleven people have now been executed, whilst a total of 127 inmates remain on death row.

ADPAN, together with its member in Japan, Center for Prisoners’ Rights,  condemns these ‘secret executions’. The death penalty is a gross human rights violation, a state-sanctioned murder, unique in its cruelty and finality. Needless to say, death penalty is irreversible and cannot be remedied.

ADPAN, a network of Asia Pacific organizations and individuals working for the abolition of the death penalty, calls upon the Japanese government, also being a member of the UN Human Rights Council, to comply with United Nations General Assembly Resolutions adopted in 2007, 2008, 2010 and 2012, and to immediately impose a moratorium on all executions and take steps towards the abolition of the death penalty.

 

 

Charles Hector

For an on behalf of ADPAN

 

For further information, please contact Ms Nalini at contactadpan@gmail.com  or  +60193758912.

*ADPAN PDF Version: Final Press Statement Japan Execution 29082014

*ADPAN member CPR issued a statement condemning the execution: http://www.cpr.jca.apc.org/sites/all/themes/cpr_dummy/Doc/CPR%20Statement%20on%20Execution%20August%2029%202014.pdf

Two prisoners executed in Japan

Center for Prisoners’ Rights Japan
c/o Amicus Law Office
Raffine Shinjuku #902, 1-36-5, Shinjuku Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo, JAPAN
TEL / FAX +81 3-5379-5055

August 29th, 2014

On Friday August 29th, two Japanese death row prisoners, Mitsuhiro Kobayashi, age 56, and Tsutomu Takamizawa, age 59, were executed at Sendai Detention Center and Tokyo Detention Center respectively. This is the second execution in 2014 and today’s executions have brought the total number of executions authorized by Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, a member of the second Abe Cabinet, to eleven.

Kobayashi was sentenced to death by Aomori District Court, which found him guilty of setting fire to a branch office of consumer creditor firm and killing five people. The death sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on March 27th, 2007. Kobayashi argued that he had not intended to kill the people and filed retrial requests on three separate occasions. The last such request was rejected by the Supreme Court on August 6th, 2014, and his defense counsel was just about to file the fourth request.

Takamizawa, former mob boss, was convicted and sentenced to death by Maebashi District Court, which found that he had murdered three people in conspiracy with his underlings. His sentence was confirmed  by the Supreme Court on October 23rd, 2012. Takamizawa claimed he was not guilty of any of the three murders, arguing that he had not conspired to murder the two of the victims and his act which had caused death of the other victim was self-defense.

On July 24th, 2014, UN Human Rights Committee issued concluding observation on the 6th review of the report submitted by the government of Japan and recommended that the government should ‘give due consideration to the abolition of death penalty’ and give ‘reasonable advance notice of the scheduled date and time of execution to death row inmates and their families’. Doubtlessly, if the two prisoners had received advance notice of today’s executions, they would have filed a request for a retrial or other legitimate motion. However, Minister Tanigaki dared to order the executions, totally ignoring the recommendations by the Human Rights Committee, just before his resign as justice minister, which is expected to take place due to reshuffling of the cabinet scheduled on September 3rd. Neither respect for human life nor the idea of procedural safeguards for those facing the death penalty is reflected in his decision of executions.

Center for Prisoners’ Rights strongly condemns today’s executions and will continue its struggle to achieve a moratorium on executions and ultimate abolition of the death penalty.

Maiko TAGUSARI
Secretary-General
Center for Prisoners’ Rights

 

CPR Statement on Execution August 29 2014

ADPAN TG Face to face Meeting in Malaysia

The Core members of the ADPAN Transitional Group had one day face to face meeting on 9th August at Malaysia to discuss on the coordination, future plans and Activities of ADPAN. The meeting was indeed a fruitful meeting.

 

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ADPAN July 2014 Newsletter: AVAILABLE NOW

#ADPAN NEWS

ADPAN Newsletter covering July 2014 has been out. Please click this link to read more ADPAN July Newsletter 2014

Please feel free to circulate. We would appreciate your feedback on this latest newsletter.

Thank You,

Nalini Elumalai
ADPAN Coordinator
contactadpan@gmail.com

UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS OFFICE VERY CONCERNED BY THE RESUMPTION OF EXECUTIONS IN SINGAPORE

PRESS RELEASE
BANGKOK (22 July 2014) – The United Nations Human Rights Office for South East Asia (OHCHR) today expressed deep concerns over the resumption of executions in Singapore after 3 years of suspension, despite the overwhelming global trend towards abolishing the death penalty. Last Friday, the Central Narcotics Bureau of Singapore announced the execution of two individuals convicted for drug offences.  Reportedly, 23 detainees remain on death row in Singapore, many of them being convicted for drug-related offences.
The death penalty is an extreme form of punishment and, if used at all, should only be imposed for the most serious crimes, after a fair trial that respects the most stringent due process guarantees as stipulated in international human rights law. In accordance with international human rights jurisprudence, drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” for which the death penalty may be applied. In March 2014, the United Nations International Narcotics Control Board urged States that still impose the death penalty for drug-related offences to abolish that punishment.
While OHCHR acknowledges efforts by the Government to review cases of individuals awaiting capital punishment since the new statutory provisions -that removed the mandatory death penalty for certain crimes- came into force in 2013, the UN Human Rights Office appeals to Singapore to take necessary measures to review and abolish the death penalty for drug offences. OHCHR also encourage the Government to establish an official moratorium on all executions in accordance with General Assembly resolutions (Resolution 67/176 in 2012, 65/206 in 2010, 63/138 in 2008, and 62/149 in 2007); and commute all death sentences.
ENDS
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
Regional Office for South-East Asia
ESCAP, UN Secretariat Building
6th Floor, Block A
Rajdamnern Nok Avenue, Bangkok 10200
Tel. (662) 288 1235, Fax. (662) 288 1039
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