Death Penalty: Gregory Campbell is wrong to defend cruelty of Iran, Saudi Arabia and China

Amnesty International today strongly criticised a call made by Gregory Campbell MP for the use of the death penalty in the UK and internationally.

Amnesty International’s Northern Ireland Programme Director Patrick Corrigan said:

"Gregory Campbell is plain wrong in thinking that the death penalty has any place in a 21st-century justice system, whether in the UK or any other country. He should not be defending the cruelty of nations like Iran, Saudi Arabia and China in continuing this barbaric practice.

“Beheadings, electrocutions, hangings, lethal injections, shootings and stonings have no place in the modern world. Any popular support which exists for the death penalty falls dramatically when people are confronted with the sordid reality of capital punishment. All the more so when people realise that there is no evidence that it even deters crime.

“The good news is that executions are only carried out by a small number of countries and that this number is getting smaller by the year. Our members in Northern Ireland will continue to campaign for a death penalty-free world.”

Amnesty is opposed to the death penalty in all circumstances. A recent Amnesty report also points out that numerous death sentences have been imposed after unfair or discriminatory trials. The organisation also continued to emphasise the risk of executing innocent prisoners, noting that the USA released four people from death row last year, taking to more than 130 the number of death row exonerees since 1973.

Notes to editors
2,390 executions were carried out worldwide in 2008 - 72% per cent in China alone.

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