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press release

Minister of State Roth calls upon Viet Nam to suspend death sentences

22.01.2014

With a view to 30 death sentences handed down recently by a Vietnamese court on charges of drug smuggling, Minister of State Roth issued the following statement today (22 January):

“The death sentences handed down to 30 Vietnamese citizens on charges of drug smuggling are deeply worrying. In the 21st century, there is no excuse whatsoever for capital punishment. The German Government rejects the death penalty and calls upon the Vietnamese authorities to suspend the death sentences and commute them into prison terms.”

Background:

The 30 persons in question were convicted of belonging to an international drug dealers cartel and having smuggled almost two tons of heroin from Laos to Viet Nam and China since 2006.

After a break of almost two years, Viet Nam resumed capital punishment by lethal injection in August 2013. The interruption had been caused by an EU ban on the export of poisonous substances.

An estimated 600 people are still on death row in Viet Nam.

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