Human Rights Commissioner reacts to Japan’s renewed use of death penalty

21.02.2013 - Press release

The Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, Markus Löning, has voiced his horror at the execution of three condemned prisoners which was carried out in Japan today (21 February). He issued the following statement in Berlin:

“I am horrified that Japan has yet again executed three people.
I know that the prisoners executed had been found guilty of serious crimes, and I have sympathy with the families of their victims. The death penalty, however, is inhuman and cruel. The German Government is against capital punishment under any circumstances and is campaigning for its universal abolition.
I once again urge the Japanese Government to suspend its use of the death penalty and engage in open debate about what place capital punishment can still have in modern Japanese society.”

So far, more than two thirds of all countries around the world have abolished the death penalty or are observing a moratorium.


Today, on Thursday, 21 February, Japan executed three prisoners who had been sentenced to death. This was the first use of the death penalty since September 2012, and the first since Prime Minister Abe (LDP) came to power in December 2012. Minister of Justice Sadakazu Tanigaki cited the “extremely cruel” murders they had committed as his reason for ordering that the executions be carried out.

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