Markus Löning, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy, issued the following statement today (13 December):
I was appalled to hear that another two people have been executed in Japan. It is particularly shocking that the Japanese Government continues to adhere to the policy of informing neither the condemned individual nor the family that the execution is imminent, rendering a personal farewell impossible. The death penalty is an inhumane and cruel punishment. The German Government is against capital punishment under any circumstances and is campaigning for its universal abolition. So far, more than two thirds of all countries around the world have abolished the death penalty or are observing a moratorium. I once again call on the Japanese Government to refrain from carrying out further death sentences and to conduct an open debate in society about the death penalty; this punishment is an anachronism in the 21st century.
The two men put to death on Thursday are a 63-year-old who stabbed two people during robberies in 2000 and 2008 and a 55-year-old who murdered a member of his ex-wife’s family in 1986 and another person connected to her at a later date. As is usual in Japan, the executions took place without prior warning being given to the condemned men, their families or the public.