Human Rights Commissioner Strässer condemns latest use of death penalty in Japan

25.06.2015 - Press release

Christoph Strässer, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, issued the following statement on 25 June in response to the latest use of the death penalty in Japan:

I was appalled to hear that a further death sentence was carried out in Japan this morning. Since the current government came to power in December 2012, a total of twelve people have now been executed. Yet again, the condemned man was only informed shortly beforehand, and his family was not told until afterwards. They had no time to prepare themselves and say farewell to each other. I consider this to be a particularly unreasonable and inhumane practice.The death penalty is an inhuman and cruel form of punishment.

The German Government is opposed to its use, whatever the circumstances. I again call on the Japanese government to instigate a public debate in society on what purpose the death penalty is even supposed to serve in a highly developed legal system like Japan’s.

Background information:

A man who had been sentenced to death in Japan was executed today (25 June). The 44-year-old had been condemned to hang for combined murder and robbery. A total of twelve people have now been executed since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office in December 2012. Those sentenced to death do not know about the imminent execution until immediately beforehand and thus have no opportunity to say farewell to their families – who are themselves only told about the execution after the event.

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