[gender-cedaw-vn] Law: Vietnam cuts list of death penalty crimes
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Sun Jun 21 10:03:00 EST 2009
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [vnnews-l] Law: Vietnam cuts list of death penalty crimes
Date: Sat, 20 Jun 2009 01:09:54 -0700
From: Stephen Denney <srdenney at gmail.com>
To: vnnews-l at anu.edu.au
Vietnam cuts list of death penalty crimes: official
17 hours ago
HANOI (AFP) — Vietnam on Friday removed rape and several other offences from
the list of crimes punishable by death, an official said, but deputies
maintained capital punishment for drug trafficking.
"This morning, the national assembly approved some amendments to the
criminal code," an official from the National Assembly office told AFP.
He said that, in addition to rape, deputies voted to remove six other
offences from the list: awarding of bribes, counterfeiting of money and
bonds, hijacking ships and planes, destruction of weapons and military
equipment, and appropriation of property through swindling.
Seventy-five percent of deputies in the communist-dominated National
Assembly endorsed the amendments to the penal code, which take effect
January 1 next year, state media reported.
The amendments were controversial, with lively debate particularly about
rape and drug trafficking, according to local media reports of the
proceedings, which were closed to foreign reporters.
A draft amendment presented to the deputies had proposed removing eight
crimes from the list, including drug trafficking, but as their month-long
sitting closed on Friday deputies rejected the move.
Global human rights group Amnesty International said it "very much" welcomed
the reduction in the number of capital offences.
"And we hope that this is the first concrete step in a move towards
abolition, which the highest levels of the Vietnam government have indicated
support for," and which is a worldwide trend, Amnesty's Janice Beanland said
She said Amnesty was disappointed that drug offences were excluded from the
changes, despite a recommendation from Vietnam's Ministry of Justice, but
was encouraged by the National Assembly's debate of the issue.
More than 90 percent of National Assembly deputies are Communist Party
members but the parliament has in recent years become more vocal over the
country's major problems.
"I think the National Assembly is doing a good job in not being seen as a
rubber stamp... It's a start," an Asian diplomat said before the voting.
Vietnam last reduced the number of death penalty crimes in 1999, but even
with the latest amendments the country still has 22 crimes on its statutes
that are punishable by death.
Dozens of people each year in Vietnam are sentenced to die by firing squad,
mostly for murder and drug trafficking.
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