Four convicts on death row will be executed soon, President Maithripala Sirisena said today.
He told media heads that he has signed the papers to execute the four convicts who have been sentenced to death on drug related offences.
“The date has been set. I have informed the relevant authorities,” he said.
Amnesty International said it was shocked by President Maithripala Sirisena’s announcement that he has signed the execution warrants of four death row prisoners convicted of drug-related crimes, and that they will be hanged in “the near future.”
While the President has confirmed signing the death warrants, no names have been revealed and no details have been shared about any scheduled executions or information on the cases.
Amnesty International said the lack of transparency makes it impossible to ascertain whether these prisoners have exhausted clemency appeals or if all safeguards were followed in their conviction or sentencing. There is also no confirmation that the four prisoners, or their families, have been alerted to their imminent execution.
The executions would be the first time Sri Lanka has implemented the death penalty since 1976.
“We are outraged that the President has signed the first execution warrants issued by Sri Lanka in 43 years. In one stroke, he will undo all the country’s progress in putting a stop to the use of the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment,” said Biraj Patnaik, South Asia Director at Amnesty International.
“At a time when other countries have come to the realization that their drug control policies are in need of reform, and are taking steps to reduce the use of the death penalty, Sri Lanka is bucking the trend. This will be devastating to the country’s international reputation and we hope that President Sirisena will reconsider his decision,” said Biraj Patnaik. (Colombo Gazette)