Malaysia to abolish the death penalty

Malaysia will abolish the death penalty in a move that pleased human rights campaigners. The Law Minister said any planned executions will not be carried out. There are currently over 1,267 people on death row in Malaysia. They will be released or have their sentences reduced. The minister said: "[Prisoners] would have to face life imprisonment because there had been several deaths that were caused by the offender and so they were sentenced to death."

Amnesty International welcomed the decision. It said: "Malaysia [will] join the 106 countries who have turned their backs for good on the ultimate cruel, inhumane, degrading punishment." It added: "The death penalty should have been consigned to the history books long ago." It said the announcement was encouraging but more needed to be done because 23 countries still have the death penalty. There were 993 executions recorded worldwide in 2017.