Malaysia intends to abolish the death penalty in a move that human rights campaigners have welcomed. Malaysia's Law Minister said: "The death penalty will be abolished. Full stop." He said any planned executions will not be carried out. There are currently over 1,267 people on death row in Malaysia. They will get a reprieve. Prisoners on death row will be released or have their sentences commuted. The minister said: "They 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."
Malaysia's decision was hailed by Amnesty International. It said: "Malaysia must now join the 106 countries who have turned their backs for good on the ultimate cruel, inhumane, degrading punishment." It added: "There is no time to waste. The death penalty should have been consigned to the history books long ago. Malaysia's new government has promised to deliver on human rights, and today's announcement is an encouraging sign, but much more needs to be done." There are 23 countries with the death penalty. There were 993 executions recorded worldwide in 2017.