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Amnesty urges Sri Lanka to withdraw death penalty plans

Amnesty International on Wednesday called on Sri Lanka to withdraw its plans to implement the death penalty for drug trafficking offences. 

This week the country's ministry of Buddhasasana announced that the cabinet had decided to implement it, and to include 19 prisoners currently on death row. 

“By resuming executions after more than 40 years, Sri Lanka will do immense damage to its reputation. The government must immediately halt plans to carry out any executions, commute all death sentences, and establish an official moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty as a first step towards its full abolition,” Amnesty International's South Asian Deputy Director Dinushika Dissanayake said.

“Executing people for drug-related crimes is a violation of international law – which says the death penalty can only be imposed in countries that are yet to abolish it for the “most serious crimes”.