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Sri Lankan president signs executions of 4 convicts

Despite international criticism, the Sri Lankan president, Maithripala Sirisena today signed papers authorising the executions of four convicts. 

The convicts were sentences over drug related offences. 

Speaking to the media, the president said, "I have already signed the papers and they will be carried out soon.”

Responding to the decision, Amnesty International said it was "shocked" and "outraged". 

“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," Amnesty's South Asia Director, Biraj Patnaik said. 

“At a time when other countries have come to the realisation 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.”