Six online opinion polls conducted this week have shown strong support among Thai people for capital punishment, despite growing opposition to the death penalty among international organizations and various other countries.
EU, Germany among those against capital punishment
The polls came immediately after Thailand carried out its first execution in almost a decade on Monday, the lethal injection of a man convicted of murdering and robbing his 17-year-old victim in Krabi in 2012. The execution took place at Bangkok’s Bang Kwang Prison, also known infamously as the ‘Bangkok Hilton’.
In all of the polls, over 90 percent of respondents agreed with the death penalty. The polls were conducted by Spring News, The Nation News, Thairath News, Workpoint News, Sanook News and the Drama Addict Facebook page.
Among those opposed to capital punishment is the European Union, which calls the death penalty ‘a cruel and inhumane punishment’ and which fails as a deterrent. Germany’s Commissioner for Human Rights, Barbel Kofler, echoed the ‘inhumane punishment’ sentiment.
A sentiment that, apparently, has little support in Thailand.
Thailand is among 56 countries that still impose the death sentence, with 2017 data from the Department of Corrections showing there were 502 death row inmates in the kingdom around half of whom were sentenced for drug-related crimes. The death sentence was handed down in 75 cases in 2017, compared to 216 times in 2016.
According to Amnesty International, more than two-thirds of countries worldwide, or 142, have abolished the death penalty in law or practice. In its 2017 global review of the death penalty published in April, Amnesty pointed out that the progress made in Sub-Saharan Africa in the global fight to abolish the death penalty had not been matched in Southeast Asia, where Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam all carried out executions.
The United Nations considers a country to have abolished the death sentence if it has not been practiced for at least 10 years.
Monday’s execution by Thailand comes almost nine years since the last execution in August 2009.
Photo: SpringNews on Facebook