CHINESE PREMIER LI KEQIANG DEFENDS USE OF DEATH PENALTY
|Chinese Premier Li Keqiang
September 22, 2016: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang defended his countryâs continued reliance on the death penalty while visiting Ottawa, even as he and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau continue to work toward a formal extradition treaty.
Li was asked about capital punishment in China by reporters on Parliament Hill, andÂ responded that China is one of many nations that still use the death penalty to punish serious crimes.
He cited the countryâs enormousÂ population as one of the reasons it has not been abolished, arguing that more innocent people couldÂ be hurt if the punishment were not so severe.
âIn the society there are often crimes, and violent crimes,â LiÂ added, standing next to Trudeau.
Li said that movies and television shows may depict torture in the Chinese judicial system, and he cannot guarantee that this never occurs. But his country is moving toward a law-based society.
âChinese law clearly provides that there must be strict compliance with judicial procedures and there shall be no torture,â the premier said. âHumanitarian treatment must be applied.â
The death penalty question may present a serious problem for the Trudeau government as the two countries move toward an extradition treaty. Even the mention of such a treaty has alreadyÂ prompted criticism fromÂ human rights groups because of concerns about Chinaâs lack of due process.
The governmentÂ recently announcedÂ the possibleÂ dealÂ afterÂ Trudeauâs national security adviser, Daniel Jean,Â went to Beijing on Sept. 12 and agreed to start talks about an extradition treaty as part of a broader security dialogue.
On Thursday, Trudeau pointed outÂ that Canada andÂ China have been talking about extradition âfor years.â
âUp until now, itâs been on an ad-hoc basis,â he explained, adding that under no circumstances willÂ Chinese citizens be sent home to be executed.
âBecause we do not have capital punishment in CanadaâŚ we willÂ not extradite into situations of capital punishment,â TrudeauÂ said. (Sources: Globalnews.ca, 22/09/2016)