Sergio D'Elia, General Secretary of HOC

18 March 2008 :

Hands Off Cain asks China to provide data on the number of people sentenced to death and the number of executions performed.
Sergio D'Elia, Parliamentarian and HOC Secretary, and Elisabetta Zamparutti, Treasurer and curator of the HOC annual report on the death penalty around the world, said:
"Like serious events that occurred in Lahsa and ones heard about in other regions in the plateau, the number of victims is not made known. This is how the death penalty in China is- it stays a state secret. The Chinese Supreme Court said last week that on reassuming the power to confirm death sentences in January 2007, there was a 15% reduction in the death sentences issued in 2007 by lower tribunals. According to the Dui Hua Foundation, an NGO based in San Francisco, approximately six thousand people were executed in China in 2007, equivalent to 25-30% less than in 2006.
These are important developments, but they must become official. Therefore, China must provide statistics regarding death sentences issued and executions performed in 2007 and in the preceding years.
The resolution on the Moratorium on capital punishment that was approved by the UN General Assembly asks states that maintain the death penalty to provide data on executions and capital sentences to the UN Secretary General. By "special invitation" of the UN Secretary General, the UN is currently holding the Council of Human Rights in Geneva. The Council is discussing the death penalty and the help that Italy and the trans-regional, pro-moratorium coalition can provide China regarding transparency, moving away from capital punishment and the state of human rights."

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