Twelve FR petitions filed against death penalty | Daily News

Twelve FR petitions filed against death penalty

Twelve Fundamental Rights petitions have been filed so far in the Supreme Court seeking an Interim Order directing the Commissioner General of Prisons and Welikada Prison Superintendent from executing any prisoner consequent to a death warrant signed by the President.

These petitions had been filed by twelve petitioners including Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) and its Executive Director, Dr. Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu and Attorney-at-Law Kavindu Hewa Geeganage naming Attorney General, Justice Minister, Commissioner General of Prisons, Welikada Prison Superintendent and several others as respondents. In its petition, the CPA stated that it has long been recognised that hanging by death is a cruel and inhuman form of punishment, not befitting a multi religious and civilised society. Though convicts have been sentenced to death, the long recognised practice in Sri Lanka for over 43 years has been that they were not executed.

CPA reiterates that the implementation of death penalty at this juncture is a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 11(Freedom from torture) and under Article 12(1)[ All persons are equal before the law and are entitled to equal protection before the law] of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, filing another petition, Attorney-at-Law Kavindu Hewa Geeganage stated that selection of specific individuals to impose the death penalty is arbitrary, unreasonable, and made on no identifiable criteria, and without any justifications for the same.

He argued that purported selection appears to have been carried out contrary to the Law and the Constitution and in particular the proviso to Article 34(1) of the constitution.

The petitioner further stated that purported selection of specific individuals are contrary to international norms and do not meet the relevant threshold for ‘most serious crimes’; The Petitioner states that the State, in taking steps to carry out such executions in haste has caused rise to a situation of imminent infringement of the condemned prisoners’ rights under Article 11, 12(1), 13(4), 13(6) and 17 of the Constitution.

This petition had been filed through Attorney-at-Law Gowry Shangary Thavarasha.

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