Last Updated: Monday, 15 September 2014, 14:12 GMT

UN rights chief praises Mongolia for halting executions

Publisher UN News Service
Publication Date 15 January 2010
Cite as UN News Service, UN rights chief praises Mongolia for halting executions, 15 January 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b5578101e.html [accessed 16 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Mongolia's leader announced a moratorium on the death penalty today, in a move warmly welcomed by the top United Nations human rights official.

President Elbegdorj Tsakhia said that the death penalty will be replaced with a 30-year prison sentence, with people currently on death row having their sentences commuted accordingly.

Mr. Tsakhia said that his goal is the complete abolition of the death penalty in Mongolia, where executions have traditionally been carried out in secret, but none since the President's election last June.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay congratulated the leader "on this historic step which further strengthens human rights and protection in Mongolia."

The President's justification for the moratorium - that the death penalty both breaches the right to life and human dignity and is irreversible - "is extremely thoughtful and well-founded," she added.

Ms. Pillay encouraged Mongolia to swiftly ratify the second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) to bolster its commitment to end the death penalty.

"Mongolia's move sets a leadership example in Asia," she said, regretting that some countries in the region are among the "world's most prolific executioners."

Some 140 countries no longer carry out the death penalty and 72 nations have signed onto the ICCPR's second Optional Protocol, which abolishes the practice.

Last month, Ms. Pillay urged all States still imposing the penalty to place a formal moratorium on its use.

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