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Amnesty Int'l categorizes S. Korea as death penalty 'abolitionist in practice'

National 15:04 May 16, 2023

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- Amnesty International, a non-governmental organization focused on human rights, categorized South Korea as a death penalty abolitionist in practice in its annual report released Tuesday and urged the country to completely do away with capital punishment.

Since its last execution on Dec. 30, 1997, South Korea has not carried out any death penalties, although handing out the capital punishment is still permissible under the law. Sixty people were serving time in prison at the end of 2020 after getting the death penalty.

In the report, "Death sentences and executions 2022," Amnesty International categorized South Korea among abolitionist countries in practice "in that they have not executed anyone during the last 10 years or more and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions."

The report, however, pointed out that a death sentence was imposed in South Korea in 2022, while none were recorded in 2021, referring to the capital punishment given in June to Kwon Jae-chan, 54, charged with strangling a female acquaintance for money and murdering a male accomplice.

Amnesty International Korea said "The global community is watching when South Korea's pledge to abolish capital punishment would be carried out," calling on the country to move on to become a complete abolitionist.

This image is provided by Amnesty International Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image is provided by Amnesty International Korea. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


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