In response to President Maithripala Sirisena’s recent comments that the files of convicted drug dealers have been withheld or disappeared from prisons, sabotaging his decision to activate death penalty on them, the Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry today issued a time line on the process it adopted to implement the death penalty on death row prisoners on drug related crimes.
The Ministry said a list of convicts on death row was requested on July, 12, 2018 after President Sirisena declared that he had decided to activate death penalty on drug convicts. On July 13, a list of 13 who were on death row was sent to the Justice and Prison Reforms Ministry.
On July 25, cabinet approved a proposal to put convicted drug dealers who are on the death row to death if they continue to do the crime and on July 4, the list of death row inmates was sent to the Attorney General.
On October 2, two out of 18 were confirmed for immediate implementation of death on October 3, the list of death row prisoners recommended for immediate implementation of death was sent by the Ministry to Additional Secretary Ms. Jayawickrama of the Presidential Secretariat.
Another name of a death row prisoner was confirmed for death on October 13. A discussion was held by President Sirisena with officials of the Ministry of Justice and Prison Reforms on the death row prisoners list.
The Justice Ministry has sent another list of 48 death row prisoners who have been convicted on drug related crimes to Presidential Secretariat on December 31 while 30 out of them have filed appeals against the convictions.
Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Talatha Atukorake explained the action take by the Ministry to carry out death penalty on convicts of drug related crimes who are on death row to the cabinet on last Tuesday. (Sandun A. Jayasekera)