Friday, January 15, 2010
The Dignity of Mongolia
Mongolia announces moratorium on Death Penalty
"Mongolia is a dignified country ... and our citizens are dignified people," President Tsakhia Elbegdorj said in a speech to Mongolia's parliament. "Therefore, I ask Mongolia to put behind us this death penalty which degrades our dignity to death."
The BBC reported that one person was executed in Mongolia in 2008 and nine people are believed to be on the country's death row. Although abolishing the death penalty outright seems to be an uphill political battle for Elbegdorj, he has the power to commute sentences to life and to prevent any executions from taking place on his watch.
Mongolia has a population of 2.9 million and 9 people on death row. Thailand has 65 millions and 857 people on death row. Mongolia by its announcement of a moratorium will spare those 9 people from a degradation of dignity. Like Thailand, Mongolia had voted against the UN General Assembly vote in favour of a world wide moratorium on the death penalty, in 2007, and again in 2008.