Monday, November 11, 2019

ADPAN (Anti Death Penalty Asian Network)

Death Penalty Thailand has been represented in ADPAN since its foundation in 2006. Death Penalty Thailand attended the 3rd Biennial General Meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on 8th November 2019 as representative of the Union for Civil Liberty of Thailand. While ADPAN may be a small grouping of death penalty activists on the world scene, its area of activity is immense and of premier importance in the struggle for abolition of the death penalty. This little known grouping deserves wider recognition and the following extract from the ADPAN website introduces its aims and background.

"The Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) is a regional network of organizations and individual members committed to working for the abolition of the death penalty in Asia-Pacific.
Launched in 2006 on the World Day against the Death Penalty, ADPAN was founded in Hong Kong following a Consultative Meeting organized by Amnesty International. It answered a call from local abolitionists to organise regionally to end the death penalty across Asia and the Pacific.
In 2012, at a Consultative Meeting in Hong Kong, it was decided that ADPAN will be transformed into an independent network, and towards that end a Transition Group was formed.
In 2014, at its first General Meeting in Taipei, Taiwan, Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network (ADPAN) members approved ADPAN’s Constitution, and ADPAN’s first Executive Committee was elected.

  • More people are executed in Asia-Pacific than in the rest of the world combined at a time when regionally and in the world, the number of executions is declining.
  • 95% of the world’s population lives in countries that retain and use the death penalty.
  • 13 countries in the region have carried out executions in the past ten years.
  • Failures of justice in trials that end in a death sentence cannot be reversed. Unfair trials in death penalty cases are known and documented across the region.
  • The death penalty is not an effective deterrent to combat crime.
  • The majority of those that face the death penalty are poor or from the marginalised in society.
  • ADPAN maintains that the death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate form of cruel inhuman and degrading punishment.
Who We Are

A growing active network with members in 22 Asia-Pacific countries, ADPAN is independent of governments and any political or religious affiliation.
ADPAN members are civil society groups, organizations, networks of organizations, trade unions, lawyers and/or judges associations, consumer groups, professional bodies, academic groups and individual persons from Asia-Pacific: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore,  Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga and Vietnam.
ADPAN Partners are organizations, groups and/or individual persons, not members of ADPAN, who are also committed to the mission and work of ADPAN from Netherlands, Italy, France, Denmark, the UK, USA, and Spain.
What We Do
ADPAN campaigns and lobbies for an end to the death penalty across the Asia Pacific region. We do this by:
  • Joining in actions and lobbying against the death penalty, especially in countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • Appealing on behalf of individuals facing execution from the region.
  • Issuing news releases, joint open letters, and media statements.
  • Producing cross-regional reports and materials challenging the need for the death penalty such as unfair trials.
  • Sharing information and activities using social media: Twitter, Facebook, this blog.
  • Supporting the establishment of national coalitions against the death penalty.
  • Contributing to national and regional strategies in support of abolition.
  • Attending conferences to talk about regional developments on the death penalty."

The meeting on the 8th November confirmed the vitality of ADPAN. 24 people attended. The meeting was informal and spirited, Reflected was a tidal change in the Asian region, tentative but full of hope that abolition was possible and in some cases on the way, in contrast to a creeping approval of a return to support of the death penalty among the youth of Europe. (See the 54% of young Belgians approving a restoration of the death penalty, reported in FONDAPOL, (,  "Democracies under pressure", May 19, 2019). A tidal wave of change in ASIA in favour of abolition will see a global end to the ancient curse of the death penalty. Perhaps even Belarus will yield!

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