Target: Chairman Zhang Dejiang, National People’s Congress of China
Goal: Support limitations on the death penalty in China
China is responsible for more executions every year than the rest of the world combined. Currently, 55 different crimes are punishable by death in China, ranging from wartime rumors to counterfeiting money. Fortunately, the ruling Communist Party is now considering removing nine offenses from the list.
The proposed changes are part of a recently submitted draft amendment focusing on reforming the country’s legal system. China’s heavy use of capital punishment has long been a source of criticism from rights groups like Amnesty International, and a report from the Dui Hua Foundation claims that 2,400 people were executed in China in 2013 alone.
Trimming infringements punishable by death is not expected to lower the overall number of executions in China. The change comes in the wake of social unrest and a government attempt to appease its people by limiting its strong control. Land grabs, heavy pollution, and mass corruption have led to civil disobedience and encouraged the government to propose reforms, including shrinking the scope of capital punishment.
All but 20 of the 193 United Nations member states have outlawed the death penalty altogether. Hopefully, the reforms will stand as a stepping stone to greater independence and freedom for the people of China. Sign this petition in support of death penalty limitations in China.
Dear Chairman Zhang Dejiang,
Human rights groups estimate that China’s rate of execution surpasses that of all other countries combined, and a report from the Dui Hua Foundation claim as many as 2,400 Chinese were executed in 2013. The death penalty is the most severe punishment and—if it exists at all—must be reserved for crimes horrific enough to warrant its implementation. Many agree that illegal money lending is not an offense worthy of ending someone’s life.
Amnesty International reports state that, outside China, 80 percent of all 2013 executions were in Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. Still, Iran purportedly executed 369 individuals and Iraq was responsible for only 169 executions. China is at the forefront of technology, but seems to be lagging desperately behind on human justice.
I implore you to pass the draft amendment to Chinese criminal law and limit the number of crimes punishable by death.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: 天下文章一大抄 via Wikimedia Commons