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Thailand Executes First Prisoner Since 2009

Amnesty International is condemning Thailand’s first execution since 2009.

The country’s Department of Correction says 26-year-old Theerasak Longj was put to death Monday by lethal injection at a prison outside of Bangkok. He was condemned for the brutal 2012 stabbing death of a 17-year-old boy for his cellphone.

The agency issued a statement saying it hopes Monday’s execution will serve as a warning for those who think of committing serious crimes or violating the law. 

“This is a deplorable violation of the right to life,” Katherine Gerson, Amnesty International’s Thailand campaigner said in a written statement Tuesday. Gerson said the country “is shockingly reneging on its own commitment to move towards abolition of the death penalty… and is also putting itself out of step with the current global shift away from capital punishment.”

She said Amnesty was ready to classify Thailand as a nation that abolished the death penalty in practice, since it was close to reaching the important milestone of a decade without executions in 2019.

Over 500 prisoners in Thailand are awaiting execution, including 94 women. Theerasak was the seventh convict executed by lethal injection since Thailand switched methods in 2003 from a firing squad.

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