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SC extends interim order against implementation of death penalty

The Supreme Court has extended its interim order preventing the implementation of death penalty until 10 December.

President Maithripala Sirisena in June announced the end to the 43-year moratorium on the death penalty. He also signed papers authorizing the executions of four convicts.

Eleven Fundamental Rights (FR) petitions and a Writ petition were filed with the Supreme Court between June and July this year, against implementation of the death penalty.

On July 5th, the Supreme Court delivered an interim order preventing the implementation of the death penalty until 30 October.

President Sirisena has justified his decision to restore the death penalty as a measure to protect the country and the future generation from drug traffickers.

The President’s decision has sparked concern internationally from the UK and EU as well as from Canada, France and Norway and locally.

Sirisena had also rejected an appeal by United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.

The FR petitions were filed by the Centre for Policy Alternatives, Professor C. Gunaratne, Dr K. Senaratne, Venerable Galkande Dhammananda Thera and the attorneys of several death row inmates at the Welikada Prison. The Writ petition was lodged by journalist Malinda Seneviratne.