By Agence France-Presse
Thailand has carried out its first execution since 2009, the Department of Corrections said, killing a 26-year-old convicted murderer in a move condemned by Amnesty International as “deplorable”.
Theerasak Longji, 26, was killed by lethal injection, six years after he was convicted of murder in Trang province.
His death came with Thailand’s coup leader Prayut Chan-O-Cha set to travel abroad to the United Kingdom and France.
“We still have the death sentence, we have not canceled it yet,” Tawatchai Thaikaew, deputy permanent secretary at the Justice Ministry, told AFP, adding that the execution on Monday was carried out “according to the law”.
The Corrections Department, which oversees one of the world’s largest prison populations, said 325 convicts have been executed since 1935, the majority by firing squad.
That practice ended on December 11, 2003. Between then and 2009 a further six inmates were executed by lethal injection, the department added.
Rights groups hit out at the sudden resumption of the death penalty, which is frequently handed down by the courts for serious crimes.
“This is a deplorable violation of the right to life,” Amnesty International said, accusing the kingdom of “reneging” on commitments to move towards abolition of the death penalty.
The country is “also putting itself out of step with the current global shift away from capital punishment.”