Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security on Wednesday said it has proposed to the central government for the country to manufacture its own poison to execute those on death row, as the European Union has maintained its refusal to export the drugs.
Minister Tran Dai Quang said at a meeting with the National Assembly the proposal is being assessed by the central government and will be carried out soon, news website Dan Tri reported.
A total of 532 prisoners have been awaiting execution since the adjustment to the Law for Enforcement of Criminal Verdict took effect last July, replacing the firing squad with lethal injection as a more humane method of execution.
The EU has banned the use of the drugs, telling Vietnam to eliminate capital punishment instead. The death penalty has been abolished in all of the EU member states.
Many Vietnamese lawmakers suggested at a meeting last October that Vietnam reinstate the firing squad as the death penalty would not be a deterrent if it could not be implemented. But several proposed the country provide a legal framework for the production of poisons from toxic plants available in Vietnam.
Quang said inmates on death row in Vietnam's prisons are all being well guarded.
He said the ministry has completed the building of rooms to administer lethal injection at five prisons in Hanoi, the nearby Son La Province, Ho Chi Minh City, the central province of Nghe An and the Central Highlands' Dak Lak Province.
Around 500 relevant personnel have been trained for the practice, he said.
The officer also remarked that a massive crackdown was launched in the middle of December in preparation for the crime-prone Lunar New Year, the country's biggest holiday that starts February 10, saying that so far, police have arrested more than 1,500 members from 390 "dangerous" gangs involved in robbery and/or assault.
More than 20 tons of tainted meat and nearly 6,000 fake bottles of wine have also been seized, before hitting the shelves of stores to be sold for the holiday.
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