Capital punishment in Mongolia

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Capital punishment has been abolished in Mongolia since 2012, following a previous two-year moratorium.[1]

Historical use

At the time of abolition, there were five crimes liable to the death penalty: "terrorist acts committed for political purposes; terrorist acts against representatives of a foreign State for political purposes; sabotage; premeditated murder committed with aggravating circumstances; and rape with aggravating circumstances". Only men aged 18-60 at the time of the crime could be executed; women were not subject to the death penalty.[2][3] The government has since abolished the death penalty for all crimes.[2]

According to Amnesty International, Mongolia, like China, Vietnam, Malaysia and Singapore, practiced executions in secrecy.[4][5] The family of the prisoner would not be informed of the date of the execution, nor the place of burial.[2] There were 45 people sentenced to death in 2007, but the number of executions was not revealed by the authorities.[5] Five people are thought to have been executed in 2008.[2]


A Mongolian woman condemned to die of starvation, c. 1913

Immurement was a historical method still used in the beginning of the 20th century in Mongolia.[6] The modern method of execution was a bullet to the neck.[2]


In June 2009, Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, an abolitionist, was elected President of Mongolia. He began using his prerogative of pardon to prevent the application of the death penalty.[2][7] On January 14, 2010, he announced that he would henceforth use his prerogative to pardon all persons sentenced to death. He stated that most countries in the world had abolished the death penalty, and that Mongolia should follow their example; he suggested that it be replaced with a 30-year prison sentence. The decision was controversial; when Elbegdorj announced it in Parliament, a significant number of represesentatives chose not to give the applause customarily due after a presidential speech.[2]

Le Monde, however, noted that President Elbegdorj "may find it a lot more difficult" to have the death penalty abolished in law, adding that it might be applied again if Elbegdorj failed to be reelected.[2] Elbegdorj won the 2013 presidential election on 26 June 2013[8][9] and his second presidential term is running from 10 July 2013 to June or July 2017.


On January 5, 2012, "a large majority of MPs" adopted a bill that aims to abolish the death penalty. After two years under the official moratorium, the State Great Khural formally signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[10] This makes Mongolia abolitionist because under Article 1, paragraphs 1 and 2, of the Covenant, “No one within the jurisdiction of a State Party to the present Protocol shall be executed,” and “Each State Party shall take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction.”


  1. "Abolitionist and retentionist countries", Amnesty International
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 “Le président mongol veut abolir la peine de mort”, Le Monde, January 14, 2009
  3. Press Release by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, March 22, 2000
  4. "La peine de mort, une pratique entourée de secret", Amnesty International, April 15, 2008
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Condamnations à mort et exécutions recensées en 2007", Amnesty International, April 15, 2008
  6. New Zealand Herald (1914), p.7
  7. "Mongolie. Un condamné à mort mongol a été gracié", Amnesty International, October 14, 2009
  8. D., Tsetseg (27 June 2013). "It is announced that Ts.Elbegdorj won by preliminary result". (in Mongolian). Retrieved 27 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Incumbent Mongolian president wins 2nd term on pro-Western, anti-graft platform". The Washington Post. Washington. 27 June 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Mongolia takes ‘vital step forward’ in abolishing the death penalty", Amnesty International, 5 January 2012