Gazan accused of spying for Israel sentenced to death----Hamas-run court says
54-year-old man will be hanged for allegedly providing Jewish state with
information since 1987
Courts in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip handed down 3 death sentences on Monday,
including 1 for allegedly spying for Israel and 2 others for murder,
In the 1st case, "the military court in Gaza decided upon death by hanging for
the convict, 54, on charges on spying for the Israeli occupation," a court
The court said the man had allegedly been linked to Israel since 1987 and had
provided a large amount of information to the Jewish state since then.
The case was held behind closed doors and the defendant was referred to only by
the initials E.A.
Another alleged spy was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Also on Monday 2 men from rival families were sentenced to death after
tit-for-tat killings in 2013 and 2015 respectively, the public prosecutor said.
A series of death sentences have been handed down in recent weeks despite calls
on Hamas from the European Union and rights groups to halt the practice.
The authorities in Gaza executed 3 men behind closed doors in May, the first
time the death penalty had been carried out since 2014, drawing condemnation
from the United Nations.
In Gaza, accusations of spying for the Jewish state are often brutally
punished. During the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, 18 alleged
collaborators were shot dead in public by Hamas forces.
(source: The Times of Israel)
The crimes of serial killer and rapist Umesh Reddy, a man set to go to the
gallows ---- The Karnataka High Court, while confirming the death sentence,
called Umesh a "devil"
Lodged in Belagavi's Hindalga jail, notorious rapist and serial killer Umesh
Reddy awaits a death warrant that is likely to be issued for his execution. He
has spent over 18 years in jail, with some stints outside when he managed to
Umesh was first arrested on March 2, 1998, in connection with the murder of a
Bengaluru woman. He made news again in 2007, when the VII Fast Track Court,
Bangalore, sentenced him to death for the rape and murder of the 37-year-old
Bengaluru woman in front of her son. His death sentence was confirmed by the
Karnataka High Court in October 2007 and the Supreme Court in February 2011.
The Karnataka High Court, while confirming the death sentence, called Umesh a
"devil". Justice SR Banurmath, who was the 3rd judge appointed to rule on
Umesh's sentence, said: "It is evident that even after punishments in cases of
robbery, dacoity and rape, he has not reformed; no reformation can be expected
from such a habitual offender and pervert criminal."
The judge added: "I do not understand why such a devil in man's garb should be
maintained by society by locking him up in jail for life. It is a known fact
that whenever there is an opportunity, he has a tendency to run away from
custody and commit new, heinous crimes.
Belagavi's Central Prison in Hindalga, is the only prison in Karnataka which
has gallows. The last execution was carried out in 1983.
In the trial court, the prosecution argued that Umesh raped and murdered the
woman before robbing her. The prosecution also called him a serial rapist and
Umesh was born as Umesh BA in Basappa Malige village in Chitradurga district in
1969. Much of his story beyond this point, is a sensational or perhaps
By some accounts, he was posted in Jammu and Kashmir while in the CRPF, where
he is said to have attempted to rape a commandant's daughter. He was arrested,
but managed to escape and return to Chitradurga.
The Hindu however, reports that Umesh was first employed as a police constable
and was recruited in the District Armed Reserve (DAR) in 1996. In
November-December that year, Umesh was accused of attempting to rape a girl in
Media reports vary in the number of accusations against him. In May 2002, Umesh
faced 19 cases in Chitradurga, Ballari, Bengaluru, Vadodara, and Kunigal. In
2009, The Hindu reported that Umesh faced seven cases in Bengaluru alone.
According to a Deccan Herald report from 2009, Umesh faced 25 cases, of which
he had been acquitted in 10 and convicted in 9, but the offences of which he
was convicted are not known.
Umesh is said to have murdered a string of women after raping them. He would
then make off with their valuables.
In 2002, when the police arrested him after he gave them the slip on his way
from Ballari to Bengaluru, the media began to claim that he was a transvestite
or a cross-dresser.
A Kannada film called Khatarnak was made based on details of Umesh's life in
2013. However, its contents have been fictionalised.
In May 2012, when Umesh filed mercy petitions with the Karnataka government,
the media reported that he had faced 15 rape cases. The Cabinet, headed by the
then chief minister DV Sadananda Gowda, rejected his mercy plea.
In February 2012, Umesh's mother Gowramma filed a clemency petition with the
President, which was rejected in May 2013. In her petition, she said that her
son was the sole breadwinner of her family and that his brother was unwell. She
also said that her son was "innocent" and that he had been picked up because
the police could not arrest the real culprits.
Simultaneously, he approached the Supreme Court seeking a review of its own
decision to confirm the death sentence awarded to him. This has now been
rejected by the Supreme Court. Jail Superintendent at Hindalga TP Shesha told
The News Minute that they had received a copy of the SC order, but the trial
court had not, and that they were awaiting the issuance of the death warrant.
Director of the Centre on Death Penalty at the National Law School Delhi, Anup
Surendranath, told The News Minute that the law mandated that the defence
lawyer be present when a trial court issues the death warrant.
Anup said that Umesh could still challenge the death sentence awarded to him on
technical grounds. He said that Umesh could challenge the rejection of his
mercy petition by the President, first in the Karnataka High Court and if that
failed, in the Supreme Court.
But this could be done if relevant material had not been presented to the
President, or certain other grounds such as the mental health of the prisoner.
He explained that in the Shatrughan Chauhan v. Union of India, 2 prisoners'
death sentences had been commuted to life as they were found to be unsound of
Anup said that the death penalty was often "misunderstood" as a means to punish
the "rarest of rare" crimes on the basis of brutality. "It is the state's
burden to show that a convict is beyond reformation, and that alternatives such
as life imprisonment are foreclosed," Anup said. He explained that the
government can, by invoking certain sections of the CrPC, remit the sentence of
a convict. But in December 2015, the courts interpreted the law to hold that
instead of the death penalty, they would be asked to undergo life sentence,
disallowing the state from invoking powers of remission.
(source: The News Minute)
China refutes rumors of organ harvesting
Chinese health officials on Monday vowed to fight corruption in the organ
donation system, pledging zero tolerance toward non-voluntary organ transplants
and denying that organ harvesting continues from executed prisoners.
On Monday, organ transplant experts from the WTO, International Society for
Organ Donation and Procurement (ISODP) and The Transplantation Society (TTS)
gathered in Beijing to attend the 2016 China International Organ Donation
Conference, the first such international meeting held on the Chinese mainland.
"All the organs transplanted after 2015 are from voluntary donors and we have a
zero tolerance toward violations," Huang Jiefu, a former Chinese vice-minister
of health and current head of the National Human Organ Donation and Transplant
Committee, said at a press conference.
Huang blasted allegations that the number of organ transplants far surpassed
the amount of organs donated as lacking evidence, saying that China performed
around 8 % of the world's organ transplant surgeries, and also consumed 8 % of
world's post-operative medications, which are all produced by foreign companies
and are traceable.
China banned the use of executed prisoners' organs in January 2015, making
voluntary donations the only legitimate channel.
However, the rumor that China is still using organs from dead prisoners and
harvesting from living people has not died down.
CNN reported in June that China was still engaged in harvesting organs from
prisoners, and that people were even being murdered for their organs, citing a
The law and regulations cannot stop all the violations and corruption, such as
trading in organs, but the Chinese government has shown great resolution to
fight against corruption in organ donation and will not tolerate violations,
The rumors only make us stronger and more dedicated to making the system more
open, fair, transparent and trustworthy, Huang said.
The Chinese government's resolve to reform the organ transplant industry was
highly praised by many organ transplant experts, including Kimberly Young,
former president of the ISODP, who said after the conference that she was
highly impressed by the huge change.
"None of us would be here today if we did not trust that everything is
continuing to be done to support this transparent and ethical process," Young
told the Global Times.
"When we first received training [as a surgeon], we were encouraged not to
interact with China because there were concerns about unethical practices going
on, but what I have seen over the last 10 years is gradual engagement between
the transplantation society and those leaders within China who are interested
in changes," said Nancy L. Ascher, president of The Transplantation Society, at
The Chinese government puts great attention on the country's organ donation and
transplant procedures, which directly concerns the lives of patients and also
justice in society, Chinese Vice Premier Liu Yandong said in a speech delivered
at the conference.
China processed 2,950 organ donations in the first nine months of this year,
with a 50 % increase year-on-year, the Xinhua News Agency quoted figures
released by the National Health and Family Planning Commission as saying on
At present, the annual average number of organ donations in China ranks 1st in
Asia and 3rd in the world, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
WHO director general Margaret Chan on Monday praised China's "green channel"
for organ transport, which sufficiently reduced delivery times for organs, as
an innovative move from the country's health, police and transport system.
In May, a 31-year-old patient at a hospital in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei
Province, received a donated heart within 3 hours, 1/2 the time before the
green channel went into operation.
The Chinese government started to pilot changes to the organ donation system in
2010, and criminalized the unauthorized trading of organs in 2011. In severe
cases of violation, the death penalty could apply.
Moreover, a new system for organ management and distribution was launched in
2013 to better regulate donations.
Since 2007, China has apprehended 32 intermediaries involved in the organ
trade, arrested 158 criminal suspects, investigated 17 medical institutions and
closed 13 underground operation theaters.
(source: Global Times)
Prayers Needed Urgently For Christians Facing Death Penalty In Sudan
The 4 Christians in Sudan who are facing the death penalty were due back in
court on Khartoum today.
Release International asked for Christians worldwide to pray for Pastors Hassan
Abduraheem and Kowa Shamaal, Abdulmonem Abdumawla and the Czech citizen Petr
The 4 men have been charged with 7 crimes, including funding rebel movements in
areas such as Darfur and South Kordofan. The 2 charges that could lead to their
execution are "waging war against the state" and spying.
Human rights groups are increasingly concerned about the growing persecution
faced by Christians in Sudan.
World Watch Monitor reports that a crackdown on religious freedom is creating
space for radical extremist groups to flourish.
The case was raised in the European Parliament last week when several hundred
MEPs signed a resolution protesting the treatment of the men and highlighting
The resolution states that "the Sudanese authorities impose severe restrictions
on freedom of religion; whereas threats against church leaders and the
intimidation of Christian communities have continued at an accelerated pace
over the past years; whereas Czech Christian aid worker Petr Ja???ek, Sudanese
pastors Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour, Kuwa Shamal and Darfuri graduate student
Abdulmonem Abdumawla Issa Abdumawla have been detained for nine months already
by the NISS [National Intelligence Security Services] and are facing trial on
charges of highlighting alleged Christian suffering in war-ravaged areas of
Sudan; whereas in recent years there has been an increase in trials on charges
of apostasy and subsequent death sentences".
It calls on the African Union and the Sudanese Government to abolish the death
penalty and reaffirm that freedom of religion, conscience or belief is a
universal human right that needs to be protected everywhere and for everyone;
and demands that the Sudanese Government repeal any legal provisions that
penalise or discriminate against individuals for their religious beliefs,
especially in the case of apostasy.
It also "expresses its concern with regard to the increased crackdown by the
NISS on citizens who are civil society activists and calls on Sudan to release
detainees immediately and unconditionally".
Last month, the former Bishop of Kadugli Diocese in South Kordofan said the
government of Sudan was "not interested in the Christian religion". Andudu Adam
Elnail said, "There is no freedom for us, we cannot build churches. We are
treated as 2nd-class citizens."
Sudan, where Christians make up 1 in 20 of the population, is ranked at number
8 on the Open Doors' 2016 World Watch List of countries that have the worst
record for Christian persecution.
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu
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