Feb. 13


4 transport workers to die for rape and murder of law student Rupa----Another sentenced to 7yrs imprisonment

4 transport workers were awarded death penalty in a case filed for raping and killing law student Rupa Khatun in a moving bus in Tangail.

The death row convicts are bus driver Habibur and three helpers Shamim, Akram and Jahangir were present in the court when Abul Mansur Miah, acting judge of Tangail Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal delivered the verdict.

The court in Tangail also sentenced the supervisor of the bus, Safar alias Gendu, to seven years rigorous imprisonment and fined Tk 1 lakh, our Tangail correspondent reports.

The fine paid by Gendu has been directed to be handed over to Rupa's family.

Rupa Khatun rape murder killer

Meanwhile, Rupa's family expressed their satisfaction with the verdict, reports our correspondent.

On August 25 last year, police recovered an unidentified body of a woman near Tangail-Mymensingh road in Tangail's Madhupur upazila. Following an autopsy, the body was buried at the Tangail central graveyard the next day. A murder case was filed with Madhupur Police Station the same day.

Seeing the news in the media, Rupa's family members went to Madhupur Police Station on August 28 and identified her from photographs.

The next day, law enforcers picked up five employees of the bus at Madhupur. The arrestees during interrogation admitted their involvement in the crime.

All the convicts -- a driver, a supervisor and 3 bus helpers who were in jail -- were present in the court when the verdict was delivered by Abul Mansur Miah, acting judge of Tangail Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal.

The court also gave directions to concerned authorities to seize the bus in which the incident occurred and hand over its ownership to Rupa's family after changing the name of the vehicle.

The Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court in Tangail on August 29 and 30 recorded confessional statements of the arrestees and sent them to jail.

Following a court order, police on August 31 exhumed Rupa's body.

(source" The Daily Star)


Taiwan aiming to ultimately abolish death penalty: justice minister

The Taiwan government is hoping to one day abolish capital punishment, but until then, death penalties must be carried out in accordance with the proper legal procedure, according to Justice Minister Chiu Tai-san.

In an interview with CNA earlier this month, Chiu said President Tsai Ing-wen, like her predecessor Ma Ying-jeou, sees abolition of the death penalty in Taiwan as a long-term goal.

However, extensive public discussion of the controversial issue would be required before that goal can be achieved and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has not set any timeframe for it, Chiu said.

While human rights groups such as the Taiwan Alliance to End the Death Penalty have been calling for an end to capital punishment, it will take time to obtain public consensus on the issue, he said.

In the meantime, capital punishment will continue to be carried out in Taiwan in accordance with the legal procedure, Chiu said.

Although Taiwan has ratified two international conventions that are seen as legal foundations for ending the death penalty, they are not binding on that issue, he said.

Chiu said that since he took office in May 2016 as minister of justice, the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office has not sent him any orders for the execution of death row prisoners, who now number 43.

Explaining the legal procedure in Taiwan, he said if the death penalty is handed down in the lower courts, the case must go all the way to the Supreme Court.

If the Supreme Court upholds the verdict, the Taiwan High Prosecutors Office then reviews the matter and decides if to carry out the sentence, after which an execution order is sent to the MOJ for the justice minister's signature, Chiu said.

Even at that point, the MOJ has the right to assess the case and decide whether to sign the execution order, he added.

The death penalty remains a controversial issue in Taiwan, years after its Legislature in 2009 ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, the 2 conventions that Chiu referred to as the legal foundations for the abolition of capital punishment.

Meanwhile, Chiu said his ministry is working to improve prison conditions in Taiwan by providing more beds so that inmates can each have 1.

Currently, Taiwan's prison population is 62,000, while the number of prison beds is 23,000, which indicates that about 40,000 prisoners are sleeping on the floor.

"Frankly, such conditions are inhumane," Chiu said. He said three new prisons are under construction, each with a capacity of 4,000 inmates, while existing facilities are being expanded.

Chiu said he is also hoping to implement a prison rehabilitation program that would provide training for inmates to learn new skills and increase their chances of entering the job market after their release.

(source: focustaiwan.tw)


Coveney urges Yemen to release man sentenced to death over Baha'i faith----Minister says State condemns use of death penalty 'in all circumstances'

Tanaiste Simon Coveney has called on the Yemeni authorities to release a 52-year-old man sentenced to death for his religious beliefs following an appeal by a number of TDs and the Baha'i community in Ireland.

Mr Coveney, also the Minister for Foreign Affairs, said: "Ireland strongly condemns all forms of persecution on the basis of religion or belief and is unequivocal in its stance on the death penalty."

Hamed Bin Haydara, one of 2,000 members of the Baha'i community in Yemen, was sentenced to death on January 2nd.

The Tanaiste said the State opposes and condemns the use of the death penalty "in all circumstances, and in particular in cases where there are allegations of unfair trials preceding its implementation. The abolition of the death penalty is one of Ireland's international priorities, and my department regularly conveys our stance on this issue to all countries where the death penalty is still in use."

Patricia Rainsford, co-ordinator of the Irish Baha'i Office of Public Affairs, said when Mr Haydara was sentenced the local judge also called for the dissolution of all elected Baha'i institutions, placing the entire Baha'i community in imminent danger.

State of war

Yemen has been in a state of war for 3 years and Ms Rainsford said that since the Iran-backed Houthi rebels took control of the capital, Sana'a, "a cultural campaign of 'antagonism towards others' has been promoted. This campaign is directed against Baha'is, Jews and other religious followers."

Ms Rainsford said Amnesty International had also highlighted Mr Haydara's case as a "prisoner of conscience who has been tried on account of his conscientiously held beliefs and peaceful activities as a member of the Baha'i community".

Ms Rainsford said: "We are asking the Government, EU representatives and everyone who values justice to add their voices to the international efforts to save this man's life."

The Baha'i religion originated in Iran in the 1860s, spreading mainly through the Middle East. It has between 5 and 7 million followers globally. Followers believe God is revealed through the ages by prophets including Buddha, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad and that all religions are fundamentally unified in purpose.

Parliamentary questions

Labour leader Brendan Howlin, Fianna Fail foreign affairs spokesman Darragh O'Brien and Independent TD Maureen O'Sullivan have raised Mr Haydara's case in a number of parliamentary questions.

They asked the Tanaiste what action he and the Department of Foreign Affairs had taken to assist Mr Haydara and if the Yemeni's case had been raised with the EU's external action service.

Mr Coveney said that last year Ireland joined the small core group at the UN Human Rights Council that initiated the adoption of a resolution on Yemen, establishing a group of international experts "to investigate the facts in relation to violations of human rights and humanitarian law on the ground. This group will report back to the human rights council, as an important step towards accountability in Yemen."

(source: Irish Times)


Egypt's House of Reps contests EU Parliament's statement on death penalty

Egypt's House of Representatives has been drafting a memorandum that shall respond to the European Parliament's (EP) latest statement requiring the end of the death penalty implementation against terrorists by Egyptian authorities.

The Egyptian Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) rejected in a statement the EP's interference in Egypt's domestic affairs. "The death penalty is applied in more than 1/3 of the world's countries," the statement read.

The statement stressed that Egypt has not signed the international agreement to prevent the death penalty implementation; the United Nations recognizes Egypt's right to implement this penalty.

Egypt has the right to choose and set its legal and judiciary systems according to the constitution approved in 1923 and in accordance with judiciary independence constitutional articles 94/2014.

Egypt's official response to EP???s report

"The Parliament will take an official detailed response to the EP???s statement within a few days," said Tarek Radwan to Egypt Today on Sunday.

Radwan, who chairs the parliament's FAC, stressed that any foreign intervention into Egypt's domestic affairs is categorically rejected. "The European Parliament should have issued statements to support Egypt's anti-terror war. End of the death penalty against terrorists, who have been proved guilty, does not seem a logical move, while several military, security and civilian lives have been taken."

Egypt rejects foreign interference in domestic affairs

Tarek el-Kholy, the FAC's secretary, asserted that the EP's statement demanding Egypt to abolish death penalties against terrorists is an "insistence to interfere into the Egyptian domestic affairs."

He revealed that 3 international institutions have continued this interference; U.S. Congress, House of Commons of the United Kingdom and the European Union. "Some members affiliated to those 3 parties provoked topics related to human rights activities and attempted to draft bill laws against Egypt, but they failed," Kholy added to Egypt Today.

Kholy manifested that the Egyptian Parliament has sent a report to the UK House of Commons about the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group, following the report that the Britons had released over the MB. "The Parliament's FAC also has successfully dealt with the U.S. Congress's reports over alleged data about Copts in Egypt."

Regarding the EP's report related to the death penalty against terrorists, Kholy affirmed that many parliamentarian tours have been made to Europe to tackle this matter.

Kholy stressed that Egypt rejects any foreign attempt to interfere in its domestic affairs, adding, "These Parties do not pay attention to Egypt's war against terrorism. They neither care about our martyrs nor about the violent and terrorist acts that the Egyptian street has witnessed."

"Since toppling the MB-affiliated Mohamed Morsi from president post in 2013, Egypt has suffered dozens of terrorist and violent acts conducted by the Muslim Brotherhood group and its associated movements," Kholy added.

As a concerned committee, FAC is fully aware of the responsibility that it bears to take responsive reactions to similar reports, according to Kholy who also stressed that those international parties are not conspiring against Egypt, but some of their members, in coordination with Qatar and Turkey, have negative stances towards Egypt.

EP's report relies on unreliable sources

"The EP's report's data mainly counted on suspicious human rights centers' reports," revealed member of the Egyptian-EP Friendship Association and FAC's member Ahmed Ali.

Ali added to Egypt Today on Sunday that a visit to the European Parliament was paid nine months ago; the Egyptian parliamentarians attended a hearing session where they were shocked to listen to untrue data about the detainees in Egyptian prisons and the enforced disappearance phenomenon. The Egyptian security senior officials have affirmed many times that this phenomenon is limited.

"The Egyptian expatriates should play an influential role in responding to similar rumors which only seek to defame the Egyptian state's reputation," Ali added.

Partisan condemnation of EP's report

Free Egyptians Party condemned the report released by the European Parliament on Thursday. "The EP looks unaware of Egypt's judiciary system as the announced death penalties are not the final verdicts and are submitted to many constitutional and legal articles," said Free Egyptians Party's Chairman Essam Khalil in a statement on Friday.

Khalil added that the EP does not care about the death penalty as a punishment, but it only becomes interested in this topic when it comes to Egypt. "Can the EP interfere in any European country's judiciary system?" Khalil wondered.

He called on the European Parliament to show support to the Egyptian people's battle against terrorism and their right to save the lives of the innocent, adding, "The European Parliament should revise and double-check reports and data that it receives from unbiased organizations on the Egyptian domestic affairs, including the human rights file."

EP session addressed Russia, Egypt and Haiti

On Thursday during the EP plenary session in Strasbourg, the European Parliament called for the "immediate release of Oyub Titiev in Russia", condemned the "death penalty in Egypt" and urged Haitian government to end child slavery.

The EP called for reviewing all pending death sentences and reconsidering the Egyptian criminal codes. It also urged Egypt to "halt all planned executions."

(source: Egypt Today)


Christian cleric's killer sentenced to death----The convict fatally stabbed the victim in Cairo suburb last October

An Egyptian court on Monday sentenced a Muslim man to death by hanging after convicting him of murdering a Coptic Christian cleric last October.

The Cairo Criminal Court issued the sentence against Ahmad Saeed, a suspected militant, after the verdict was approved by the country's top Islamic official, the Grand Mufti - a routine procedure in Egypt in cases involving the death penalty.

The ruling can be appealed.

On October 12, the convict was arrested after he fatally stabbed Coptic priest Samaan Shehata in the Cairo suburb of Al Salam City.

Saeed attacked the cleric with a long knife as the latter was leaving his car, witnesses said. He also injured another Coptic clergyman, who was accompanying the victim.

Footage of a surveillance camera in a nearby store showed the suspect chasing Shehata as he was attempting to escape and stabbed him in the stomach and the head.

The 40-year-old victim was a priest at a Coptic church in Egypt's southern province of Beni Suef. He was in Cairo raising donations for the church when he was assaulted.

In May last year, 28 people were killed in an attack, claimed by Daesh, on a bus transporting Coptic Christians to a monastery in the southern province of Minya.

A month earlier, 47 people were killed in suicide attacks, also claimed by Daesh, on 2 churches in the coastal city of Alexandria and the Delta province of Tanta.

The attacks prompted Egypt to declare a nationwide state of emergency that is still in effect.

Christians are among staunch supporters of Egypt's President Abdul Fattah Al Sissi, who is pursuing a relentless campaign against radical Islamists.

Christians make up around 10 % of Egypt's population of nearly 95 million.

(source: Gulf News)


Man charged with murdering 9-year-old daughter

A 35-year-old man has been charged at the magistrate's court here with murdering his 9-year-old daughter.

The accused, Mohammad Abdullah Mohamed, allegedly caused Nur Aina Nabihah's death at their home in Taman Vista Jaya in Lukut near here between 8.30pm and 11.30pm on Jan 31.

No plea was recorded from the suspect, who is a sergeant in the armed forces.

He was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code for murder, which carries the mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

Magistrate Siti Khairiah Abd Razak then fixed March 15 for re-mention.

Police detained the suspect and the victim's stepmother on Feb 1 after a post-mortem conducted on Nur Aina Nabihah showed serious injuries caused by a blunt object.

(source: thestar.com.my)


Aussie drug accused to learn if he will face death penalty in Bali

Australian accountant Isaac Emmanuel Roberts is set learn today whether he could still face the death penalty when he goes to trial in Bali.

The accused drug smuggler will for the 1st time have his charges formally read to him in court, the most significant step yet in bringing him to trial.

The one time Liberal Democrats candidate is facing drug possession or drug importation charges, which carry the maximum penalty of death, after customs officials at Denpasar airport allegedly found 20.54 grams of the drug ice and 14 ecstasy tablets in his luggage on December 4 last year.

Mr Roberts maintains he is a drug addict who was set up by customs officials, and the drugs were for his personal use.

If a judge agrees today to charge Mr Roberts with the lesser offence of "personal use" it will see the death penalty taken off the table.

The maximum penalty would be reduced to 4 years in prison.

(source: 9news.com.au)


North Korean athletes face FIRING SQUAD on Winter Olympics return

Bombastic leader Kim Jong-un has allowed 22 athletes to cross the border to arch rival South Korea for the Pyeongchang Games on Thursday.

They will even march with athletes from the South under a "unified" Korea flag, marking a significant thaw in relations between the 2 countries.

It follows a string of ICBM tests by the North that have riled world rival leaders, especially US President Donald Trump.

But lurking behind Kim's veil of animosity lies a horror threat to have the athletes killed.

(source: dailystar.co.uk)


Morant execution fundamentally flawed: MPs

MPs have acknowledged fundamental flaws leading to the execution of Harry 'Breaker' Morant.

Harry 'Breaker' Morant and Peter Handcock are the only Australians executed for war crimes but the process which condemned them to death was fundamentally flawed, MPs say more than a century later.

With George Witton, who was sentenced to life imprisonment, the lieutenants were convicted during the Boer War of killing 12 prisoners, believing they were doing so on the order of British superiors.

Prosecutors had 3 months to prepare for their trial, but the defence was given just 1 day.

2 days after they were convicted, Morant and Handcock were executed on February 27, 1902, without the opportunity for an appeal.

"The process used to try these men was fundamentally flawed," coalition MP Scott Buchholz told parliament on Monday, moving a motion to acknowledge serious deficiencies in the legal case and offer sympathy to descendants.

If parliament supports Mr Buchholz's motion it could be used to call for posthumous pardons.

Labor MP Michael Danby supported his Liberal colleague's motion saying it was commendable the issue keeps being raised with the British, under whose military law the executions occurred.

"I don't think any justice will be done until the capital punishment suffered by those 2 poor men is overturned," he said.

Lt Witton was released from prison after intervention by the Australian government.

Labor's Mike Kelly, himself a former Australian Army lawyer, said the executions were a "deep scar" on the Australian experience, but some good came out of it.

"If there's anything that we can say came out of this positive, it's that ... we were never going to be subject to (British) military justice again," he said.

(source: bunburymail.com.au)


Suspected U Ko Ni killers to face death

The Yangon Region North District Court has allowed the prosecution of 3 accused killers of prominent lawyer U Ko Ni for the charge of murder, a prosecution lawyer said.

The judge decided last Friday to try the accused Kyi Lin, the suspected gunman, and 2 of his accomplices - Aung Zaw Win and Zayar Phyo - for violations that carries a maximum penalty of death under penal code 302(1)(b), according to lawyer U Khin Maung Htay.

Aside from the charge of murder, Kyi Lin and Aung Win Zaw are also charged with illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

"I didn't bring it [the gun]. I didn't carry one. It was given to me by the one who asked me to do (it)," Kyi Lin protested at last Friday???s court hearing

A 4th accused man, Aung Win Tun, who served as the suspects' driver, will be prosecuted for aiding a crime, which carries a penalty of up to 5 years' imprisonment, he added.

The judge also issued an arrest warrant for the suspected mastermind of the killing - identified as former Lieutenant Colonel Aung Win Khaing - who remains at large and is also charged with murder.

The judge has given the court one month to arrest the suspected mastermind.

"Aung Win Khaing can now be arrested by anyone," U Khin Maung Htay said.

U Ko Ni was shot dead on January 29, 2017, shortly after arriving at Yangon International Airport. He was the legal adviser of the ruling National League for Democracy and a Muslim.

A taxi driver was also killed in the attack after he tried to stop the suspected killer Kyi Lin.

"I think, based on the evidence and preliminary facts, the court made the right decision in accordance with the law," plaintiff's lawyer U Khin Maung Htay said.

The next trial will be on February 16 and it will hear recalled witnesses.

(source: Myanmar Times)
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