Feb. 22


Statement by the Human Rights Commissioner on suspension of the death penalty in the Gambia

Dr. Barbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, issued the following statement today (20 February) on the suspension of the death penalty in the Gambia:

"I warmly welcome the decision by Gambian President Adama Barrow to suspend the use of the death penalty in his country as a first step towards abolition. The moratorium also sends a positive message by President Barrow as regards furthering reforms and fostering political change in the Gambia.

The death penalty is an inhuman and cruel form of punishment. The German Government rejects the death penalty under all circumstances and will continue to work with its partners in the European Union to actively campaign for its worldwide abolition."

(source: cnbcafrica.com)


Father in Malaysia charged with murder of baby girl

A young father in Malaysia was charged on Wednesday (Feb 21) with the murder of his 1 1/2-month-old baby girl last week.

Muhamad Firdaus Saidon, 22, allegedly caused the death of his daughter, Nurul Ain Umairah Muhammad, at their house in Bukit Tengah at 10.45am last Thursday.

Nurul is said to have died following suspected abuse, and a post-mortem revealed that she had a severe brain haemorrhage and multiple injuries on her body.

The baby girl, who was born on Dec 30 last year, died while on the way to hospital, the Star Online reported, adding that she had bruises and abrasion marks all over her body and bite marks on her arms.

There were also signs that her ribs and right arm had been fractured, and that her left hip also showed signs of recent fracture, said the report, adding that the baby's injuries were believed to have been caused by blunt objects.

Her father, a lorry driver, merely nodded in understanding when the charge was read to him before magistrate Muhamad Anas Mahadzir. No plea was recorded.

His 22-year-old wife, who had been arrested with him, has been released on police bond and will appear as a witness during the trial, the New Straits Times reported.

The charge, under Section 302 of Malaysia's Penal Code, carries a mandatory death penalty upon conviction.

The case will be heard again on Apr 19. Chemical and post-mortem reports will also be submitted then.

(source: channelnewsasia.com)


Elderly woman charged with murder of Indonesian maid, Adelina [NSTTV]

A mother was charged at the magistrate's court here today for the murder of her Indonesian maid earlier this month.

M.A.S. Ambika, 59, was charged with murdering Adelina Lisao, 26, while her daughter R. Jayavartiny, 32, was charged with employing an illegal foreigner.

Both offences were allegedly committed at their house in Taman Kota Permai here between March last year and Feb 10 this year.

Ambika nodded her head to indicate that she understood the charge but no plea was recorded from her.

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

Jayavartiny also nodded to indicate she understood the charge but uttered "tak mengaku" (not guilty) to the offence.

She was charged under Section 55B(1) of the Immigration Act 1959/63 which carries a fine of between RM10,000 and RM50,000 or maximum 12 months imprisonment or both upon conviction.

Ambika's 39-year-old son, initially arrested together with the accused, has been released on police bond and will appear as a witness during the trial.

"Stop it. Enough. You all don't know the truth. You all don't know what really happen," Ambika told the press as she was led inside a police van after being charged in court.

Ambika was in tears as she told press photographers to stop taking photos of her and her daughter.

Jayavartiny, who had her face covered with her black t-shirt throughout, was overheard telling Ambika not to say anything further but the elderly woman went on and on.

Earlier in court, counsel Muhaimin Hashim represented Jayavartiny while Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamzah Azhan prosecuted.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Hamzah Azhan asked for bail to be set at RM20,000 with one surety.

Jayavartiny's counsel, however, requested for a lower bail.

He argued that she was only working as a salesgirl and needed to work to earn enough money to hire a lawyer for Ambika's court case.

Magistrate Muhamad Anas Mahadzir set bail at RM15,000 with one surety and fixed April 19 for submission of chemistry, forensic and post-mortem reports.

Ambika, clad in a Punjabi suit, was then charged with murdering Adelina at the same place at 4pm on Feb 10 this year.

She too nodded her head to indicate that she understood the charge but no plea was recorded from her.

Ambika was unrepresented.

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

Anas also fixed April 19 for submission of chemistry, forensic and post-mortem reports.

Adelina was rescued from her employer's home at Taman Kota Permai, Bukit Mertajam, on Feb 10 after it was reported that she was physically abused and was made to sleep on the porch with a dog.

She was found with severe injuries on her head and face, and infected wounds on her hands and legs.

Adelina died the following day at the Seberang Jaya Hospital after suffering multiple organ failure linked to anaemia.

(source: New Straits Times)


Plea seeking public hanging of Zainab's rapist rejected

A division bench of Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday disposed of a petition seeking public hanging of Imran Ali, the man convicted in rape and murder of 7-year-old Zainab Ansari in Kasur, by declaring it as premature.

A 2-member LHC bench headed by Justice Sadaqat Ali heard the plea seeking the public hanging of the convict.

During the proceedings, the court observed that Imran Ali had three forums to file his appeals and no action would be taken until the rejection of his pleas.

Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) lawyer wing member Ishtiaq Chaudhry had moved the petition requesting for public execution of Imran Ali. He pleaded that the court could issue orders for publicly hanging Imran, who was awarded 4 times death penalties for raping and murdering Zainab, as there was no need to make an amendment to the law to provide for public executions in the country.

Ishtiaq Chaudhry had contended that it was necessary that the convict should be given exemplary punishment. He also sought directives that Imran should be hanged right where the body of minor Zianab was found.

On February 17, an anti terrorism court (ATC) had awarded 4 counts of death penalty to Imran in Zainab murder case and also sentenced him to life imprisonment and a separate 7-year-term. The court also ordered him to pay a collective fine of Rs 3.1 million. The trial court had awarded Imran death sentence along with fine of Rs 1 million under Section 364-A and 376 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). He was given death sentence under Section 302-B PPC and Rs1 million under Section 544-A of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), as compensation to the legal heirs of the victim girl.

He was further awarded death sentence under Section 7 (a) Anti Terrorism Act (ATA), 1997, with fine of Rs 1 million and life imprisonment with fine of Rs 1 million under Section 377, and further 2-year imprisonment if he fails to pay fine.

The rape and murder of the minor girl had drawn public wrath across the country she went missing on January 4 and was found dead in a trash heap in Kasur on Jan 9.

Her case was the 12th such incident to occur within a 10 kilometre radius in the city over a 12-month period.

(source: Daily Times)


KP govt challenges acquittal of 26 men in Mashal case, files appeal

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on Wednesday moved the Peshawar High Court (PHC) against the Mashal Khan verdict, challenging the acquittal of 26 people in the case. An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) in Haripur had announced its verdict in the lynching case on February 7, handing one person 2 death sentences, 5 persons multiple terms of life imprisonment, and 25 others jail sentences, and acquitting 26 others for want of sufficient evidence.

Mashal Khan, 23, a student of Mass Communications at Mardan's Abdul Wali Khan University, was beaten and shot to death by an angry mob on April 13, 2017, after he was accused of blasphemy. Of the total 61 suspected of involvement in the lynching - the majority of them were students and university employees and a tehsil councillor belonging to the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) - charged in the first information report, 57 had been arrested within a few days of the incident. A 58th suspect who was arrested in Jan 2018 has yet to be charged.

KP Advocate General (AG) Latif Yoisafzai filed 3 separate appeals in the court. One of the petitions pleaded the court to set aside the acquittal of the 26 people in the case; the 2nd one pleaded the court against the acquittal of 31 people, including the prime convict, against certain charges; while the third petition asks the court to increase the sentence of 31 convicts who had been given 3 years in prison.

The petition argued that the trial court had "committed a grave error and illegality by acquitting" the 26 people despite what it called a "plethora of evidence produced against them by the prosecution". The plea further argued that the acquittal was not maintainable in the eyes of the law and is liable to be set aside. Earlier on February 14, the acquittal of 26 persons in Mashal Khan's lynching case by an ATC was challenged in the PHC by Mashal's brother Aimal Iqbal Khan. He had requested the court to set aside their acquittal and award them the death penalty. Aimal Khan had filed an appeal with the court saying the trial court miserably failed to appreciate the ocular and circumstantial evidence in respect of the acquittal of the 26 accused persons.

Meanwhile, the man who shot Mashal Khan and 12 others given various jail terms for participating in his lynching also challenged their convictions in the high court. Syed Akhtar, the counsel for the 13 convicts, filed an appeal against the death sentence handed to Ali and the jail terms awarded to 5 others in the Abbottabad Circuit Bench of the PHC.

(source: Pakistan Observer)


Benin abolishes death penality

Benin has abolished the death penalty, according to a decree issued on Wednesday by the head of state, Patrice Talon.The abolishment was announced in a communique issued at the end of the Council of ministers' meeting, adding that as a result all the capital sentences were replaced by life imprisonment.

"The Beninese Minister of Justice reported to the Council, the decision taken by the President of the Republic, by presidential decree in conformity with Article 60 of the Constitution to commute the death sentences handed down by the national courts to life imprisonment," the communique, released Wednesday night pointed out.

Therefore, announced the minister of Justice, "no person sentenced to death is found in the prisons of Benin".

"This decision is the consequence of our country's stance in favor of the abolition of the death penalty, and the State's ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights," the statement said.

(source: journalducameroun.com)


2 Drug Dealers will Face Death Penalty

The North Jakarta Police arrested 2 drug dealers, Andi Rusland, 42 years and Sofyan (35). The police seized 40 kilograms of marijuana. The case disclosure started from the arrest of drug users in Depok. Andi was arrested in Sukmajaya, Depok, February 4. The police found 15.7 kg of marijuana and 1.12 grams crystal meth. "The drug has been wrapped and ready to distribute," said North Jakarta Police chief Comr. Aldo Ferdian on Wednesday, 21 February.

A day later, police arrested another suspect named Sofyan in South Bekasi, on Monday, February 5. The police found 24.3 kilograms marijuana and 200 grams crystal meth in Sofyan's house. "At the suspect's house, a few kilograms of marijuana has just arrived and still stored in sacks," Aldo added.

The police said that his office is still investigating the drug dealing case as to catch marijuana suppliers for both suspects. The 2 suspects were charged with Article 112 and Article 114 of Law No. 35/2009 on Narcotics and face a life imprisonment or death sentence.

(source: tempo.co


German, UK nationals arrested for drug smuggling in Bali

A German man and a British man have been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs into the Indonesian tourist island of Bali, officials said on Thursday, with 1 of them possibly facing the death penalty.

The 56-year-old German, identified by his initials SKAR, was arrested on January 26 when he arrived at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport on a flight from Doha.

Customs agents found heroin, amphetamine, morphine and diazepam stashed in his luggage, and an additional 1.21 grammes of heroin stuffed down his underwear, a senior official from Bali immigration said.

"When we inspected his black suitcase we found that the German national had 1 plastic bag containing brown powder which we suspect was heroin," Husni Syaiful said.

Authorities also confiscated a small white bottle allegedly containing 2.57 grammes of amphetamine, 23 tablets containing morphine and 30 tablets labelled diazepam in a bag belonging to the man, Husni added.

The German could face the death penalty under Indonesia's harsh anti-narcotics laws because he was allegedly caught trafficking more than five grammes of drugs.

2 days earlier, airport immigration officials detained a British man who arrived in the same Bali airport from Bangkok.

The 48-year-old computer analyst, identified by the initials ASH, was found with diazepam which exceeded the amount he was prescribed.

He is suspected to have violated Indonesia's customs and psychotropic laws and could face a maximum 10 year prison sentence, authorities said, or a fine of up to 300,000,000 rupiah ($21,000).

Foreigners are regularly caught trying to bring drugs into Bali, a tropical island that attracts millions of visitors each year, and some have been sentenced to death.

In 2017, Bali customs caught 42 cases of violations, while in 2016 there were 20 cases.

(source: gulftoday.ae)


Kufour against death sentence; says only God has right to take lives----According to Kufour, everybody has the right to live, including criminals, saying "only God has the power to take a life".

Former President John Agyekum Kufour has said that he is strongly against inmates being sentenced to death.

According to him, everybody has the right to live, including criminals, saying "only God has the power to take a life".

The ex-president never accepted to sign a death warrant for the execution of inmates condemned to death at the Nsawam Prisons during his time in office.

In his 8 years as president, Mr. Kufour often granted pardon to convicts who were of good behavior, but never for once assented to a death sentence.

The 79-year-old believes the death penalty should be totally scrapped because it does not admonish value for human life.

"Personally, it has been against my conscience to take a life of another human being because I am influenced religiously...I am not the creator," he said on Joy News' latest hotline documentary "Death Row".

He added that he is strongly against the death sentence, and would rather prefer that it is commuted to life imprisonment.

This, he said, is necessary because sometimes innocent people could end up being executed due to a death sentence before they are proven not guilty.

"I believe the general trend across the world now is to commute the death sentence to life imprisonment. Other reasons can be found in humanitarianism and religion," Mr. Kufour said, adding that "with modern science, people who have been condemned and sometimes awaiting execution have later been found to be innocent through DNA examinations and the likes".

Kufour served as President of Ghana from January 2001 to January 2009.

(source: pulse.com.gh)


Saudi court hands down death sentence to Shia political dissident

A court in Saudi Arabia has handed down a death penalty to a Shia anti-regime activist as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its brutal clampdown against members of the religious community.

On Wednesday, the Specialized Criminal Court in the capital Riyadh found the defendant, whose identity was not immediately available, guilty of "joining a terror group called Tarot Battalion to destabilize the kingdom's internal security, targeting security personnel, carrying out acts of sabotage and chaos, obstructing roads, and involvement in divisive activities."

On February 11, the same Saudi court sentenced a dissident to 20 years in jail on charges of throwing petrol bombs at the General Intelligence Building in Qatif, burning tires and preventing regime forces from reaching the site of anti-regime rallies.

The court also imposed a travel ban of similar period on the unidentified man.

Late last month, Saudi officials put on trial a pro-democracy campaigner and anti-regime activist without the presence of a defense lawyer and letting members of his family know about the trial session.

According to a report published by the Arabic-language Khabir online newspaper, Hussain al-Sadiq, who has been held in jail for more than two years, was taken to the Specialized Criminal Court without informing his family.

Not having heard of their son for a while, they contacted the Criminal Investigation Department in the eastern city of Dammam, where they found Sadiq had already been put on trial.

Saudi Arabia has lately stepped up politically-motivated arrests, prosecution, and conviction of peaceful dissident writers and human rights campaigners.

Saudi officials have also intensified security measures in the Shia-populated and oil-rich Eastern Province.

Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-rich region.

The protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime. Security forces have increased security measures across the province.

Over the past years, Riyadh has also redefined its anti-terrorism laws to also target activism.

In January 2016, Saudi authorities executed Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was an outspoken critic of the policies of the Riyadh regime. Nimr had been arrested in Qatif in 2012.

(source: presstv.com)

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