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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu
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