Feb. 23

SOUTH SUDAN----new death sentence

South Sudan court sentences former SANDF colonel to death

A South Sudan court on Friday sentenced a South African ex-colonel to be executed by hanging, a Reuters witness said, after he was convicted of conspiracy and attempting to overthrow the government.

Retired colonel William Endley (55) had been providing advice to former-vice-president-turned-rebel-leader Riek Machar, whose forces have been fighting a civil war since 2013.

South Sudan, the world's newest country, has been embroiled since 2013 in a civil war between the SPLA-IO and government forces loyal to incumbent President Salva Kiir.

Endley was arrested in August 2016 and first appeared in court on February 13.

According to his defence which has argued against the charges, Endley was only performing his duties as a security contractor to help Machar's forces integrate into the South Sudanese Army prior to being arrested.

His lawyer Gardit Abel Gar said that 6 witnesses had been served with a notification to testify, including a government minister.

Dramatically none of the witnesses called by the defence appeared culminating in presiding judge Ladu Eriminio Sekwat to state that the defence case was closed.

Endley also worked in Iraq as a private military contractor doing demining following his retirement from SANDF engineers.

James Gatdet Dak, Machar's former spokesman, has also been sentenced to death for incitement and conspiracy against Kiir's government.

South Sudan won independence from the north in 2011, however, in the subsequent civil war tens of thousands of people have been killed and 1/3 of the population displaced many of them to refugee camps in neighbouring Uganda - creating Africa's biggest refugee crisis.M

The future is not looking promising either with recent talks on power sharing in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, stalling and ongoing clashes erupting despite a ceasefire signed in December.

The ceasefire agreement was intended to revive a 2015 peace deal, which lasted less than a year before collapsing.

(source: enca.com)

EGYPT----new mass death sentences

Egypt sentences 21 to death on 'terrorism' charges

21 Egyptians were given the death sentence Thursday by a Cairo court for bomb making, planning attacks and alleged membership to a "terrorist cell linked to the Islamic State group".

16 of the 21 sentenced to death were tried in absentia, Reuters reported.

The court also charged 4 others with life sentences - capped at 25 years in Egypt - and another 3 with 15-year jail terms.

Thursday's verdict can still be appealed within 60 days before the court of cassation, Egypt's highest appellate court.

Earlier in the day, 6 suspected members of the Muslim Brotherhood were detained for 15 days, pending investigation over joining a "terrorist" group.

The Muslim Brotherhood is outlawed in Egypt.

The 6 were arrested on a farm allegedly belonging to Abdel-Monaem Abul Fetouh, a former presidential candidate now in jail.

Egypt has been carrying out a wide-ranging crackdown on dissent since the 2013 military overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi, a leading Brotherhood figure.

Hundreds of Islamists have received death sentences since then, with authorities carrying out dozens of executions.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament called on Egypt to "halt all imminent executions" and condemned the government for its frequent use of the death penalty.

(source: alaraby.co.uk)


Urgent Action


The execution of 13 members of Aum Shinrikyo could be carried out any moment following the completion of the trial for the final two other cult members who turned themselves in after 17 years on the run.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:

* Halt any planned executions and commute the death sentences of the 13 members of Aum Shinrikyo and all other prisoners, without delay;

* Explain that you consider all executions to be a violation of the right to life but are not seeking to excuse violent crime or downplay the suffering caused;

* Establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty and to encourage an informed national debate on the use of this punishment;

* Pending that, end the secrecy that surrounds the use of the death penalty in Japan and provide the prisoners, their family and lawyers and the public with notification of any scheduled executions.

Friendly reminder: If you send an email, please create your own instead of forwarding this one!

Contact these 2 officials by 5 April, 2018:

Minister of Justice

Yoko Kamikawa

1-1-1 Kasumigaseki Chiyoda-ku

Tokyo, Japan 100-8977

Ministry of Justice

Fax: +81 3 3592 7008 / +81 3 3592 7393

Twitter: @MOJ_HOUMU

Salutation: Dear Minister

Ambassador Kenichiro Sasae, Embassy of Japan

2520 Massachusetts Ave. NW

Washington, DC 20008

Phone: 202.238.6700 -- Fax: 202.328.2187

Twitter: @JapanEmbDC

Salutation: Dear Ambassador

(source: Amnesty International)

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

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