April 7


'Never again,' Mabuza pledges at commemoration of Mahlangu's hanging

The death penalty will "never ever happen again" in South Africa.

Deputy President David Mabuza made this vow minutes after he emerged from the formerly notorious Pretoria Central Prison.

Scores of political activists from the PAC and ANC were executed at the prison gallows between 1961 and 1989 before a moratorium on the death penalty was declared by former president FW de Klerk.

Mabuzu was among those attending the annual memorial service for Solomon Mahlangu, an uMkhonto weSizwe operative who was hanged at the prison 39 years ago, on Friday.

He made the pledge moments after he and several cabinet members arrived at the prison's "death factory", now known as Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre, to acquaint themselves with the brutal manner in which the apartheid regime executed political prisoners and common law offenders alike.

The government delegation and ANC senior officials such as the party's secretary-general Ace Magashule and treasurer-general Paul Mashatile were retracing Mahlangu's last steps before his execution.

But before he was put to death, Mahlangu had the opportunity to declare: "My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the Struggle."

As Mabuza and his entourage, including the Mahlangu Royal Family, left the so-called death factory, the deputy president vowed it would never happen again.

In paying tribute to Mahlangu, Mabuza said he and ANC veteran and Struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who passed away on Monday, represented the "embodiment of the country's liberation Struggle.

"They played their different roles. We are encouraged by their deeds and action to continue the journey to freedom," Mabuza told the special memorial service.

He said Mahlangu was killed because the authorities wanted to preserve apartheid.

"We salute all those who were hanged there. They propelled the country to our new dispensation. We must not go back.

"We must never again give people authority to terminate life." Mabuza said the sacrifices made by Mahlangu and Madikizela-Mandela showed that the "revolution was not free".

In an apparent plea to ANC members, who were split during the party's elective conference last year, Mabuza urged them to rise above petty squabbles and to focus on the gains of freedom.

"We must fight racism, sexism and inequality, which is pervasive in the country."

(source: The Saturay Star)


Mutharika considering death penalty for albino killers

President Peter Mutharika might be the 2nd Malawian president to assent to death penalty, especially for those that are convicted of killing people with albinism.

In a statement released by the State House, Mutharika has expressed shock that there are continued attacks on people with albinism. The statement has come following the murder of Mcdonald Masambuka in Mangochi by people who include a Police Officer.

According to the statement which has been signed by the Presidential Spokesperson Mgeme Kalirani, Mutharika has vowed to deal with all those who will be fingered by the investigation into the death of Masambuka.

Further to that, Mutharika has called on all stakeholders to assist the government in assessing interventions that were previously used to curtail the violence targeting people with albinism.

On implementing the death sentence to deter would-be offenders, Mutharika has called for a dialogue on the issue. He has refused to certainly dismiss the prospect of hanging people convicted of killing people with albinism.

"President Mutharika is aware that there are some stakeholders who feel passionately that implementing the death penalty on individuals sentenced to death could go a long way as a deterrent to would-be offenders from attacking persons with albinism. On the other hand, the President is also aware of the international community's stand against the death penalty. These 2 view points are on opposite extreme end of each other;hence the need for dialogue and a national consensus," reads the statement.

(source: malawi24.com)


Vietnam arrests 2 Lao drug traffickers

Vietnamese border guards have detained 2 Lao young men who transported 5 cakes of heroin and nearly 27,000 pills of lab-made drugs for sale in Vietnam.

The duo aged 19 and 25 were detained on Thursday when they were transporting the drugs, one handgun and five bullets, the border guard force of Vietnam's northern Thanh Hoa province said on Friday.

The detainees confessed that they transported the drugs from Laos to Vietnam for sale.

According to Vietnamese law, those convicted of smuggling over 600 grams of heroin or more than 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine are punishable by death. Making or trading 100 grams of heroin or 300 grams of other illegal drugs also faces death penalty.

(source: xinhuanet.com)


Rajasthan: Bill with a death penalty clause for child rapists sent for President's approval----The bill which social activists termed as historic was passed by the Rajasthan assembly during its last budget session.

The Rajasthan government has sent the bill that makes the provision of death penalty for those found guilty of raping girls aged 12 or below to the union government that will forward it to the President for his approval. After the bill gets the President's nod, it will be signed by the Rajasthan governor. It will then be implemented in the state.

The bill which social activists termed as historic was passed by the Rajasthan assembly during its last budget session.

"The bill has been forwarded to the union government. It will then be sent to the President for his approval," said a senior officer of legal works department in Rajasthan.

The state government has made 2 amendments in an existing law. The amendments make the provision for capital punishment to criminals found guilty of raping or gang-raping girls aged 12 or below.

Criminals found guilty of raping a minor girl (aged 18 or below) will now get a maximum punishment of 14 years and life imprisonment. The existing laws makes allows a maximum sentence of 7 years. If a minor is gang-raped and the child dies, the convict will have to spend 20 years in jail.

According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2016 report, the cases of crimes against children have shown a steady rise in Rajasthan. The state recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which is 3.8 % of the crimes against children (98,344) registered across the country. It stands fourth in the crime against women category.

(source: pinkcitypost.com)


Kuwait commuted death sentence of 15 Indians to life: Govt

The Emir of Kuwait has commuted the death sentence of 15 Indians to life imprisonment, the government today informed Lok Sabha.

In a written response to a question, V K Singh, a minister of state in the Ministry of External Affairs, said the sentences of another 119 Indians have been reduced by an "Amiri Decree".

His statement did not give details about the time when the sentences were commuted, or about the convicts.

Of the 119, the sentences of 53 Indian convicts were reduced from life to 20 years. 22 were immediately released, while the sentences of 18 were reduced by 3/4.

The sentences of 25 Indian convicts were reduced by 1/2, while 1 convict's sentence was reduced by 1/4.

"The Government of India, through its missions abroad and through bilateral mechanism regularly takes up cases of Indian nationals lodged in foreign jails with the concerned authorities for taking a sympathetic view of all such cases, including in the Middle East countries," Singh said.

(source: economictimes.indiatimes.com)


Pakistani woman acquitted after 20 years on death row

A Pakistani woman infamously put on death row for killing her family in 1998 has been acquitted and walked free after 20 years in prison, her lawyer said Friday (Apr 6).

Asma Nawab was just 16 when her parents and brother were murdered in 1998, apparently during an attempted robbery in the southern port megacity Karachi.

The familial nature of the murders sent a chill through the city, setting them apart from the political, ethnic and sectarian violence that gripped Karachi for many years.

Nawab, her then-fiance Farhan Ahmed and 2 others were arrested and sentenced to death, accused of killing the family as they had not given permission for the couple to marry.

Appeals moved slowly through Pakistan's creaky justice system. It was not until 2015 that her lawyers petitioned the Supreme Court, which - after a 3-year hearing - ordered Nawab and the others to be released.

"The Supreme Court ruled that there was not sufficient evidences against my client and thus she was set free," Javed Chatari, who was been Nawab's lawyer since 1998, told AFP.

She left prison on Thursday.

With no family left, Chatari said, he took her to Karachi's famous waterfront hoping that the breeze and the sight of the Arabian Sea buffeting the sands would help her understand that her 20-year ordeal was over.

"We made her ride on the horse on the Clifton Beach and later had a dinner, and then she started realising she was free," Chatari said.

Nawab - who is expected to visit her family home on Saturday for the 1st time since the murders - could legally file a case against the state, he said.

But, describing her as a poor and lonely woman, he thought it unlikely she would.

"That would be a tough call for her," he told AFP.

(source: channelnewsasia.com)


Tablighi Jamaat chief's killers get death penalty

An anti-terrorism court (ATC) handed down double death sentences on Friday to 3 terrorists of a banned outfit for murdering Tablighi Jamaat Ameer Faisal Umer 4 years ago. Furqan alias Baba, Faisal and Turab had also injured Umer's companion, Aziz Saad, in the attack. Each will serve 10 years in jail for the life attempt on Saad. 2 accomplices of the convicts, Azhar and Rifat, were awarded life imprisonment. Umer was killed on February 27, 2014, in the Sharifabad police jurisdiction. His companion, Saad, had suffered serious injuries in the incident.

Bus attack case

A sessions court housed at the central prison's Judicial Complex announced acquittal of Saad Aziz in an attempted murder case. Aziz, a member of a banned outfit, Al-Qaeda, has been awarded the death sentence by a military court in the Safoora bus carnage case. In the attempted murder case, he was alleged to have killed a citizen, Samiullah, by opening fire on him in the Gizri police limits. However, no concrete evidence was presented against him in the court, which announced his acquittal.

(source: thenews.com.pk)

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

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