April 16


Kashmir bar association seeks death penalty for accused, calls for transferring Kathua case to High Court

Qayoom said atmosphere is not “conducive” in Kathua for holding trial in the case.

Saying death sentence should be awarded to the guilty by court in Kathua minor rape and murder case, Jammu and Kashmir Bar Association President Mian Qayoom on Monday said “High Court should transfer case to itself”.

Qayoom said atmosphere is not “conducive” in Kathua for holding trial in the case.

“We are not in favor of transferring case. Our demand is that the atmosphere at Kathua is not conducive for holding fair trial of the case. So, High Court has a wing in Jammu, we have a wing in Srinagar. This case should be transferred to HC itself ... They should nominate a judge for this purpose and that judge should be given exclusive task of trail of this case as quickly as possible”.

Demanding harsh punishment for the guilty in the case, Qayoom said quantum of punishment in the case should not be less than “death”.

Qayoom also said that Bar is ready to provide legal assistance to the victim’s family. “If somebody approaches us, we will see how we can help them legally. Till today nobody has approached us. But if they come to us and say we need some kind of legal assistance, we are here; we can provide legal assistance to them,” he said.

(source: greaterkashmir.com)


Court upholds death sentences against 4 over forming terrorist cell

The Court of Cassation has rejected Sunday appeals by 4 defendants against death sentences in the case known as “Awsim Terrorist Cell.”

The court also rejected appeals against sentences of 15 years imprisonment against 14 other defendants, and upheld life imprisonment (25 years) for other defendants in absentia.

In February, Cairo Criminal Court sentenced 4 defendants to death and 12 others to life imprisonment in the “Awsim Cell” case.

The defendants in the “Awsim Cell” case are accused of forming terrorist cells to incite chaos, attack public and private facilities and target security and army personnel.

They are also charged with attempted arson and placing fake explosive devices outside the Awsim Town Council and the local electricity company, as well as detonating an explosive device outside the home of Judge Fathy Bayoumi while he was inside.

On Saturday, Egypt’s Court of Cassation upheld a life imprisonment sentence against former Muslim Brotherhood Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie over charges of inciting violence in the “Rabaa Operation Room” case.

Earlier this month, the Court of Cassation accepted on Tuesday the appeals against sentences imposed on 5 defendants in the case publicly known as the “Warraq [terrorist] Cell” case, ordering the retrial of the defendants before another criminal court.

The defendants had faced various sentences, including the death penalty, life imprisonment and five years in prison.

(source: Egypt Today)


South Sudan: One of just two executing states in sub-Saharan Africa in 2017

South Sudan is 1 of just 2 countries in sub-Saharan Africa known to have carried out executions in 2017, going against a clear trend by other countries in the region to move forward towards abolishing the death penalty, Amnesty International’s Global Report on Death Sentences and Executions 2017 revealed.

South Sudan carried out 4 executions in 2017, 2 of those who were put to death having been juveniles at the time of the commission of the crime, in flagrant violation of international law. The other country that executed people in sub-Saharan Africa is Somalia, which carried out 24 executions in the same period.

“With governments in the region continuing to take steps to reduce and repeal the death penalty well into 2018, the isolation of the remaining executing countries could not be starker. Now that 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, it is high time that the rest follow their lead and consign this abhorrent punishment to the history books,” said Amnesty International’s Secretary General Salil Shetty.

South Sudan continues to hand down death sentences and execute people. In February 2018, 2 men were sentenced to death - James Gadet, former SPLM-IO Spokesperson, and South African William Endley, a former advisor to rebel leader, Riek Machar.

Amnesty International calls on the South Sudan Government to immediately establish an official moratorium on executions, and quash the convictions of Gadet and Endley and grant them a new trial that meets international fair trial standards.


Amnesty International’s Global Report on Death Sentences and Executions 2017 finds that sub-Saharan Africa is a ‘beacon of hope’, having made positive steps towards abolishing the death penalty.

(source: Amnesty International)


Iran Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence For Kurdish Opponent

A branch of Iran’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of a Kurdish citizen, his lawyer said in an exclusive interview with Radio Farda’s Mahtab Vahidi Rad.

In a statement on February 5, Amnesty International (AI) said, “Ramin Hossein Panahi, from Iran’s Kurdish minority, started a hunger strike on January 27 after he learned that he had been sentenced to death in connection with his membership in the armed Kurdish opposition group Komala.”

According to AI, “Panahi’s trial, which took place on January 16, was grossly unfair and lasted less than an hour. His family told Amnesty International that he appeared before the Revolutionary Court in Sanandaj with obvious torture marks on his body, but the court failed to order an investigation.”

Panahi, 24, was arrested in June 2017 in Sanandaj after being wounded in an ambush by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) forces of the outlawed Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan, an armed separatist organization.

3 other Komala activists who were present -- Sabbah Hossein Panahi, Hamed Seif Panahi, and Behzad Nouri -- were killed in the attack.

Panahi was the only survivor of the attack and has maintained he was unarmed at the time of the IRGC’s ambush.

His lawyer, Hossein Ahmadi Niaz, told Radio Farda that the court sentenced his client to death for “taking up arms against the state” based on his membership in Komala but provided no evidence linking him to acts involving intentional killing, which is the required threshold under international law for imposing the death penalty.

According to Ahmadi Niaz, his client has never taken up arms against the Iranian regime.

“Courts are expected to be impartial, fair, and independent,” he said. “How can a court be independent when it is part of the ruling system?”

Panahi’s lawyer also insisted his client has testified about being tortured and the court should have investigated his allegation before upholding the death sentence.

Meanwhile, Ahmadi Niaz argued that when his client and his three companions entered Iranian territory from neighboring Iraq, they were under IRGC surveillance.

“Nothing happened until my client and his companions’ vehicle entered the city of Sanandaj, where a trap laid by IRGC forces was waiting for them,” he said. “There, the IRGC personnel ambushed their vehicle with a barrage of gunfire. 3 were dead; Ramin was wounded and passed out, while none of the IRGC forces was hurt. This shows that the whole clash was a one-sided shooting.”

The New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI) reported, “Panahi was only allowed one brief meeting with his lawyer, which took place in the presence of intelligence officials. This violates the right to consult with one’s lawyer in confidence. The judicial authorities also refused to disclose to either him or his lawyer the details of the evidence brought against him before the hearing. His lawyer is planning to appeal his sentence.”

Ahmadi Niaz noted, “On January 31, an Intelligence Ministry official visited him in prison and said his death sentence would be commuted to imprisonment if he agreed to make televised confessions denouncing Kurdish opposition groups as terrorists. When he refused, the intelligence official apparently became enraged and said he would pay with his life for his stubbornness.”

In his interview with Radio Farda, Ahmadi Niaz also said, “If being a member of Komala is a crime, its punishment is imprisonment not a death sentence.”

Komala describes itself as an Iranian-Kurdistan political party that stands for a democratic, secular, pluralist Iran where the rights of Iranians and Kurds are preserved and safeguarded.

(source: radiofarda.com)
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