May 17


Cuba without Condemned to Death and against its Application

Cuba expressed today in the context of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of human rights its rejection of the death penalty and the disposition to eliminate from its legislation that sanction that has not been applied since 2003.

When intervening in the exercise of the UPR, one of the main mechanisms of the Human Rights Council, the vice president of the Supreme Court of Cuba, Oscar Silvera, also pointed out that there is no condemned to this punishment, which has never been imposed on women or minors.

Silvera stated that the Penal Code establishes the death penalty among its sanctions, exceptionally for cases of very serious crimes, and mentioned the will to eliminate it when the conditions propitiate it.

We have been forced to this, with strict adherence to legality, judicial guarantees and the right to self-defense, to prevent and confront terrorist activities and crimes against the lives of its citizens, he pointed out.

According to the Cuban government, the terrorism executed against the Caribbean country has left more than 5,000 victims, among them nearly 3,500 fatalities, in actions framed in the regime change promoted and financed from the United States.

In the process of the UPR, several nations recognized the moratorium of Cuba in the application of the maximum penalty, and some of them requested its total elimination.

(source: Prensa Latina)


Lawyer for Sudanese teen who killed her rapist facing intimidation

5 days after a 19-year-old Sudanese woman was sentenced to death for killing the man she was forced to marry, her lawyer was barred from holding a news conference amid an intensifying campaign of intimidation, activists told CNN. Noura Hussein was imprisoned in Omdurman, Sudan, last year after fatally stabbing her husband, who she says raped her as his relatives held her down.

On Wednesday, Sudanese security forces came to the office of Hussein's lead attorney, Adil Mohamed Al-Imam, just hours before he was due to brief the media on the latest developments in the case, activists said.

"The National Intelligence Security Services 'NISS' banned the press conference and ordered Noura's defense team to cancel it," Nahid Gabralla, director of SEEMA, a non-governmental organization working with victims and survivors of gender-based violence in the capital, Khartoum, said in a statement.

Women's rights activist Amal Habani, coordinator of No Oppression Against Women Initiative Sudan, also confirmed that security forces came to Al-Imam's office Wednesday morning. Both Habani and and Gabralla were in touch with Al-Imam on Wednesday.

The Sudanese government has not responded to CNN requests for comment on the lawyer or the underlying case.

Activists and local journalists say it's the latest effort to prevent the media from reporting on the case and to intimidate Hussein's defense team. Her case has shone a spotlight on the issues of forced marriage and marital rape in Sudan, where the legal age of marriage is only 10 and marital rape is legal.

Her lawyers have until May 25 to appeal.

Activist: Hussein 'is still strong'

Gabralla last saw Hussein 2 days ago when she visited her at the women's prison in Omdurman.

"This is the first time I saw her after the sentence. She was wearing a long dress and shackles," Gabralla told CNN. "It is very hard for her. She was crying, but she is still strong and happy that people are supporting her case."

In Omdurman women's prison, a tight-knit sisterhood has formed around Hussein. Activists who have visited her there say that other inmates have rallied around her.

A group of activists trying to visit Hussein in prison were turned away on Tuesday, Amnesty International's Sudan researcher, Ahmed Elzobier, told CNN.

"There is a lot of pressure on the government, now that the EU, UN Women, and other agencies have issued a very strong statement," Elzobier said. "But unusually they (Sudanese government) have not issued a response. They're keeping their heads down amid all the exposure."

The European Union Delegation issued a statement on Hussein's case on Tuesday underlining their opposition to the death penalty and forced marriage. Amnesty International is petitioning for the Sudanese government to repeal the death penalty against Hussein, and allow her a retrial.

The harrowing details of Hussein's case have set social media and WhatsApp ablaze in Sudan. And in recent days the case has captured international attention with the hashtags #JusticeforNoura and #SaveNoura. Thousands of people have shared a petition.

Forced to marry at 15, Hussein ran away from home and sought refuge with her aunt for three years. She was tricked into returning by her father, who handed her over to her husband's family.

After Hussein refused to consummate the marriage, her husband's relatives held her down while he raped her. "His brother and two cousins tried to reason with her, when she refused she was slapped and ordered into the room. One held her chest and head, the others held her legs," Al-Imam, her lawyer, told CNN last week.

A day later her husband tried to rape her again, and she stabbed him to death. When she went to her parents for support, they turned her in to the police.

Al-Imam said last week that the case has challenged societal expectations in Sudan that wives should submit to their husbands.

But it has also highlighted gaps in Sudan's national law, Elzobier said. "The good thing about this case is it brings up a lot of laws that need to change -- specifically rape and child marriage laws."

Gabralla agreed: "In my work I've seen other cases like this. The suffering of Sudanese women is happening all the time. But the case of Noura is different. She stood for her rights."

(source: CNN)


Jammu and Kashmir Governor approves ordinance on death penalty to child rapists----Committing rape on a woman under sixteen years of age has been made punishable with rigorous imprisonment for 20 years and may extend to life sentence, which shall mean remainder of that person's natural life

Jammu and Kashmir Governor approves ordinance on death penalty to child rapistsJK Governor approves ordinance on death penalty to child rapists Governor N. N. Vohra has promulgated the Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 and the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018.

In view of the surge in violence against women in general and sexual violence in particular in various parts of the country, including the State of J&K, need was felt to carry out certain amendments in the Criminal Laws (the Ranbir Penal Code, Samvat, 1989; the Code of Criminal Procedure, Samvat, 1989; and the Evidence Act, Samvat, 1977) on the analogy of the amendments made in the Central Criminal Law in 2018, said an official spokesman.

The Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018 seeks to amend: (i) the Ranbir Penal Code, Samvat, 1989; (ii) the Code of Criminal Procedure Samvat 1989; and (iii) the Evidence Act, Samvat, 1977.

The salient features of the aforesaid Ordinance include:

Committing rape on a woman under 16 years of age has been made punishable with rigorous imprisonment for 20 years and may extend to life sentence, which shall mean remainder of that person's natural life

Committing rape on a woman under 12 years of age has been made punishable with death sentence

Gang Rape on a woman under 16 years of age has been made punishable with imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person's natural life

Gang Rape on woman under 12 years of age has been made punishable with death sentence

Investigation in such cases is to be completed within a period of 2 months

Trial to be completed within six months and reasons for any delay shall need to be communicated to the High Court

It has been provided that no Bail shall be granted without hearing the Public Prosecutor.

The salient features of the Jammu and Kashmir Protection of Children from Sexual Violence Ordinance, 2018 are:

It is a comprehensive Legislation which, inter-alia, provides for protection of Children from offenses of sexual assault, sexual harassment and pornography with due regard for safeguarding the interest of the child and the well being of a child at every stage of the judicial process

It provides for alternative punishment for an act or omission constituting an offence under the Ordinance and also under various provisions of the State Penal Code relating to sexual assault.

The Ordinance contains provisions relating to child friendly procedures and reporting, recording of evidence, investigation and trial of offences

It also provides for provisions relating to establishment of Special Courts for speedy trial of such offences

It makes it mandatory for the educational institutions to ensure safety and protection of children and not to expose them to any kind of sexual abuse.

"While according approval to the aforesaid two Ordinances the Governor has advised stringent enforcement by the Home Department which should establish a system for regular monitoring of all cases registered under these Ordinances," said the spokesman.

(source: Greater Kashmir)

A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law

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