[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-06-25 Thread Rick Halperin

June 25


Saudi beheads citizen for murder40 executions in kingdom so far this year

Saudi authorities beheaded on Monday one of its citizens after he was convicted 
of shooting dead 2 fellow Saudis, the interior ministry announced in a 
statement carried by state news agency SPA.

Musfer Bin Atallah Al Jaeed shot dead Ahmad Bin Mayud Al Sawat and Fares Bin 
Masud Al Sawat after a dispute, the ministry said.

Al Jaeed was beheaded in the the western province of Taef.

His beheading brings to 40 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far 
this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Under the AFP count, at least 76 people were beheaded in 2011, while rights 
group Amnesty International put the number of executions last year at 79.

The death penalty in Saudi Arabia applies to a wide range of offences including 
rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well as murder, as 
stipulated by Sharia law.

(source: Gulf News)


Iranian pair face death penalty after 3rd alcohol offence--2 people previously 
lashed 160 times for consuming alcohol, which is forbidden under Islamic Sharia 

2 Iranians have been sentenced to death for persistent consumption of alcohol 
under the country's Islamic Sharia law, which forbids the use, manufacturing 
and trading of all types of alcoholic drinks.

The 2, who have not been named by the authorities, have each previously been 
lashed 160 times after twice being arrested for consuming alcohol. Being 
convicted for the 3rd time makes them liable for the death penalty.

The head of the judiciary Seyed Hasan Shariati, based in Iran's north-eastern 
province of Khorasan Razavi, told the semi-official Isna news agency that the 
supreme court had upheld their death sentences and that officials were 
preparing for their execution.

2 people who committed the offence of consuming alcohol for the 3rd time have 
been sentenced to be executed. The verdict has been confirmed by the supreme 
court and we are preparing to administer it, he said.

Under Iranian Sharia law, certain crimes such as sodomy, rape, theft, 
fornication, apostasy and consumption of alcohol for the third time are 
considered to be claims of God and therefore have mandatory death sentences.

Sentences for such crimes, which are called Hodud in the Islamic terminology, 
are not at the discretion of the judge but are defined by Sharia law.

For some of these crimes, including theft and lesbianism, the death penalty is 
only handed down if the convict is a re-offender who has already been punished 
3 times for the same crime in the past. In the case of alcohol, the death 
penalty comes on the 3rd offence.

According to Shadi Sadr, an Iranian lawyer based in London, a decision on 
whether such a punishment can be issued depends on the judge's knowledge – a 
loophole which allows for subjective judicial rulings where no conclusive 
evidence is presented.

Prostitutes are often victims of such punishment and can be given a death 
sentence, Sadr said. Because having illicit sexual relationships is their job 
and they often get caught by the police it's very likely that they will have 
committed the crime 3 times in the past.

In crimes related to alcohol consumption, Shariati warned: We will show no 
mercy in finding, trying and punishing those breaking the law and we will 
punish them to the highest extent.

Despite the ban, many people in Iran drink alcohol, usually a homemade liquor 
called araq, which contains 45% pure ethanol. It is usually mixed before 
consumption and can be dangerous because of the ethanol used in its 

Hosts who throw parties call an alcohol vendor who delivers it to the door. 
Western alcohol is smuggled to Iran and can be found in underground markets but 
can be costly. People who belong to non-Muslim minorities such as Christians 
and Armenians, which are recognised by the authorities, are allowed to produce 
and consume alcohol in the country.

In a rare acknowledgement of Iran's hidden alcohol consumption, which has 
become - as Golnaz Esfandiari of Persian Letters puts it in her blog - a means 
of escape for the young from state restrictions, a senior official in the 
country's health ministry warned recently against reports of an increase in its 

(source: The Guardian)


UAE Cabinet to consider 'Wadiyma's Law'

A draft law is due to be submitted to the UAE Cabinet that lays out strict 
penalties for child abuse and negligence.

National news agency WAM said the Technical Committee for Legislations at the 
Ministry of Social Affairs debated the law, which will be forwarded to the 
Cabinet. The law includes instructions from Vice President and Prime Minister 
of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who 
wants strict penalties to prevent negligence or injury to children in light of 
the case of 8-year-old 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-06-19 Thread Rick Halperin

June 19



According to reports from Iran, 4 Ahwazi Arab prisoners have been executed in 
recent days.

Yesterday Iran Human Rights published a report confirming the execution of 3 
Ahwazi Arab prisoners. According to the latest reports, the execution of a 4th 
prisoner, identified as Ali Sharifi (a.k.a Naami), has been confirmed.

Iran Human Rights strongly condemns the execution of these prisoners who, 
according to reports, had been subjected to torture and maltreatment.

Iran Human Rights calls for the international community to conduct an urgent 
investigation into these executions.

(source: Iran Human Rights)

Group hanging reported in Khuzestan

Human rights groups report that a number of Iranian-Arab political prisoners 
have been secretly hanged en masse in Khuzestan.

A human rights activist who spoke on condition of anonymity told the Human 
Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) that on Monday, Abbas Heydarian, Jamshid 
Heydarian and Abdolrahman Heydarian, were transferred from Karoon Prison to an 
unknown location and were executed.

The report indicated that the families of the prisoners were contacted and 
informed about the fate of their kin.

The three executed prisoners were arrested last year together with Ali Naami 
and Amir Moavi during political protests. They were sentenced to death for the 
charge of “enmity against God.”

The HRANA report indicates that no information is available regarding the other 
two prisoners, and they too might be in imminent danger of execution. However, 
following the publication of this news by HRANA, Arab human rights activists in 
Khuzestan reported that Ali Naami has also been executed.

Reports also indicate there were protests in Ahwaz yesterday in reaction to the 
news of these hangings. Protesters condemned the executions and called for an 
end to them.

The Mollashieh neighbourhood where the hanged prisoners resided is reportedly 
under strict security patrol, and so far the bodies of the prisoners have not 
been relinquished to their families for funeral preparations.

The authorities had accused the 5 prisoners of murdering a security officer, 
which was denied by their families, who said the prisoners had been forced 
under torture to incriminate themselves in the murder.

Last year, Ahwaz witnessed peaceful demonstrations in protest against the Arab 
community’s unfavourable situation in the Southwestern Province of Khuzestan.

(source: Radio Zamaneh)

SAUDI ARABIAexecutions

2 Egyptians executed in Saudi Arabia for kidnap and torture of girlSaudi 
authorities today executed 2 Egyptians who kidnapped a 9-year-old girl and 
tortured her for years and also executed 2 of its citizens, the Saudi state 
news agency SPA said.

Mohammed bin Nafe and Jamalat bint Nafe, apparently his sister, kidnapped a 
nine-year-old girl from the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, torturing and locking 
her up at their residence for 3 years and 6 months, SPA reported quoting the 
ministry of interior.

Mohammed has repeatedly raped her throughout this period and the pair were 
planning to smuggle her out of the country, it said.

They had also neglected the health of their children and committed violence 
against them, leading to the death of 2 of Mohammed's sons, it added.

The 2 Egyptians were beheaded in Medina.

In a separate statement, the ministry announced the beheading of Ali bin 
Mohammed Al Qahtani who shot dead a fellow Saudi, SPA reported. He was executed 
in the kingdom's southeastern region of Asir.

In the southern Najran province, authorities executed Muree bin Ali Al Asiri, 
also a Saudi, who was convicted of carrying out witchcraft, sorcery and owning 
written talismans, said the ministry in another statement on SPA.

He also admitted committing adultery with 2 women, the ministry said.

Today's beheadings brings the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far 
this year to 39 based on official reports.

At least 76 people were beheaded in 2011, while rights group Amnesty 
International put the number of executions last year at 79.

The death penalty in Saudi Arabia applies to a wide range of offences including 
rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well as murder, as 
stipulated by Islamic Sharia law.

(source: Agence France-Presse)


Amnesty International condemns Saudi Arabia for execution of Iranians

It came as no surprise to hear that executed Iranians had not been allowed 
consular access and that the Saudi Arabian authorities did not allow them to 
lawyers or interpreters in the court - both violations of the internationally 
recognized right to a fair trial.”

Amnesty International has condemned Saudi Arabia for the recent execution of a 
group of Iranian nationals, warning that a large number of people are being 
executed in the kingdom after ‘grossly unfair’ trials.


[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide----BAHRAIN, MALAYSIA, CHINA

2012-06-14 Thread Rick Halperin

June 14


Death penalty for blogger urgedCapital punishment will help preserve status 
of religion, Salafist society says

A Salafist society in Bahrain is pushing for the death penalty against a 
blogger who has reportedly posted remarks deemed offensive to Prophet Mohammad 
[PBUH] and his wife Aysha.

“The death penalty will help preserve the status of the religion and will 
protect the society from sedition,” Al Asala Society said in a statement one 
day after Bahraini authorities said they arrested a man who repeatedly posted 
the “offensive remarks”, using several accounts.

“This man has a twisted and distorted mind and he should be put to death for 
his corrupt beliefs and postings.”

MP Abdul Halim Murad said that he wanted the government to endorse a draft law 
that stipulates the death penalty for religion offenders.

“Under this law, anyone found insulting the prophet [PBUH] or his wife Aisha 
will be sentenced to death or given a life sentence,” the lawmaker representing 
Al Asala in the lower chamber of the bicameral parliament, said.

“I have already spoken to the government on endorsing the draft because it has 
robust religious and legal premises, protects the society and upholds the 
respect that all Muslims have for their prophet,” he said.

The MP presented the draft after the Kuwaiti parliament endorsed a move to 
impose the death penalty for anyone caught insulting God or Prophet Mohammad 
[PBUH] or his wife Aisha or his companions.

The parliament, dominated by a strong alliance between tribal and Islamist 
members, pushed forward the amendment to the penal code after a Kuwaiti blogger 
was arrested for reportedly insulting the prophet and Aysha.

However, the draft, opposed by liberals, needed the endorsement of the 
country’s Emir and reports have suggested that it would be sent back to the 

The move is likely to be applauded by the liberals, but will further strains 
relations between the parliament and the government.

At a forum on the status of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] held on Tuesday evening, MP 
Mohammad Hayef, a staunch supporter of the proposed law, said that the prime 
minister could be grilled if the government did not endorse it.

MP Waleed Al Tabtabai said that the draft would be carried to the next 
parliament if the current one is dissolved as expected following the series of 
bitter stand-offs with the government.

(source: Gulf News)

MALAYSIAfemale faces execution

Filipina lecturer to hang for drug trafficking

God Bless You, said High Court judge Datuk Zulkifli Bakar when sentencing a 
female lecturer from the Philippines to death after she was found guilty of 
trafficking drugs near the Seremban toll plaza 2 years ago.

As soon as the sentence was passed, Aida Dizon Garcia, 53, broke down and was 
escorted away by police.

The grandmother of 6 was charged with trafficking in 11.95 kilogrammes of 
cannabis at the Seremban toll plaza heading south along the North-South 
Expressway about 5.30am on Nov 27, 2010.

Zulkifli said the court had scrutinised the statements from both sides and 
found that the defence had failed to raise a reasonable doubt against the 
prosecution's case.

In view of this, you have been found guilty and there is only 1 sentence for 
this, which is the death penalty, he said.

Deputy Public Prosecutor, Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin prosecuted, while the 
accused was represented by Haresh Mahadevan.

The defence earlier pleaded for a light sentence as the accused had 4 children, 
had repented and was a 1st time offender.

The prosecution, however, pressed for the maximum sentence as the accused was 
educated and should have a sound knowledge and respect for the laws of this 

It was earlier reported that the woman, who was temporarily staying in Cheras, 
Kuala Lumpur, had entered Malaysia on Oct 10, 2010, and had visited a 
neighbouring country in the north before returning to this country.

(source: New Straits Times)


Chinese man sentenced to death for counterfeit currency worth US$31 million

Chinese state media say a man has been sentenced to death for forging currency 
worth tens of millions of dollars.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Thursday that Wu Shengyou was the 
ringleader in producing 195 million yuan (US$31 million) in counterfeit money 
in south China’s Hunan province and transporting them to Guangzhou province, 
where Wu’s group sold 128 million yuan of the fake notes before the rest was 
seized by police.

Xinhua says Wu plans to appeal the death penalty, which was handed down by a 
court in south China’s Guangzhou city.

Capital punishment is widely used in China for crimes ranging from murders to 
drug trafficking and tax evasion.

(source: Guelph Mercury)
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[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-06-07 Thread Rick Halperin

June 7


Malaysian arrested for drug trafficking in Bangkok

A Malaysian woman has been charged with drug trafficking after one of the 
biggest seizures of crystal methamphetamine at Bangkok's main airport, Thai 
customs said on Thursday.

Noor Shahidah Binti Osman, 47, was arrested after 4.8 kilogrammes (10.5 pounds) 
of the drug, with a street value of more than US$500,000, was found in her 
luggage as she arrived in Bangkok from Benin, West Africa on Wednesday.

Customs officers found the drug -- also known as Ice -- hidden in 11 handbags, 
which the woman had packed inside her luggage, according to Rakop Srisupaat, 
director of Thai Customs' Investigation and Suppression Bureau.

She said she bought the handbags in Africa without realising there were drugs 
hidden inside, Rak op added.

The confiscated drugs were to be sold here, and we are looking for the dealers 
who may have hired the suspect to carry the drugs.

Thailand, along with other countries in the region, has seen a marked increase 
in seizures of methamphetamine as the world opiate trade declines.

Although drug trafficking can result in the death penalty in Thailand, 
executions are now rare.

(source: Asia Pacific News)


Women on death row for dancing at wedding are alive, Pakistani court learns

At least 2 Pakistani women are alive and well after being sentenced to death 
for purportedly mingling with men and singing at a village wedding, the Supreme 
Court was told today.

A local cleric sentenced 4 women and 2 men to death after mobile phone footage 
emerged of them enjoying themselves at a party in the mountains of Kohistan, 
175 kilometers north of the capital Islamabad.

The men and women had allegedly danced and sung together in Gada village, in 
defiance of strict tribal customs that separate men and women at weddings.

From the footage itself, however, it is not clear that the men and women 
celebrated together. Nor are the women shown dancing, but clapping while 

Local officials insist the women are safe, but Pakistan's Supreme Court took up 
the case after reports surfaced that they had been killed.

A senior official from northwestern province Khyber Pakhtunkhwa told the court 
that activists confirmed that at least 2 of the women were alive, but that 
their families would not allow them to travel in person to the court in 

2 of the girls have been traced. Human Rights activist Farzana Bari met them. 
She has told me the girls have been identified, said provincial chief 
secretary Ghulam Dastgir Khan.

Bari was now en route back to Islamabad by helicopter with a video showing the 
two women to prove that they are safe, he added.

Another human rights activist, Fauzia Saeed, confirmed the details.

We met one girl. She was identified because we carried pictures of the girls. 
We met another who we could not identify but people in the area said she is 
among the women in the video, she told Express TV.

Pakistan's most senior judge Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said he was ready to 
send in the army unless he had a clear report on all the women.

You have half an hour to give us a report, otherwise we will send one of our 
own officers, then you should be ready to face the consequences, he said.

We are even ready to provide you troops, he added. Delay will not help the 
operation. Either the girls will escape or be killed. Mohammad Afzal, a 
brother of one of the men in the video, has said the women were killed on May 
30 on the orders of a cleric who led a 40 to 50-member tribal jirga.

The entire case has been shrouded in mystery.

Police say the scandal was rooted in tribal rivalry, saying the video was 
recorded 3 years ago and then edited in an attempt to implicate the party 

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan says at least 943 women and girls were 
murdered last year after being accused of defaming their family's honour.

The statistics highlight the violence suffered by many women in conservative 
Muslim Pakistan, where they are frequently treated as second-class citizens.

(source: Agence France-Presse)


5 prisoners hanged publicly in Shiraz (southern Iran) today

5 prisoners were hanged publicly in the city of Shiraz (southern Iran) today, 
reported the Iranian state media.

According to the official site of the Iranian judiciary, 5 prisoners were 
hanged publicly in three different spots in Shiraz.

The prisoners were identified as: Abbas Z. (charged with possession of 143 
kilograms of crack), Aref A. (charged with possession of 148 kilograms of crack 
and 20 grams of Hashish and possession of 4,500 illegal norgesic units), 
Abolghassem A. (charged with possession of 19 kilograms of crack and 6 
kilograms of opium), Farhang N. (charged with keeping and carrying 123 
kilograms and selling 20 kilograms of crack) and Ali Akbar M. (charged with 
purchasing and possessing 23 kilograms of crack). All the prisoners were 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-06-01 Thread Rick Halperin

June 1


Man sentenced to death for rape and murder

The Mavelikara Additional District and Sessions Court-II on Thursday sentenced 
to death Viswarajan, 22, of Oachira who was found guilty of the rape and murder 
of a 34-year-old widow and the mother of a teenaged girl. Pronouncing the 
sentence, the Judge A.Badarudheen said the court was awarding death penalty as 
it was the ‘rarest of rare cases.' The Court also asked the accused, 
Viswarajan, alias ‘Karumadi' of Santhosh Bhavan in Vayanakam in Oachira to pay 
a penalty of Rs.1 lakh to the victim's daughter. If the convicted person failed 
to pay the penalty, he would have to undergo additional Rigorous Imprisonment 
(RI) of 6 months.

Special Public Prosecutor S. Remanan Pillai said Viswarajan had also been 
sentenced to six months Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) under Section 342 of the 
Indian Penal Code (IPC) (wrongful confinement) and five years RI under Section 
376 read with 511 (attempt to rape). The sentences will, however, run 

Habitual offender

The judge observed that the accused was a habitual offender and was a threat to 
the community. Mr. Pillai said the accused had two charges of rape and assault 
against him in the Ochira police station pending trial and another case of 
abducting a minor girl and sexually exploiting her. The death sentence was 
based on ‘circumstantial evidence,' he said.

A large crowd of people were present when the verdict was pronounced at 11 a.m. 
The accused was brought out of the court nearly three hours later, at 2 p.m., 
and taken in a police vehicle to Thiruvananthapuram Central Jail at Poojapura. 
A heavy deployment of police under Kayamkulam Deputy Superintendent of Police 
S. Devamanohar, who also supervised the investigation, was present at the 

The incident occurred at 7 p.m. on October 24, 2011 when the victim was 
returning home. The accused who was hiding in the dark grabbed the victim and 
beat her unconscious before sexually assaulting her. He later pushed her into a 
paddy field. The police and local people rushed her to a hospital. However, she 
died while being shifted to the Alappuzha Medical College Hospital. The 
investigation was led by Kayamkulam Circle Inspector A.N.Shanihan, who 
submitted the report to the court.

(source: The Hindu)


In Egypt, Mubarak Verdict Could Send Message to Assad

In the most significant trial since the start of the Arab Spring, an Egyptian 
court will decide this weekend whether former dictator Hosni Mubarak is guilty 
of ordering police to open fire on demonstrators during protests that led to 
his ouster last year.

A guilty verdict could carry the death penalty, a sentence that could 
reverberate across the region and send a warning to other dictators, including 
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Among Arab leaders toppled in the past 18 
months, Mubarak is the only one who stayed behind after his fall from power and 
appeared at his own trial.

Though Mubarak is widely loathed in Egypt, analysts say they expect a much more 
lenient punishment, raising the specter of fresh protests by Egyptians, many of 
whom already feel that the gains of their revolution are slipping.

The 3-judge panel will also rule on corruption charges against Mubarak, his two 
sons and a bevy of aides in a trial that has been marked by disarray, secret 
testimony and a sudden decision last January to cut the proceedings short and 
move to closing arguments. Human-rights groups have already raised doubts about 
its fairness.

“I would say [the punishment] would be symbolic more than real,” says Ahmed 
Kamal Aboulmagd, a high-profile lawyer and the former vice president of the 
Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights. “Execution is not in the mood of 
Egyptians. We’re not the Iraqis.”

The trial got underway last August, 7 months after the protests in Cairo and 
across the country forced an end to decades of one-man rule in Egypt. At least 
800 people were killed during the 18 days of demonstrations, mostly by police 
and other security agencies. Some of the policemen have since been indicted for 
their heavy-handed response.

Egyptians were initially captivated by the trial, especially footage from the 
first hearing last August, when Mubarak was rolled into the courtroom on a bed 
and listened to proceedings from a caged-off defendant’s box. But technical 
procedures soon delayed the process, including a drawn-out motion to dismiss 
one of the judges. Like the presidential election currently underway in the 
country, the trial has failed to meet the huge expectations many Egyptians had 
after the revolution.

The case hinges on whether Mubarak expressly ordered his law enforcement 
agencies to fire on the demonstrators. The former president denies it, but 
regime insiders have said such an order could only come from the top. The 
evidence entered in the trial includes taped conversations between Mubarak and 
his top 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-05-29 Thread Rick Halperin

May 29


Lethal drug shortage offers Vietnam death-row prisoners reprieve

Hundreds of death-row prisoners in Vietnam have been given a reprieve of sorts 
due to a shortage of the drug used for lethal injections, a newspaper said on 

Death by firing squad was replaced by lethal injections to reduce suffering 
last July - but police have failed to execute anyone since.

In the past year, the execution of more than 400 inmates has not been able to 
go ahead. More than 100 of them have completed all the paperwork, Deputy 
Police Minister Dang Van Hieu was quoted by Tuesday's Tuoi Tre (Youth) 
newspaper as saying.

Their execution awaits the drug, which is not available yet. He said imports 
of the unspecified drug had proved difficult.

The newspaper did not give any suggestion of how the problem could be solved.

The American state of Oklahoma, which executes more prisoners per capita than 
any other state, said this month it had only one remaining dose of 
European-made pentobarbital, a key drug used to kill condemned prisoners.

One reason the state had run so low in stocks was because of a ban on the sale 
of drugs for such purposes by the European Union, which opposes the death 

(source: Reuters)


MP to visit death row

A district MP in favour of the death penalty will today fly out to death row to 
see if it changes his mind about the punishment. Shipley MP Philip Davies, who 
wants murderers to face the death penalty or be locked up for a whole-life jail 
sentence, will accompany the BBC to Florida as it makes a documentary on 
capital punishment. Mr Davies said: “I want to go, not just to see death row 
and speak to people on both sides of the argument, but also to look at the 
American prison system. I believe we have a great deal to learn from them.” Mr 
Davies also highlighted the case of Stephen Ayre, a convicted murderer and 
predatory paedophile who raped a ten-year-old boy in Saltaire while out of 
prison on licence.

(source: Telegraph  Argus)


Emirati to be executed for murder in FujairahDefendant to get 80 lashes 
before execution for having alcohol

An appeals court in Fujairah has confirmed a death sentence against a young 
Emirati man for murdering an Arab expatriate after the victim’s relatives 
rejected diya (blood money) and insisted on the killer’s death.

The court also sentenced the unnamed defendant to 80 lashes before execution on 
charges of having alcohol before stabbing the Arab to death.

The Emirati committed the crime during a scuffle with the Arab man just after a 
wedding party in the eastern city.

Guests tried to separate them and end the fight, prompting the Emirati to rush 
to his car and bring a knife, which he used to stab his adversary many times. 
The Arab died of his injuries while the Emirati fled the scene.

Police later arrested the killer, who tried to commit a suicide inside the 
prison. But his attempt failed after prison guards intervened and stopped him.

“The appeals court sentenced the defendant to death and ordered his execution 
by available means after the victim’s father and grandmother refused to accept 
diya and insisted on his execution,” the Arabic language daily Alittihad said.

(source: emirates247.com)


4 girls, 2 boys get death sentence for dancing at a wedding party in Kohistan

A tribal court in Kohistan district of Khyber Pakhunkhwa (formerly NWFP) has 
handed down death penalty to 6 people, including 4 girls and 2 boys for dancing 
in a wedding party.

The Jirga (tribal gathering) issued a decree after a mobile phone video emerged 
of the 6 in a remote village.

Pakistani authorities in the area said local clerics had ordered the punishment 
over allegations that the men and women danced and sang together in Gada 
village, in defiance of strict tribal customs that men and women should stay 
separately at weddings.

“It was decided that the men will be killed first, but they ran away so the 
women are safe for the moment. I have sent a team to rescue them and am waiting 
to hear some news,” a police officer told a news agency, adding that the women 
had been confined to their homes.

“This is tribal enmity. The video has been engineered to defame the tribe, he 

(source: India TV News)


4 get life for spying for Iran

Kuwait's appeals court on Monday reduced a death sentence on 2 Iranians and a 
Kuwaiti to life in prison and upheld a life term on a stateless man on charges 
of spying for Iran, a judiciary source said.

The court headed by Justice Anwar Al-Enezi, however confirmed the acquittal of 
a man and a woman, both Iranians, while a Syrian who was sentenced to life by 
the lower court too was acquitted, the source said.

The 2 Iranians and the Kuwaiti who were handed the life terms worked for the 
Kuwaiti army at the time of their arrest in May 2010.

The defendants were accused of spying 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-05-26 Thread Rick Halperin

May 26


Zambia's vice president shocked by death row conditionsZambia's Vice 
President Guy Scott was dumbfounded. The first top official to visit the 
Mukobeko maximum-security prison since independence in 1964, Scott did not like 
what he saw.

Zambia's de-registering of official opposition increases concerns: Fitch We 
have to find a solution because this is hell on earth, said the vice president 
after touring the death row section of the prison.

Located in Kabwe district, in Central Province - about 150 kilometres outside 
the capital Lusaka - the conditions at the prison are wretched.

In the men's section, which is the worst part, an invasive stench strikes every 
inmate, warden and visitor. The odour is a mix of unwashed people and chamber 
pots in need of being emptied.

Upon arriving, Scott was informed that the prison had undergone a massive 
clean-up operation. His entourage wondered what the place looked like before 
being sanitized for the top official.

Overcrowding is rampant. The death row section of Mukobeko has 281 prisoners, 
but its official holding capacity is just 48. Up to eight inmates can be packed 
into a cell meant for one lone prisoner.

Even if you did not believe in God, when you are brought here, you can never 
go back to your old life, because life here is bad, says Benjamin Miti, who 
has been on death row since 1993, awaiting his appeal in a murder case.

Zambia has not executed anyone since 1997, owing to a presidential moratorium 
that has been upheld by three consecutive heads of state.

However, capital punishment is still on the books for grave offences, such as 
murder and aggravated robbery. While the condemned are not killed, they still 
wait on death row, never sure what exactly will happen.

Now 43 years old and having spent about half of his life in jail, Miti blames a 
slow justice system for the overcrowding. Prisoners can wait years for their 
cases to be heard. In some instances, files have gone missing, leaving 
prisoners trapped in a legal limbo from which they cannot escape.

My fate is yet to be decided because the Supreme Court, where my appeal case 
is, has informed us that it is unable to trace my case. So I will have to 
wait, Miti said. Imagine, I have lived for 19 years without knowing my fate!

Zambia's Commissioner of Prisons Percy Chato does not try to whitewash the 
issues, but says the government is trying to make changes.

The Prisons Service is going through a lot of problems when it comes to 
congestion, admits Chato. Since Scott's visit last month, his office has 
started to work more closely with the judiciary to speed up cases, in an effort 
to empty the prisons.

Scott himself says there is a need for a total overhaul of the prison system.

As government, we can't allow the present situation to continue, said Scott, 
adding that the orders to investigate what was going on in the prison came 
directly from President Michael Sata.

Built in 1954, when the southern African nation was under British rule, 
Mukobeko is surrounded by concrete slabs 20 metres high. Bulbous razor wire 
stretches across the entire length of the wall.

Little work has been done on the structure since the colonial masters retreated 
and it is falling into disrepair.

Irish-Catholic priest Bernard Bohan has been working in the prison for 23 

As he nears retirement and plans to head back to Ireland, Bohan said he became 
more insistent that a senior government official see the prison. His pushing 
and prodding helped bring about Scott's visit.

I was there when the last eight men were being executed, each one of them 
struggling as they were dying. It (execution) is the most inhumane thing anyone 
can do to a fellow human being, he said.

Zambia's Human Rights Commission executive director Enoch Mulembe said the 
government must not only focus on the question of capital punishment, but go 
further and solve the problem of the conditions at the facility.

Prisoners do have human rights. They are humans who deserve to be treated in 
the same way the other members of society are being treated. Incarceration does 
not mean the end of life, said Mulembe.

The government says it is now considering making partnerships with the private 
sector in order to get the capital needed to undertake reforms.

(source: Business Live)


Woman Reportedly Sentenced to Death By Stoning for Adultery

A court in the Sudanese capital Khartoum has sentenced an unidentified woman to 
be executed by stoning for committing the crime of fornication under Islamic 
Shariah laws, local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

The sentence was handed down on 14 May by Judge Sami Ibrahim Shabo who presides 
over the general criminal court in Um Bada area, in the suburbs of Khartoum's 
twin-city of Omdurman.

According to the privately owned daily newspaper Al-Ahram al-Yawm, the court 
issued the sentence after the defendant refused to 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-05-22 Thread Rick Halperin

May 22


Hundreds on death row in MalaysiaAn Australian man may be facing the death 
penalty in Malaysia, but there are hundreds of others already waiting on death 
row - with an estimated 108 sentenced to death last year alone.

Just this week, 5 men received the death sentence for drug trafficking - an 
offence that carries the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia.

Presenter: Bill Bainbridge

Speaker: Charles Hector, lawyer, Malaysians Against Death Penalty  Torture

HECTOR: No at present, as of February 28th this year the number that was given 
to us by the government is 860 people are waiting on death row.

BAINBRIDGE: And can they all expect to finally be executed or do people remain 
on death row in Malaysia for many years without ever meeting their ultimate 

HECTOR: At the present moment I think for the past few years the Malaysian 
government has been slow on executions, so a lot of people actually stay on 
death row for quite some time, because even the 860 who are actually on death 
row they've still not gone through all the processes, they're pending appeal or 
they're waiting for a pardon at the present moment.

BAINBRIDGE: As we heard in that earlier report just 50 grams of drugs can be 
enough to earn the death penalty in Malaysia, that's in most jurisdictions 
that's a fairly small amount of drugs. What other kind of criminal offences 
carry the death penalty in Malaysia?

HECTOR: I think in regards to the other criminal offences murder is one, then 
also in terms of the unlawful possession of firearms if you're judged under the 
Internal Security Act, and the discharging of firearms with the intent of 
extortion, robbery, preventing or resisting arrest, abduction, kidnapping, 
house-breaking or house trespass. In this case just discharging of firearms, 
there's no question of anybody actually getting shot or injured, so these are 
the things. But the main thing is still drug trafficking.

BAINBRIDGE: And is drug trafficking, is it mostly foreigners who get caught up 
in drug trafficking, or are the majority Malaysians?

HECTOR: I think still the majority is Malaysians who are actually arrested and 
convicted and even executed, because for the reason of drug trafficking.

BAINBRIDGE: And so how difficult is it for lawyers in Malaysia to actually get 
somebody off death row?

HECTOR: It's quite difficult because the thing is as far as drug trafficking is 
concerned the presumption comes into play. So as long as you're arrested with a 
certain amount of drugs, the first presumption is that the presumption is that 
you are the owner, the person in possession of the drugs, and the second 
presumption is that you are guilty of drug trafficking. So the difficulty is in 
terms of actually overturning this presumption, which is not exactly very easy. 
So it's very rare that people actually manage to overturn the presumption.

BAINBRIDGE: And so therefore is there a very high risk of executing people in 
Malaysia who turn out to actually be innocent?

HECTOR: Yes there is because the thing is how do you actually disprove the fact 
that somebody places drugs in your car for example? How do you disprove and say 
it's not my drugs?

BAINBRIDGE: And are there cases like that, are there examples you can give us 
where somebody has been executed and later found to be innocent of the crime?

HECTOR: At present there is no such cases kind of thing based on fact or 
admission by the authority, but this is the story with regards to a lot of 
people who are actually been convicted or executed, that the drugs were not 
theirs or they did not know it was drugs. They're not actually involved in any 
form of drug trafficking, but it doesn't matter, because the thing is that is 
why in terms of there's indication that actually Malaysia might be actually 
moving towards abolishing, especially with regards to drug trafficking. More so 
that since there has been quite a number of Malaysians who have been actually 
arrested and charged for drug trafficking in China, in Singapore, who are 
facing execution and that somehow has actually opened the eyes of the 
government in a way to realise that these people could be innocent mules.

BAINBRIDGE: So you say Malaysia is moving towards abolition, do you see that 
there's actually support within the government and within the population there 
to have abolition sometime in the near future?

HECTOR: I think within the government actually we have the minister coming out 
actually two or three times, and personally stating that he is actually for 
abolition, but he says that is his personal opinion and he hopes that more 
people will actually come forward and express that intention. And as far as the 
Malaysian Bar, we have actually passed a resolution several years ago calling 
for abolition, and recently about 12-thousand lawyers, multiracial, 
multi-religious, reflective of the citizenry in the country, in this year, 
2012. What is 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-05-14 Thread Rick Halperin

May 14


Parents of American 'Spy' Held by Iran Issue Tearful Plea

For the 1st time the parents of an American who could face the death penalty in 
Iran for alleged espionage have gone before a camera in stirring video to speak 
about their young son and the suffering they've endured since the arrest of the 
typical American boy.

Everywhere I go I see him. His face is in front of me everywhere, Behnaz 
Hekmati, mother of arrested Amir Hekmati, says as tears stream down her face in 
the new video posted on FreeAmir.org. I miss him so much. I miss him so much… 
[But] I keep myself strong because I know my boy needs me. I need to help him.

Amir Hekmati, an Arizona-born ex-U.S. Marine, was arrested in August 2011 while 
his family said he was on his 1st trip ever to Iran to see his grandmother. 
Iran accused Amir of being a spy, and in December an Iranian television station 
broadcast a confession from the 28-year-old in which he says he was sent into 
Iran by the CIA to become a double agent hidden inside Iranian intelligence.

A day after the broadcast, Amir's father, Ali, told ABC News in an exclusive 
interview that the Iranian claims were lies.

My son is no spy. He is innocent. He's a good fellow, a good citizen, a good 
man, the elder Hekmati said then. These are all unfounded allegations and a 
bunch of lies.

The next month, an Iranian court found Amir guilty and sentenced him to death. 
However, Iranian media reported in March that the death sentence had been 
annulled and Amir would be retried.

In the new video, neither Amir's father nor mother mention Iran or the 
allegations against their son, but talk about Amir when he was a charming boy 
and describe the effect his arrest has had on the family.

I am in very bad shape. I am just deteriorating every day. Every day I get 
worse and worse, Hekmati's mother says. I try to be strong because maybe it's 
only me and his family... we are his voice. He doesn't have a voice.

Hekmati's father says he thinks about his son all the time and says he 
sometimes prays to dream about him, if only to see his face.

Maybe I will share a dream of him, Ali Hekmati says. I sure miss him.

(source: ABC News)


Malekpour Family Allowed Visit After 3 Months

The family of Saeed Malekpour, an Iranian-Canadian who was sentenced to death 
in January 2012, was finally allowed to see him after three months of not being 
able to visit him. His sister, Maryam Malekpour, told the International 
Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that Saeed’s interrogators have prevented him 
from seeing his family.

“During these 3 months, authorities never answered any of our requests or 
questions, and the numerous letters I wrote were left unanswered. Only some 
reliable sources whose names I cannot reveal said that Saeed’s interrogators do 
not authorize visits for him. Even when the case judge issued a permit for 
visitations for Saeed, we were not allowed to see him. We guess that because 
they took Saeed in front of a television camera 3 times in order for him to 
make confessions and to show that he was remorseful and each time Saeed refused 
to give a confession, perhaps they did not allow him to have visitors to punish 
him,” said Maryam Malekpour.

36-year-old Saeed Malekpour, a web developer and resident of Canada, has been 
sentenced to death on the charge of “insulting Islamic sanctities,” for alleged 
“management of pornographic websites.” Malekpour’s family has maintained that 
he simply developed image-sharing software that was used, without his 
knowledge, to post pornographic photos.

Maryam Malekpour told the Campaign that authorities have not given her brother 
clear information about his upcoming execution: ” … [W]e were able to see Saeed 
2 weeks ago. Saeed’s morale was good. They had not informed him of the 
confirmation of his death sentence, so we didn’t tell him anything either, lest 
the news upsets him. His death sentence remains in the Judiciary’s Sentence 
Enforcement Unit. Neither he nor his lawyers have been served the confirmation, 
but we are really fearful that his death sentence may be carried out suddenly.”

“I heard a while back through Saeed’s cellmates that he has developed kidney 
stones and is in a lot of pain. His cellmates had also asked the prison guards 
several times to take him to a doctor, but they only transferred him to the 
prison infirmary. When I heard this I spoke with a specialist and got him his 
medicine and sent it to him,” added Maryam Malekpour, explaining that since he 
has begun taking the medicine, his condition has improved.

Security forces arrested Canadian resident Saeed Malekpour, 36, when he 
returned to Iran in 2008 to visit his ailing father. He appeared on Iranian 
state TV in 2009 and confessed to charges raised against him. In October 2010 
he was sentenced to death on charges of “insulting Islamic sanctities” for 
alleged “management of pornographic websites.” The Supreme 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-05-05 Thread Rick Halperin

May 5


2 Kurdish prisoners sentenced to death

The Iranian judiciary has handed death sentences to two Kurdish political 
prisoners in Mahabad.

The International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran quoted an informed local 
source saying Ebrahim Issapour and Sirvan Nejavi, who were arrested last July, 
have been sentenced to death for the charge of “enmity against God.”

The report indicates that their sentence has been appealed and sent to the 
Supreme Court.

According to the UN Special Rapporteur’s report from October 2011, 15 Kurdish 
activists have been reported to be on death row in Iran for charges relating to 
national security threats and spying.

In recent years, at least 8 Kurdish political prisoners were hanged by the 
Iranian judiciary, including Ali Keydari, Farhad Vakili, Ehsan Fatahian, Farzad 
Kamanfar and Shrin Alam Holi.

According to Amnesty International, in 2011 at least 360 people were executed 
in Iran and 156 others were sentenced to death. According to Ahmad Shaheed’s 
report for the United Nations, executions in Iran have been on the rise since 

(source: Radio Zamaneh)


On trialWhat has been the impact of the Ahmed El-Gizawi case on Egypt and 
its relations with Saudi Arabia, asks Doaa El-Bey

Charges were officially brought in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday against Egyptian 
lawyer and human rights activist Ahmed El-Gizawi for possessing illegal 
pharmaceutical drugs.

The case will now be passed from the country's drugs administration to the 
pre-trial committee, and the verdict is expected in 18 days. The committee will 
decide whether to call for the death penalty, amputation or stoning, possible 
penalties under Saudi law, before passing the case to a religious court.

The detention of El-Gizawi in Saudi Arabia over two weeks ago led to strains in 
Egyptian-Saudi relations and the temporary closure of the Saudi embassy in 
Cairo and two Saudi consulates in Alexandria and Suez.

The case also cast light on issues such as the role played by Egyptian 
embassies abroad, the fate of Egyptian prisoners detained in Saudi Arabia, and 
the post-revolutionary opinions of the Egyptian people.

Egypt's Foreign Ministry and the Egyptian consulates in Saudi Arabia were 
accused this week of failing to provide information on the case, commentators 
arguing that had information been provided this could have stopped protesters 
from marching on the Saudi embassy in Cairo in order to show their anger.

Yet, apart from sporadic statements, no official statement giving details of 
the case was issued. Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr said last week that the 
ministry was committed to providing legal support to El-Gizawi.

Ministry spokesperson Amr Roshdi said the Egyptian embassy in Riyadh and the 
consulate in Jeddah were making urgent contacts with the Saudi authorities in 
order to try to secure El-Gizawi's release.

The ministry statement came one day after an official statement was released by 
Ahmed El-Kattan, Saudi ambassador in Egypt, explaining the details of the case. 
The statement said that El-Gizawi has been apprehended at Jeddah airport, 
allegedly in possession of more than 21,000 narcotic pills.

El-Gizawi was at first reported to have been detained for insulting the Saudi 
monarch, which can be punished by one year in prison and 20 lashes. Al-Kattan 
denied these reports, saying that Saudi law does not punish foreign citizens 
for crimes committed outside the country.

Mohamed El-Meneisi, head of expatriate affairs at the Egyptian Foreign 
Ministry, said that consular staff had done all they could to assist El-Gizawi.

Judicial investigations carried out in any country were a matter for that 
country's authorities, he said. The diplomatic mission cannot attend the 
investigation of its citizens, or provide legal support unless it is given 
permission to do so by the authorities of the country concerned, El-Meneisi 
told Al-Ahram Weekly.

Egyptian consul in Jeddah Maher El-Mahdi visited El-Gizawi late last week to 
check on his condition and to inquire on the legal support he needs.

Meanwhile, some commentators have been arguing that the El-Gizawi case is an 
opportunity to raise the cases of other Egyptians detained in Saudi Arabia. 
Some human rights activists have claimed that thousands of Egyptians are 
currently being detained in Saudi Arabia, but Ahmed Ragheb, head of the Foreign 
Ministry department for consular and expatriate affairs, told Al-Ahram this 
week that the true number was 70.

Of these, 34 have been released, eight have been sentenced to life in prison, 
and the fate of the rest is being discussed, Ragheb said.

However, Al-Kattan told Egyptian MPs that there were between 600 and 700 
sentenced Egyptian prisoners in Saudi Arabia, in addition to a further 63 
detained without sentence.

One diplomat who talked on condition of anonymity told the Weekly that at a 
time when Egypt is keen to bring 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-04-25 Thread Rick Halperin

April 25


Sergei Golubev: abolition of the death penalty is immoral

Recently, in a society often hear suggestions to abolish the death penalty. 
Talk about humanity, about European values and so Subjectively speaking, this 
may be caused by a well-intentioned, but objectively leads society to the road, 
at the end of which is not a Paradise on Earth. You must therefore call a spade 
a spade: the abolition of the death penalty is unlawful, antinarodna and 

Is unlawful because, by its very nature, is based on certain metapravovye, the 
fundamental principles of law. If they are violated, the right turns into 
unlawful, arbitrary, even if when making a decision are purely legal, 
procedural law “law-making”. In other words: to ensure that the law was legal, 
not compliance with formal legal criteria. Obviously, for example, that there 
can be no legal Act prohibiting punish rapists (in the presence of mitigating 
circumstances, of course-if, say, the girls do not like) more severely than a 
public reprimand. Non-law would be the law, punishing petty thieves 
cetvertovaniem. All this seems self-evident. In this connection, it should be 
to raise the question: would legal the law forbidding to punish killers of 
imprisonment of more than 3 years?

This issue is seen today as a rhetorical question. However, a law prohibiting 
the death penalty for murderers is different from that of a hypothetical law is 
in principle but merely quantitatively. More: this hypothetical law is nothing 
more than the serial development of the same principle that guides (at least in 
public speeches) and supporters of the Bill to abolish the death penalty-the 
principle of humanization of punishment.

This principle, it must be said, quite popular in official legal community 
(intellectual, educational and moral level of many modern lawyers as home-grown 
post-Soviet and European is a separate story), but this does not alter the fact 
that he essentially is false and is antipravovym. Is false because in its 
logical development led to impunity, and all his “reasoning” that easily show 
is napysennomu and lukavomu once.

Humanization of punishment is the principle and goal of antipravovoj, because 
the principle and purpose, the idea of law is not humane (this is not legal, 
and ideological concept), and equitable, fair punishment. This is justice 

If the punishment is unfair, because it is more than non-illegal and wrong, 
regardless of whether it is evaluated by someone as humane or cruel. All of 
this will be only words, irrelevant to the fact, moreover, often masking the 
essence for a group of people. Principal, critical for law is, to reiterate, it 
is only this is the proportionality of punishment to the crime.

Favorite liberal public “humanizing” of sentences actually means substitute 
legal standards-making psevdomoralisticiskimi, more precisely-ideological, and 
thus infiltration law ideology. Practically the humanization of punishment 
contributes to their gradual abolition, the trend towards making apparent today 
in a number of advanced European countries. So perfect “humanization” would 
mean the abolition of law as such, when the offence should have been punished 
and its imitation, simulacrum. It is clear that such a simulation, production 
of such “simulacres launched” not in the interests of law-abiding citizens.

The question of proportionality, fairness or that too, whether the legality of 
sanctions in General and, for specific crimes in particular, is obviously a 
matter of metapravovym and, accordingly, cannot be dealt with strictly, legally 
and only lawyers. Cause there may be only one-line sense-understanding of 
Justice, animated (the) society. If this is, in General, the system is law 
society (people) and contribute to its sustainable development. If the match 
does not exist, the right will inevitably be destabilizing, decay and 
degradation of society.

And here we naturally come to the question: whether the abolition of the death 
penalty the sense-the concept of Justice in society-people? To answer you do 
not need to “metaphysical” reasoning and familiarity with legal perlami 
“prekrasnodušiâ”-it is, in fact, well known and, moreover-mathematically 
accurate: no, does not meet. Never, in any society, the majority has not 
advocated for the abolition of the death penalty. Always and everywhere is 
exactly the opposite. So clearly that even crafty liberal sociology could not 
hide that. The lifting (this is, of course, only more or less sane and 
law-abiding citizens), in addition to progressive lawyers, were and are the 
only policies-fighters for the happiness of the people, professional community, 
unclaimed girls with fine mental institution, and, of course, 
students-nedoucki-the main component of liberal extras. The first three 
categories here to speak is not the place. Suffice it to mention that the 
“humanization” and the abolition 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-04-18 Thread Rick Halperin

April 18


Kennedy Agyapong officially charged with treason

Assin North MP Kennedy Agyapong has officially been charged with treason.

This was confirmed by the acting Director of Public Affairs DSP Cephas Arthur.

He said the MP will be arraigned before court, Wednesday to open his defense.

Agyapong was arrested Monday, after declaring war in reaction to attacks on New 
Patriotic Party supporters during the biometric registration exercise.

The police said they were investigating a possible charge of treason but needed 
to conduct further investigations.

The investigations are over hence the formal charge of treason.

Kennedy Agyapong is likely to face the ultimate penalty of death if found 
guilty but DSP Arthur will not say whether the prosecution will be asking for 
the the ultimate penalty.

(source: Ghanaweb)


OFW not yet out of Saudi death row

Philippine officials in Riyadh on Wednesday clarified that overseas Filipino 
worker Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza, who has been languishing for 11 years on death 
row in Saudi Arabia, is not yet spared from the death penalty.

In a statement issued by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine 
Embassy in Riyadh said the heirs of Lanuza’s victim have not yet received the 
blood money settlement nor have they submitted their tanazul or affidavit of 
forgiveness and desistance to the court.

This was confirmed by Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Ezzedin Tago from 
the representative of the victim’s heirs, the DFA said.

Lanuza, 39, was imprisoned 11 years ago for the murder of a Saudi man in 2000. 
Lanuza maintained that he killed the man in self-defense.

The embassy’s statement came following reports stating that Lanuza would be 
coming home soon.

“Lanuza is still in prison and the process for his release will only commence 
once the blood money is settled through the court,” the embassy said, adding 
that reports saying “the formal acceptance of the aggrieved family spared 
Lanuza’s life” were premature.

The process must be done through the concerned court and subsequently affirmed 
by the region’s Emir.

First, the victim’s heirs must receive the blood money agreed upon for the 
settlement of the private rights aspect of the case, the embassy said.

It added that the settlement should then be recorded by the court and the 
family would execute a tanazul, which would manifest that the accused was 
indeed forgiven by the heirs.

“The case file is then forwarded to the Emir’s Office for the issuance of a 
release order. Until all these steps are completed, Lanuza is not yet spared 
the death sentence,” the embassy said.

It also denied the claim that “a reconciliation team led by former Ambassador 
Antonio Villamor was responsible in convincing the aggrieved family to formally 
accept the blood money.”

The victim’s heirs signified their willingness to accept blood money as early 
as February 27, 2011, Ambassador Tago said.

“With the efforts of the Saudi Reconciliation Committee and a relative of the 
family, Ambassador Tago and DFA Undersecretary Rafael Seguis met with the 
victim’s father and brothers, the DFA said. “During that meeting, the heirs 
expressed willingness to forgive Lanuza and accept blood money in the amount of 
3 million Saudi Riyals and not 3.5 million as mentioned in media reports.”

The DFA also urged the public, especially those who have relatives with pending 
criminal cases abroad to rely only on official information from the DFA or any 
of its embassies or consulates to avoid confusion regarding such sensitive 

(source: Philippine Inquirer)


ICC says Kadhafi son to face justice, eventually

Seif al-Islam will face justice whether he is tried in Libya or The Hague, an 
International Criminal Court prosecutor said Wednesday in Tripoli, insisting 
the decision rests with ICC judges.

Judges of the ICC will decide who makes the trial, Luis Moreno-Ocampo told 
AFP at the start of a three-day visit to the North African nation.

The interesting thing is that the ICC wants to do justice on Seif (and) Libya 
wants to do justice on Seif, (so) there will be justice for Seif, he said.

The fate of Seif al-Islam, slain dictator Moamer Kadhafi's son who is wanted by 
the ICC for crimes against humanity, was at the heart of his talks with senior 
Libyan officials.

The new authorities stress they want to try Seif in his home country and are 
expected to challenge the ICC's jurisdiction over the case.

Libya says they will present the challenge in the end of April, so I need to 
be prepared, Ocampo said ahead of a meeting with interim leader Mustafa Abdel 

I came to check what they are doing here, he added.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Seif in February 2011, when pro-Kadhafi 
forces sought to crush a popular uprising with brutal force.

Tripoli on April 10 appealed an ICC ruling calling for his immediate transfer 
from a 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-04-11 Thread Rick Halperin

April 11


Iran announces arrest of Israeli-backed “terrorists”

Iran's Ministry of Intelligence announced on Tuesday that it has arrested a 
network of “terrorists linked to Israel.”

Iranian media report that the ministry said it had made a number of arrests 
after identifying “large terrorist and sabotage” networks and “protected 
operative cells” working for Israel.

The ministry said this was the result of months of intelligence work and 
complex operations in several border and central provinces, which led to the 
exposure of “a regional Israeli base in one of the regional countries and the 
active elements of this base.”

The ministry claims that some members of the operative cells were arrested “as 
they were preparing for a terrorist operation” and, therefore, that attack was 

The announcement indicates that during the arrests, officials found and 
confiscated a significant amount of explosives, machine guns, pistols and 
silencers, military and communication equipment and other “terrorist tools.”

The ministry indicated that, due to security reasons, further details about the 
detainees and their operations cannot be made public until a later date.

In recent years, there have been several explosions at Iranian military sites 
and locations connected with Iran’s nuclear program. An explosion last November 
at an IRGC base near Karaj was attributed to Israel by several Western news 

Iran has also blamed foreign elements, and especially Israel, for sabotage 
operations and assassination operations involving nuclear scientists.

While Western countries have denied any involvement in these events, Israel has 
chosen to remain silent in the face of the accusations.

(source: Radio Zamaneh)


Belarus Marks Anniversary Of Subway Bombing

Belarus is marking the 1st anniversary of the Minsk subway bombing that killed 
15 and wounded several hundred people on April 11 last year.

At the exact time of the blast a memorial is to be unveiled outside the station 
where the bomb exploded.

A requiem service is to be held later in a church in central Minsk.

The attack last year was the worst since Soviet times.

2 26-year-old men were found guilty of carrying out the bombing and several 
earlier explosions but the speed of the trial and the apparent lack of a motive 
raised questions about their guilt among rights activists.

The European Union and the Council of Europe had urged Belarus, the only 
country in Europe which still enforces the death penalty, not to carry out the 

Both men were put to death last month.

They were killed with a single bullet to the back of the head, as prescribed 
under Belarusian law.

(source: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty)


Japan upholds bath murder sentence

Japan's high court today upheld a life sentence for a man convicted for raping 
and killing Briton Lindsay Hawker and burying her naked body in a sand-filled 
bathtub, in a case that horrified Japan 5 years ago.

Tatsuya Ichihashi (33) who was living in the apartment where the 22-year-old 
English teacher's body was found in 2007, eluded a massive manhunt for nearly 3 
years after fleeing when police arrived at his apartment to question him. He 
mutilated his face to change his appearance.

Ichihashi appealed the verdict handed down by a district court last July 
denying he intended to kill Hawker and saying he was unaware he was suffocating 
her and tried to revive her. Tokyo High Court rejected the appeal saying he has 
shown murderous intent, Kyodo news agency reported.

Kyodo quoted presiding Judge Yoshinobu Iida as saying that Ishihashi resorted 
to violence to satisfy his desire and committed a brutal crime.

Hawker's parents, Julia and William, had called for a death sentence, but after 
the trial in July said they were satisfied with the verdict. They did not 
attend the appeal trial last month or today's verdict announcement.

Japan is the only leading developed nation besides the United States to carry 
out the death penalty. Last month three men convicted of killing multiple 
victims were hanged in its first executions in nearly 2 years.

After Ichihashi's escape, police launched a nationwide search and offered a 
reward for information leading to his arrest. A visit to a plastic surgeon led 
to his arrest in 2009 after the doctor contacted police.

A former student of horticulture whom police described as a loner, Ichihashi 
wrote a book about his life on the run, which was published last year and 
became a bestseller. Ichihashi wanted earnings from it go to Hawker's family or 

Ichihashi must serve a minimum of 10 years in prison, after which he could be 
eligible for parole.

(source: Irish Times)


Libya unveils courtroom ahead of Seif al-Islam trial

Libya’s government showcased a freshly painted courtroom in Tripoli Tuesday in 
an attempt to demonstrate that it is fit to try one of 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-04-09 Thread Rick Halperin

April 9


Saudi Arabia puts 50 al Qaeda suspects on trial

50 men suspected of links to al Qaeda have gone on trial in Saudi Arabia on 
charges of killing an American and attacking foreign housing compounds in the 
capital and in the Eastern Province, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) 
said. The report said 5 of the suspects had appeared at a special court in the 
capital Riyadh yesterday, facing charges including the 2003 bombing of the 
al-Muhaya compound, where expatriates lived, and planning attacks on the US and 
British embassies in Saudi Arabia. Of the defendants, 47 are Saudi, 2 are 
Syrian and 1 is Yemeni, SPA said late yesterday. Saudi Arabia saw a militant 
insurgency from 2003 to 2006 in which al Qaeda members staged attacks on 
residential compounds for foreign workers and Saudi government facilities, 
killing dozens. The kingdom responded by arresting thousands of suspected 
militants and launching a media campaign to discredit their ideology with the 
backing of influential clerics and tribal leaders. 'The Specialised Criminal 
Court in Riyadh started looking into the case, filed by the public prosecution, 
against 50 men,' SPA said.

'The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants appeared in court today (Saturday) 
and were read their charges.' The session adjourned without setting a date for 
the next hearing, when the other suspects are also expected to appear. SPA did 
not give details on the American the suspects are accused of killing but at 
least 1 US national was kidnapped and killed by militants in 2004. Saudi 
lawyers say court verdicts are subject to the authority of the judge, who must 
follow Sharia, Islamic law, stating that those convicted of killing a Muslim 
can face the death penalty. Last year the Interior Ministry said nearly 5,700 
people had been arrested, and of those 5,000 were tried. Human rights groups in 
Saudi Arabia put the number of those jailed at more than 12,000, including 
political prisoners demanding reforms. Saudi Arabia took 41 people to court in 
September on charges of forming an al Qaeda-linked cell with the aim of 
attacking US forces in neighbouring Kuwait and Qatar. In October, 85 alleged 
members of an al Qaeda-linked group were also put on trial. The government's 
Human Rights Commission, which reports directly to King Abdullah, and selected 
local media attended those hearings.

(source: Reuters)


Minister: Libya will not hand Gaddafi’s son to ICC

Libya will not send Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, the most prominent son of the 
country’s former leader, to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The 
Hague, but will put him on trial in his own country, Justice Minister Ali 
Ashour said yesterday.

Saif al-Islam remains in a secret prison in the custody of the Zintan rebels 
who caught him last year and will be tried in Libya by Libyan judges on charges 
of financial corruption, murder and rape, Ashour told Reuters.

Despite the ICC’s demands that he be sent to The Hague for trial, “there is no 
intention to hand him (Saif al-Islam) over to the ICC, and Libyan law is the 
right system to be used to try Saif Gaddafi,” Ashour said.

He denied allegations of mistreatment made by an ICC defence lawyer, who said 
this week that Saif al-Islam had been beaten and had been misled about the 
charges against him. “He eats with the people who guard him, and he is in good 
condition,” he said.

Pressure is mounting on Libya to hand Gaddafi’s son to the ICC as human rights 
organisations say the country is unable to give him a fair trial. An ICC 
delegation arrived in Tripoli yesterday to discuss Saif al-Islam’s case with 
the justice ministry, Libya’s representative in the ICC, Ahmed al-Jahani, said.

Ashour said his ministry had prepared a prison for Saif al-Islam and 
negotiations were under way with the Zintan rebels to transfer him to Tripoli. 
The ICC says it has jurisdiction over the case because it issued warrants last 
year for the arrest of Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam and intelligence chief 
Abdullah al-Senussi, who was arrested last month in Mauritania.

A UN Security Council Resolution obliges Libya to co-operate with the court, 
the ICC says, and Tripoli’s failure to hand over Saif al-Islam could result in 
it being reported to the Council.

Saif al-Islam faces the death penalty if found guilty by a Libyan court and a 
prison term if convicted by the ICC. Muammar Gaddafi was killed after being 
captured alive by rebel fighters.

(source: Gulf Times)


Lawmakers push death penalty

At least 2 influential members of the House of Representatives renewed calls to 
re-impose the death penalty at the weekend as Filipinos grapple with daily 
accounts of murders, kidnappings, robberies, rapes and other heinous crimes.

House Assistant Majority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin said the death 
penalty would discourage criminals from getting aggressive, and Maguindanao 
Rep. Simeon 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-04-07 Thread Rick Halperin

April 7


Government Urged to Do More for Mexicans on U.S. Death Row

Mexico’s independent National Human Rights Commission called on the government 
to intensify its efforts to prevent Mexicans from being executed in other 
countries, noting that 58 of the nation’s citizens are currently on death row 
in the United States.

The death penalty, which Mexico formally outlawed in 2005, is “the most severe 
penalty imposed on people, the application of which is irreversible, and it is 
a measure that does not guarantee that justice is served,” the commission said 
in a document titled “Protecting the Right to Life.”

It said therefore that it takes steps to monitor and verify that Mexicans 
sentenced to capital punishment abroad receive consular assistance and legal 

The organization said it also seeks “in appropriate cases” to have the death 
penalty commuted to lengthy prison sentences.

According to official figures, 745 Mexicans had their death sentence commuted 
between 2000 and 2011. The rights commission said its records indicate a total 
of 58 Mexicans on death row at U.S. prisons through 2011.

The majority of those defendants were named in a lawsuit the Mexican government 
brought against the United States in 2003 before the International Court of 
Justice in The Hague, citing violations of procedural guarantees contained in 
the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.

In its 2004 ruling in what is known as the Avena case, the ICJ instructed the 
United States to “review and reconsider” the convictions and death sentences 
handed down to 51 Mexicans who were denied their right to consular notification 
and assistance at the time of their arrest.

However, in June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the ICJ’s ruling was 
not enforceable as domestic law because Congress had not passed implementing 

Several months later, one of the Mexican citizens included in the Avena case, 
Jose Ernesto Medellin Rojas, convicted of partipating in the 1993 gang rape and 
murder of two teenage girls in Houston, Texas, was executed in that state.

Another Mexican citizen, Humberto Leal Garcia, convicted of the 1994 rape and 
murder in San Antonio of a 16-year-old Texas girl, was executed last year after 
the Supreme Court denied his attorneys’ request for a stay of execution based 
on authorities’ alleged failure to provide him with consular assistance at the 
time of his arrest.

Another pending case, the commission said, is that of brothers Jose Regino, 
Luis and Simon Gonzalez Villarreal, who could be sentenced to death by hanging 
if convicted of drug trafficking in Malaysia.

In light of this situation, the commission “considers it necessary to intensify 
actions aimed at preventing the death penalty in cases of Mexicans held in 
foreign prisons and to safeguard their rights to life, dignity and physical 

(source: Latin American Herald Tribune)


HC upholds death sentence for rape and murder convict

Taking the diabolical and perverse manner in which the convict had kidnapped, 
raped and murdered a 4-year-old girl into account, the Bombay high court (HC) 
confirmed the death sentence awarded to 45-year-old Wadi resident Vasanta 
Dupare. Confirming the death penalty awarded by a sessions court, the Nagpur 
bench of the HC comprising justice PV Hardas and justice Sadhana Jadhav 
observed that the tragedy is of unimaginable magnitude fraught with pain and 

On April 3, 2008, Dupare took the victim Muskan Sharma playing in the courtyard 
of her house in Wadi along with him by luring her with chocolates. The girl’s 
mother Pinky learned about it through Muskan’s friend Akansha. The victim’s 
father then lodged a police complaint. While scouting the area, the police 
sub-inspector found a man fleeing, who happened to be the accused. Dupare was 
then apprehended. On interrogation, he revealed the place where the offence had 
been committed. The police found the body of the victim and stones that were 
used to batter the victim’s face beyond recognition from the spot at Santoshi 
Mata Nagar.

The court noted that the accused had planned to lure both Muskan and Akansha, 
which was foiled. “The accused took Muskan to an isolated area and committed 
the worst indignity which a woman is called upon to face. Battering the head of 
the girl of tender years was done by the accused with extreme cruelty. The 
aggravating circumstance would have shocked the conscience of the community in 
general. The accused had acted in diabolical manner and had designedly lured 
the unsuspecting girl to accompany him on a bicycle,” the court observed.

“The accused has not displayed any remorse or repentance for the act done by 
him and we do not find any material to indicate that there is a possibility of 
the accused reforming himself,” the judges noted while upholding the death 

(source: Hindustan Times)


[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-04-05 Thread Rick Halperin

April 5


Ogawa has no qualms about executionsJustice minister says lay judges, 
public call shots on inmates' fate

The 3 executions Justice Minister Toshio Ogawa approved March 29 ended a 
20-month spell during which no death-row inmates were hanged.

Ogawa, who assumed his post in January, has declared he will not hesitate to 
issue more death warrants, raising the prospect that more hangings are due on 
his watch. His stance presents a stark contrast to that of his two 
predecessors, who were reluctant to sign off on executions.

It is the people who decide what type of penalty should be meted out for each 
crime, Ogawa told the press on the morning the three death-row prisoners were 

The inmates included Yasuaki Uwabe, 48, who was convicted of killing five 
people and injuring 10 others in a 1999 rampage at a train station in Yamaguchi 

The death penalty has been supported in lay judge trials, Ogawa said, 
referring to the new system that makes use of lay and professional judges.

While the death sentence is the heaviest punishment that can be handed down in 
such trials, which began in May 2009, the justice minister still has sole 
responsibility for approving executions and deciding when they will be carried 

At the news conference on the day of the hangings, Ogawa repeated that issuing 
an execution order is the duty of a justice minister, and stressed that 
capital punishment is based on a judgment made by the nation. He had approved 
the 3 men's death warrants 2 days earlier.

Lay judge trials have resulted in death sentences on more than 10 occasions, 
and earlier in March, an appellate court supported a death sentence handed down 
by a lay judge trial.

Referring to such rulings, prosecutor-turned-lawyer Masaru Wakasa said that 
each case represents the conclusion that ordinary citizens drew after going 
through the agony (of judging whether a person should live or die).

A justice minister must give weight to the fact that death penalty rulings 
have been issued by lay judge panels, Wakasa said.

With more than 130 inmates on death row — a record high — officials at the 
Justice Ministry who support executions praise Ogawa's determination to follow 
through with hangings.

We have finally returned to the way it should be, carrying out executions in 
line with our professional responsibilities, one of Ogawa's aides said.

Some officials at the Justice Ministry are even speculating the 3 hangings may 
herald a return to the days of former Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama, who sent 
13 death-row inmates to the gallows during his 11-month stint.

Ogawa's predecessors, however, took a completely different stance on the death 
sentence. In an interview last August, then Justice Minister Satsuki Eda 
expressed reservations about authorizing executions at a time when the nation 
was mourning the loss of nearly 19,000 people in the March 2011 quake and 

With a large number of people having died in the calamity, it is time for the 
nation to calmly consider the issue of capital punishment, he said.

Eda said that he believed the death penalty contained various flaws when he 
became justice minister that January. He later retracted the remark, however.

Hideo Hiraoka, Ogawa's immediate predecessor, was also reluctant to use 

A national debate is necessary about whether to keep or abolish the death 
penalty, Hiraoka said.

Ogawa, however, has shown no such reservations since he assumed the post in a 
Jan. 13 Cabinet reshuffle.

He indicated that executions were in the offing when he told a Diet session 
that the death penalty should be implemented in line with the justice 
minister's professional responsibility. I will issue orders.

The executions dismayed Hideki Wakabayashi, executive director of Amnesty 
International Japan, especially as there were no hangings during 2011 — the 
first such occurrence in 19 years.

Last year, the world was happy, Wakabayashi said, referring to the absence of 

An official at another human rights group voiced a sense of urgency in light of 
the March 29 hangings, saying, We have to do whatever we can to make this 
round of executions the last.

In early March, Ogawa also decided to scrap an internal study group on the 
death penalty within the Justice Ministry.

The group had been set up by former Justice Minister Keiko Chiba after she 
authorized the hangings of two inmates in July 2010, the first executions under 
the Democratic Party of Japan's administration.

Since its inaugural meeting in August, the group has convened on 10 other 
occasions to solicit the views of academics, lawyers, crime victims and 
opponents of the death penalty.

On Friday, Ogawa said the need for a national debate on capital punishment 
would not blunt his determination to execute more prisoners.

Just because debate is taking place doesn't necessarily mean that I would not 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-04-01 Thread Rick Halperin

March 31


President Museveni Pardons Sharma Kooky

Sharma Kooky was released under the prerogative of mercy privilege. (Photo 
Courtesy New Vision) After spending 12 years behind bars at Luzira Maximum 
Security Prisons for murdering his wife, Sharma Kooky is now a free man.

President Yoweri Museveni pardoned him on humanitarian grounds.

Now basking in freedom, Kooky reportedly tortured his wife to death by 
electrocuting her at their family residence in Old Kampala Martin road a dozen 
years ago.

In 2000, the High Court sentenced to death Kooky and his younger brother 
Davinder Kumar after they were found guilty of torturing and killing Renu 

Kumar was released after an appeal to the Supreme Court in 2002 while the same 
court maintained his elder brother's punishment.

Excitement engulfed the Luzira complex when Kooky took his last steps out of 
prison in the face of freedom.

Ironically, hundreds of inmates ululated and clapped as Kooky, clad in a white 
Indian suit and sandals was led by prison authorities from Boma to the office 
of the in-charge of the prisons, William Magomu.

It was an affair of emotions as prisoners saw off their Indian colleague with 
cheers as if it were a hue of hope that one day they too would be set free.

With his personal belongings stacked in white sacks, a visibly emotional Kooky 
was led towards a waiting Pajero driven by one of his brothers and whisked off 
at around 4.00pm.

However, New Vision online could not establish their destination after leaving 
the prison.

Sharma Kooky and Davinder Kumar hide from the camera on February 12th, 1999. 
They were at the High Court accused of murdering Joshi Renu, Kooky's wife.

Kooky's struggle for freedom was put to Museveni's attention when the then 
Attorney General May 5, 2006 recommended that the city businessman 's case be 
considered by the Advisory Committee on the prerogative of mercy.

The committee later advised that the President grants the Indian prisoner 
pardon on humanitarian grounds.

The Commissioner of Prisons received a copy of Museveni's March 22, 2012 pardon 
order on Monday.

Uganda Prisons Service is mandated to compile a list of prisoners from various 
detention centres who qualify for presidential pardon and then submit the names 
to the Attorney General's office for approval annually.

The prison's publicist Frank Baine says the department submitted 'a long list' 
of prisoners for presidential pardon.

The list included the elderly above 54 years, pregnant women, the terminally 
sick prisoners, petty offenders, capital offenders remaining with only six 
months of their sentence and convicts on death row.

We expect more feedback on the other names submitted, says Baine.

The prerogative of mercy committee is an executive process that comes after the 
judiciary has concluded its duties.

It is a system that mandates the President to exercise his powers through the 
prerogative of mercy to release prisoners.

According to the law, the president has no powers to intervene in criminal 
prosecution. However under article 121 of the 1995 constitution, through the 
advisory committee of prerogative of mercy, the president is mandated to 
exercise his rights to release prisoners.

President Museveni made his last presidential pardons in 2009 when he released 
Obote's former Internal Affairs Minister Chris Rwakasisi and the former 
Governor of the Central Province during Amin regime Abdullah Nassur who were on 
death row in Luzira's Upper Prison.

(source: All Africa News)


Abolish death penalty: SAD, BJP in RS

Amidst the continuing debate around clemency demands for Balwant Singh Rajoana, 
the Rajya Sabha on Friday saw members of the Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP 
advocating the abolition of the death penalty.

Naresh Gujral of the SAD raised the issue during the Zero Hour, saying the 
death penalty was “the ultimate denial of human rights”.

“It is a premeditated cold blooded killing of a human being by the State in the 
name of justice. It violates the right to life, as proclaimed in the universal 
declaration of human rights India is the country of Buddha and Gandhi, 
whose ideals we all cherish. The Guru Granth Sahib, the Buddhist tenets, the 
new testament, all believe that the power to give and take life lies only with 
God. I would urge the government to take immediate steps to bring forward a 
legislation for abolishing the capital punishment from our statute,” Gujral 
said. He found support from BJP’s S S Ahluwalia.

(source: Indian Express)


Human RightsInterview: Christof Heyns discusses India's human rights 
recordUN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns's visit to India is the 1st 
fact-finding mission mandated by the UN Human Rights Council. He talks to DW 
about his observations and the country's human rights record.

UN Special Rapporteur Christof Heyns's visit to India is the 1st fact-finding 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-03-20 Thread Rick Halperin

March 20


2 get death sentence in Pune BPO girl rape case

A local court today awarded death sentence to 2 persons in the rape and murder 
case of a 22-year-old BPO employee that rocked the city and sent shock waves in 
the IT establishments here.

District and Sessions Court judge Anant Badar in his order, handed down capital 
punishment to cab driver Purushottam Borate (30) and his friend Pradip Kokade, 
who had picked up the victim from her residence on November 1, 2007 to drop her 
to office in Hinjewadi IT park area.

The duo drove the call centre employee, headed for a night shift, to a secluded 
spot where she was raped and murdered, according to the contention made by 
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam.

The victim’s body was recovered by the police from a field along the 
Pune-Mumbai expressway on November 2 and the accused were nabbed on November 3, 

Upholding the prosecution case, the judge observed that the accused had 
pre-planned the crime which they had committed to satisfy their lust and 
therefore deserved death penalty.

The court held both the accused guilty under various sections of the Indian 
Penal Code, including 302 (murder), 376 (2)(g) (gangrape), 364 (abduction) and 
120 (b)(criminal conspiracy).

Mr. Nikam contended that the case had a big impact on the society as it 
concerned the safety aspect of the women working in the IT sector.

The case led to a review of safety of transport system of BPO companies in the 
city and an increased vigil on part of police who started monitoring the car 
transport agencies.

(source: The Hindu)

Balwant Singh's execution taking political overtures

The execution of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a co-accused in the killing of former 
Punjab chief minister Beant Singh in 1995, is taking political connotations in 
the state even as top leadership of main parties Shiromani Akali Dal and 
Congress treaded cautiously on the issue here in Chandigarh.

Before the commencement of the 1st session of the assembly, Chief Minister 
Parkash Singh Badal was circumspect while replying to media querries on the 

The crime has not taken place in Punjab. It happened in the Union Territory, 
so any decision on execution of Rajoana will have to be taken by the UT, Badal 
told reporters here while refusing to make any further remark on the issue.

However, Ravneet Singh Bittu, a Congress member of Parliament from Anandpur

Sahib and grandson of late Beant Singh, said Punjab government should 
immediately make its stand clear on the issue.

Rajoana had never sought pardon...however, there is no question of giving him 
relief, he said adding I fail to understand why Punjab government is confused 
on the issue.

Punjab Jails minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur said any decision on the issue 
will be taken keeping in mind the law and verdict of the court.

Punjab Congress chief and former chief minister Amarinder Singh said he is not 
clear on this legal issue and so he will first go into its detail before making 
any statement. Meanwhile, Gurbachan Singh, the head of Akal Takhat, the 
highest temporal seat of Sikhs, had convened a meeting of top 5 Sikh priests at 
Amritsar tomorrow to take any decision on the issue.

Meanhwile, Rajoana had expressed desire to donate his body and eyes, Patiala 
jail sources said. However, the execution of Rajoana is likely to be delayed as 
a trial in a Patiala court is pending against him. Additional District and 
Session Judge, Chandigarh,

Shalini Nagpal had last week issued a warrant of death sentence against the 
Babbar Khalsa terrorist. According to the warrant, Balwant will be hanged on 
March 31 in Patiala Central Jail.

Jail sources said they have written to the Punjab director general of police 
(jails) seeking clarification on whether a death warrant can be carried out 
when a case is under judicial process against a convict.

Human rights activist and lawyer Barjinder Singh Sodhi has questioned the order 
for execution of Balwant Singh as a case against him, relating to explosives, 
was still pending.

There is also the question who will hang Balwant as Punjab has no hangman now. 
The jail authorities have raised this matter as well.

Balwant himself had requested a court to fix the date for his execution and the 
judge signed the death warrant that he should be hanged in Patiala Central Jail 
on March 31 at 9 am.

A special Central Bureau of Investigation court, held inside Chandigarh's 
Burail Jail, had awarded death sentence to Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara on 
August 1, 2007.

3 other accused Lakhwinder Singh, Gurmeet Singh and Shamsher Singh were 
sentenced to life imprisonment for hatching the conspiracy to kill Beant Singh.

Rajoana did not appeal against the judgment. The death penalty of Hawara, who 
filed an appeal against it, was communted to life sentence.

Beant Singh was killed in the high-security Punjab civil secretariat in 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-03-09 Thread Rick Halperin

March 9


Perth man charged, facing death penalty

A Perth man is facing the death penalty in Malaysia after being formally 
charged with drug trafficking.

Dominic Jude Christopher Bird, 32, was refused bail after his appearance in the 
Malaysian High Court today, where he was officially charged under section 39B 
of the Dangerous Drugs Act - which carries the mandatory death penalty.

Bird’s lawyer, Malaysian-based Australian Tani Scivetti, said she had been 
denied access to her client and was only informed of Bird’s High Court 
appearance and formal charges late in the afternoon.

Bird was arrested by undercover officers during a police sting at a coffee shop 
in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur on March 1, where police alleged he 
tried to sell them 225g of methamphetamines.

A search of his nearby apartment uncovered a smaller quantity of drugs and led 
to the arrests of 2 local men and a Filipino woman, who are also in custody.

Under Malaysian law, a person convicted of possessing more than 50g of 
methamphetamines is declared a drug trafficker and faces a mandatory death 

Ms Scivetti said she was uncertain what quantity of drugs Bird had been 
formally charged with, as she hadn’t seen the charge sheet yet.

But she confirmed he now faced the death penalty.

“Today, without informing us or the (Australian) embassy, Dominic was brought 
before a judge and charged with 39B, which carries the death penalty,” Ms 
Scivetti said.

The charges were laid by Malaysia’s Department of Public Prosecutions.

Ms Scivetti speculated prosecutors must already have secured a chemist’s report 
of the substances allegedly found in Bird’s possession.

“They would have had to have had the chemist’s report to officially charge 
him,” she said.

Ms Scivetti said she had not visited her client since he was formally charged 
this morning, but said he was in a “state of shock” yesterday after a 
closed-door hearing at the Jin Jang lockup tentatively charged him with drug 
trafficking and remanded him in custody.

He has since been moved from his holding cell at the Dang Wang Police Station 
to the maximum security Sungai Buloh Remand Prison.

Bird’s next High Court appearance will be on May 25.

Ms Scivetti said she would try to visit her client tomorrow morning, and 
expected to file Contempt of Court charges over police handling of the case.

“The magistrate ordered yesterday that remand be extended for 7 days and that 
counsel be entitled to visit their client for two hours a day, commencing 
yesterday,” she said.

“Yesterday we went to the police and requested to see Dominic and they said 
they were reviewing the matter and denied us access.

“They also didn’t inform us of his High Court appearance this morning, or that 
they were laying official charges.

“That court order has totally been ignored.”

Ms Scivetti said it had also been reported to the magistrate that Bird had been 
assaulted by police in custody on March 5, after he claimed he was blindfolded 
and “slapped around”.

“We asked her to note the fact that he was assaulted,” she said.

However, Malaysian Deputy Director of Narcotics Harris Wong denied Bird had 
been assaulted.

“No, no, no, no - I’m not aware of any assault,” he told AAP.

Relatives confirmed Bird’s Perth-based father, Clayton, had flown to Malaysia 
on Friday, but Ms Scivetti said he had not yet visited his son in custody.

She said she was unaware of the status of Bird’s co-accused but that the 
arrested Filipino woman was believed to be a 55-year old maid hired to look 
after his luxury apartment, just 20m from the coffee shop where he had been 

The Australian Government has refused to speculate on Bird’s case, only to 
reiterate it opposes the death penalty and would seek a stay of execution if he 
were convicted.

Malaysia has executed 3 Australians for drug offences.

Kevin Barlow and Brian Chambers were hanged in July 1986, followed by Michael 
McAuliffe in June 1993.

(source: The West Australian)


Death for Kasab? Don’t be sure; SC has swung both ways

Had the Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab struck in Ireland, UK, 
Ukraine or Turkmenistan and killed the 166 innocent people that he did in 
Mumbai on 26 November 2008, the question of death penalty for him would not 
have arisen.

So also in the case of the assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi or 
Afzal Guru, convicted of the 2001 attack on Parliament.

This is because the death penalty stands abolished not just in the four 
countries mentioned above but in as many as 140 countries across the world. 
Although India is among the 58 countries, along with the United States, China 
and Japan, which uphold the death penalty, it has been moving cautiously 
towards a moratorium on capital punishment – the first big step towards the 
abolition of the death penalty.

The SC has been emphasising the need to give the death penalty 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-03-08 Thread Rick Halperin

March 8


Iran: 5 Arab men at imminent risk of execution

UA: 77/12 Index: MDE 13/013/2012 Iran Date: 8 March 2012



5 members of Iran’s Ahwazi Arab minority, including 3 brothers, their cousin 
and another man are at imminent risk of execution in public , after their death 
sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court. The sentences may be intended to 
deter Ahwazi Arabs in Iran from demonstrating on the 15 April anniversary of 
protests held in 2005 .

The 3 brothers, Abd al-R ahman Heidari , Taha Heidari and Jamshi d Heidari, 
their cousin Mansour Heidari and Amir Muawi (or Mo ’av i ) were arrested in 
April 2011 in Ahvaz, during unrest taking place across Iran’s south-western 
Khuzestan province. Since their arrest, their whereabouts have not been 
disclosed to their families. On or around 5 March 2012, Ministry of 
Intelligence officials informed their families that the Supreme Court had 
upheld death sentences against the 5 men, after they were convicted of the 
killing of at least one individual, said to be a law enforcement official, on 
15 April 2011. The Ministry of Intelligence also told the men's relatives that 
they would be executed in public “in the next few days”. It is not known when 
their initial trials took place or if they had any legal representation. 
”Confessions” extracted under duress are frequently accepted as evidence before 
courts in Iran.

Please write immediately in Persian, Arabic, English or your own language:

Urging the Iranian authorities not to carry out the executions and to commute 
the death sentences of Abd al-Rahman Heidari, Taha Heidari, Jamshid Heidari, 
Mansour Heidari and Amir Mo’avi and anyone else on death row;

Seeking information about the trial of all 5, including whether they had access 
to a lawyer of their choice;

Calling on them to ensure that all 5 men are protected from torture or other 
ill-treatment, and are granted immediate and regular access to their families, 
their lawyers and adequate medical care.


Leader of the Islamic Republic

Ayatollah Sayed ‘Ali Khamenei

The Office of the Supreme Leader

Islamic Republic Street – End of Shahid Keshvar Doust Street, Tehran, Islamic 
Republic of Iran

Email: info_lea...@leader.ir

Twitter: #Iran leader @khamenei_ir: halt execution of Abd al-Rahman Heidari, 
Taha Heidari, Jamshid Heidari, Mansour Heidari and Amir Mo’avi”

Salutation: Your Excellency

Head of the Judiciary

Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani

[care of] Public relations Office

Number 4, 2 Azizi Street

Vali Asr Ave., above Pasteur Street intersection

Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran Email: bia.j...@yahoo.com (Subject line: FAO 
Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani) or info_lea...@leader.ir

Salutation: Your Excellency

And copies to:

Secretary General, High Council for Human Rights

Mohammad Javad Larijani

High Council for Human Rights

[Care of] Office of the Head of the Judiciary, Pasteur St., Vali Asr Ave. south 
of Serah-e Jomhouri, Tehran 1316814737, Islamic Republic of Iran

Email: i...@humanrights-iran.ir

(subject line: FAO Mohammad Javad Larijani)

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. 
Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:

Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address 
Salutation Salutation

Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.



Additional Information

The Ahwazi Arab minority is one of many minorities in Iran. Much of Iran's Arab 
community lives in the south-western province of Khuzestan. Most are Shi’a 
Muslims but some are reported to have converted to Sunni Islam, heightening 
government suspicion about Ahwazi Arabs. They often complain that they are 
marginalized and subject to discrimination in access to education, employment, 
adequate housing, political participation and cultural rights.

There were mass demonstrations in Khuzestan province in April 2005, after it 
was alleged that the government planned to disperse the country's Arab 
population or to force them to relinquish their Arab identity. Following bomb 
explosions in Ahvaz City in June and October 2005, which killed at least 14 
people, and explosions at oil installations in September and October 2005, the 
cycle of violence intensified, with hundreds of people reportedly arrested. 
Further bombings on 24 January 2006, in which at least 6 people were killed, 
were followed by further mass arbitrary arrests. At least 15 men were later 
executed as a result of their alleged involvement in the bombings.

Scores, if not hundreds, of members of the Ahwazi Arab minority were reportedly 
arrested before, during and after demonstrations on 15 April 2011. The 
demonstrations had been called a “Day of Rage” to mark the sixth anniversary of 
the 2005 mass demonstrations. At least three 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-02-23 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 23


Argument in deportation case

The Constitutional Court will hear argument on Thursday on whether South Africa 
can deport a person who committed a capital offence in Botswana without being 
assured that the death penalty will not be imposed.

Two men approached the High Court in Johannesburg to prevent the government 
from extraditing them for trial unless Botswana provided a written assurance 
that they would not be sentenced to death.

South Africa has abolished the death penalty, but it is still in force in 

Both men were accused of murdering their partners. One of them has since died.

The high court ruled in their favour, but Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana 
Dlamini-Zuma and Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe 
disputed the finding.

They have filed for leave to appeal to the Constitutional Court.

(source: South Africa Press Agency)


Hamza's case represents the death of rule of law and due process

The judge has clearly abdicated her judicial duties and effectively ruled that 
it was legal for the Malaysian authorities to secretly detain Hamza who was 
then holding a valid visa, to cancel his visa without a reason or hearing, to 
resist all attempts by lawyers to meet him, to practice deception on lawyers 
and the courts, and to deport him in shocking haste to face the death penalty 
in Saudi Arabia.

Lawyers for Liberty is appalled by Judge Rohana Yusof's summary dismissal of 
Hamza Kashgari's habeas corpus application today on the ground that it was 
academic since he has been deported.

The judge also failed to allow or even to make a ruling on Hamza's lawyers 
application to cross examine the immigration officers who affirmed the 
affidavits on behalf of the authorities when it was clear that the contents 
were unsatisfactory and highly misleading as they only made reference to the 
fact that he was deported while ignoring all the serious allegations made by 
Hamza's lawyers.

This view is myopic of the larger picture that Hamza's case represents i.e. the 
death of rule of law and due process in Malaysia. The judge should have taken 
the view, as provided for by the law, that such matters can be heard due to the 
larger public interest and public authorities that were involved, and 
especially on grave issues concerning the Malaysian Constitution and 
fundamental liberties.

Further, the judge also ignored the wide powers conferred on the courts to 
provide the necessary reliefs in a case such as Hamza where fundamental 
liberties have been infringed and instead took the easy was out.

The judge has clearly abdicated her judicial duties and effectively ruled that 
it was legal for the Malaysian authorities to secretly detain Hamza who was 
then holding a valid visa, to cancel his visa without a reason or hearing, to 
resist all attempts by lawyers to meet him, to practice deception on lawyers 
and the courts, and to deport him in shocking haste to face the death penalty 
in Saudi Arabia.

(source: Letter, Lawyers for Liberty, Malaysia Today)


Iran continued frenetic pace of capital punishment in 2011

Iran now holds 2nd position in absolute numbers among world nations executing 
its people and ranks only behind China in carrying out an expanding policy of 
capital punishment. But in proportional per capita terms, Iran leads all 
countries carrying out death sentences worldwide, according to information from 
Human Rights groups here.

Iranian authorities have kept up an alarming cadence of executions that began 
after the troubled elections in that country in 2009 and is using capital 
punishment as a means of political repression and terror, the sources 

China executes thousands every year but, proportionately, Iran is the leader 
based on their comparative populations, Nicolas Braye, an official at 
Together Against the Death Penalty (TADP) said Thursday.

Moreover, Iran only announced 62 % of cases of capital punishment in 2011, when 
the number of executions rose to 676 from 646 a year earlier. The government 
officially acknowledges putting to death 416 people last year, and 60 of these 
were public events, Braye indicated to KUNA in an exclusive interview.

What distinguishes the 2011 report from those of preceding years is the 
dramatic increase in the number of public executions, the NGO said. Iran is 
using executions to terrorise the population, Braye affirmed.

What it seems from the numbers is a deliberate policy to terrorise people and 
deter any notion of adopting an 'Arab Spring' stance by the people, he added 
in the interview.

The NGO said the number of public executions in 2011 had tripled compared with 
those in preceding years and this is being viewed as a government method to 
discourage any political dissent or non-conformist behaviour.

Iran is also one of the only countries to use the death penalty as a means of 
repression against 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-02-18 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 18


1993 Mumbai blasts: SC stays case against Abu Salem

The Supreme Court stayed the TADA proceedings in 2 cases against alleged 
gangster Abu Salem in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case in view of Portugal court's 
order terminating his extradition to India.

The court has issued notices to the Central government and the Ministry of 
External Affairs and wants a response in 3 weeks.

Abu Salem in his application has said that trial, which can lead to death 
penalty is against extradition promises.

(source: IBNlive.com)


Belarus 'Outraged' at European Resolution on Death Penalty

The European Parliament's resolution on Belarus indicates serious interference 
in the internal affairs of the country, the Belarusian Foreign Ministry's press 
service said in a statement on Friday.

On Thursday, the European Parliament passed a resolution condemning Belarus for 
implementing the death penalty in the country, demanded Belarusian authorities 
stop harassing rights groups, and immediately release members from the 
opposition from prisons.

The European Parliament does nothing in its honor by seriously interfering in 
the practices of law and order in a sovereign country, the ministry statement 

The statement continued by stating Belarus' outrage on the European 
Parliament's resolution in regard to capital punishment.

The European Parliament de facto stands on the side of terrorists with 
incompetent suggestions of doubt on the results of investigations and decisions 
by the Belarusian court in cases of terrorist acts, the statement read.

The Foreign Ministry said that the European in particular has called into doubt 
the case of Vladislav Kovalyov and Dmitry Konovalov, who were sentenced to 
death for bombing a subway station in Minsk in April 2011. The European 
Parliament has called on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to 
immediately pardon both men and place a moratorium on capital punishment and to 
later remove the practice from the law books.

The European Parliament claims there were shady and serious faults in human 
rights, premeditated ignoring of justifiable evidence during court procedures, 
as well as serious procedural violations during the initial hearings and while 
the case was being heard in the court of law. The parliament has demanded that 
the case be reinvestigated.

The terrorist act was carried out in Minsk on April 11, 2011. 15 people were 
killed and more than 200 were injured from the explosion. The main suspects in 
the crime were Konovalov, who the court said built the explosive device, 
brought it to the subway station, and detonated it, as well as Kovalyov, who 
knew about the terrorist act being planned but failed to alert the appropriate 

(source: RIA Novosti)


SIS criticises deportation of Hamza Kashgari

Sadly, despite its attempt to promote Malaysia as a moderate Muslim country, 
the Malaysian government has failed to match its rhetoric with its actions, 
says Sisters in Islam (SIS).

Sisters in Islam (SIS) is deeply disappointed that the Malaysian government has 
deported the Saudi blogger Hamza Kashgari without due process. This deportation 
was carried out despite the absence of an extradition treaty between the two 
countries and the probability that Hamza might face the death penalty in Saudi 
Arabia for alleged blasphemy.

Home Minister Dato Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s statement that we have an 
agreement with other countries to always return their citizens should they ask 
for them is therefore questionable. In the absence of an extradition treaty 
with Saudi Arabia, under what legal provision did Hishammuddin act in deporting 
Hamza Kashgari?

Secondly, from what we understand, Hamza Kashgari’s lawyers had been denied 
access to see their client since 10 February 2012 and were not informed of his 
impending date of deportation. In fact, a court order was granted by Justice 
Rohana Yusof to stop the deportation. Therefore, we demand to know which legal 
provision was used by the Malaysian government to arrest and detain Hamza 

Thirdly, the Saudi penalty for blasphemy is death – a punishment found neither 
in the Qur’an nor under Malaysian law. What Allah exhorts in the Qur’an in 
Surah Al-Baqarah, Verse 159 is this:

And it was by God’s grace that thou [O Prophet] didst deal gently with thy 
followers: for if thou hadst been harsh and hard of heart, they would indeed 
have broken away from thee. Pardon them, then, and pray that they be forgiven. 
And take counsel with them in all matters of public concern; then, when thou 
hast decided upon a course of action, place thy trust in God: for, verily, God 
loves those who place their trust in Him. Hamza Kashgari withdrew his tweet and 
made a public apology – surely the Islamic and humane way would be to show him 
compassion and forgiveness.

Fourthly, do we not have any autonomy in deciding our own policies, or do we, 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-02-15 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 15


Financial fraud death sentence reviewed

China's Supreme People's Court is reviewing the death sentence handed down in 
the case of a businesswoman who cheated investors out of multi-million dollars.

Wu Ying's case sparked debate nationwide over whether the sentence was too 

Court spokesman Sun Jungong said yesterday that the court would scrutinize the 
facts and evidence during the review process and prudently handle the case.

Wu, 31, who dropped out of school as teenager, built a business empire from a 
single beauty salon in just three years, Xinhua news agency reported.

But she was arrested in 2007, and the Intermediate People's Court of Jinhua in 
eastern Zhejiang Province found she had illegally pooled 770 million yuan 
(US$122 million) from private creditors between 2005 and 2007 to fund her 
businesses under the Zhejiang-based Bense Holding Group.

Wu cheated investors into pouring in money by making false promises of high 
returns. At the time of her arrest, she still owed 380 million yuan.

Wu had told victims she would use the money to register companies, invest in 
projects and make loans.

The Jinhua court said she had brought huge losses to the nation and people 
with her severe crimes, and should, therefore, be severely punished.

Its death penalty was upheld last month by Zhejiang's Higher People's Court, 
leading to widespread debate over whether the punishment was too harsh for an 
economic crime.

Many people, including legal experts, called for leniency.

Sentencing Wu to death is a shame on China's legal system, said Wang Wei, 
chairman of the Chinese Museum of Finance, on his microblog.

Wang said that Wu's case was a by-product of China's current financial 
environment in which a fundraising system was evolving. It's unfair to blame 
one person for the defective banking system, Wang said.

Economist Han Zhiguo said: The Supreme People's Court should listen to the 
public and give more tolerance to private lending activities.

Wu, who was, in 2006, the sixth richest woman on China's mainland with personal 
assets of 3.6 billion yuan, began by raising money from friends.

She offered them deals that included guarantees of 80 percent interest a year 
and 5 percent daily returns.

Her debts had reached 14 million yuan by the end of 2005 but she expanded the 
scheme in 2006. She began to look for more investors in Zhejiang, offering even 
higher interest.

(source: English People's Daily)


Indian gets death penalty for killing fellow countryman in Singapore

An Indian construction worker has been awarded death penalty on charges of 
murdering his fellow countryman here, local media reported on Wednesday.

Periyasamy Devarajan, 20, who was accused of killing 31-year-old Raju 
Arivazhagan on February 8 this year, was convicted by a court on Tuesday, The 
Straits Times reported.

Devarajan, a native of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, was in remand for one 
week before being prosecuted for murder charge, which carries a mandatory death 

Arivazhagan was working in Singapore for past 6 years. He went missing on 
Tuesday last after celebrating the South Indian Hindu festival of Thaipusam in 
the Little India precinct.

Later, his body was recovered by police from under a flyover Thursday last.

(source: NDTV)

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[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-02-15 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 15


Death penalty likely for drug smugglers who fired at police in Abu Dhabi2 
accused confess to smuggling in 20kg hashish across the border

2 men accused of smuggling narcotics and firing at police officers while 
resisting arrest could get the death penalty, the Public Prosecution said on 

The suspects, 26-year-old Emirati M.K.S and 20-year-old Yemeni F.A.A, have been 
charged with using, smuggling and possessing a narcotic substance (hashish) for 
the purpose of trading, possessing an unlicensed firearm and resisting law 
enforcement officers.

At hearings on Tuesday and Wednesday, they confessed to smuggling in 20kg of 
hashish through the UAE's borders with a neighbouring country by hiding it in 
their car's spare tyre. The suspects confessed they set up a meeting with 
buyers — who were undercover officers — to sell the drugs.

After confirming the availability of the drugs and the money that was agreed 
on, the officers attempted to arrest the suspects, resulting in one of the 
suspects opening fire on the two officers with an unlicensed firearm.

The suspect who fired at the officers fled the scene, but Abu Dhabi Police, in 
cooperation with Criminal Investigation Department officers, was able to arrest 
him when he tried to flee the country through the Al Madam area.

The AD Public Prosecution ordered the imprisonment of the 2 suspects pending 
the completion of the investigation. Abu Dhabi's Attorney General also issued a 
resolution to set up a committee to look into the case.

(source: Gulf News)


1 prisoner was hanged in western Iran

1 prisoner was hanged in the prison of Zanjan, reported the state run Iranian 
news agency ISNA.

According to the report the prisoner, who was not identified by name, was 
convicted of participation in armed robbery and disruption of order. The 
execution took place inside Zanjan’s prison yesterday February 14, said the 

(source: Iran Human Rights)


Execution of Children and Iran’s New Penal Code

Within the past few days, much controversy and confusion has ensued over Iran’s 
amendments to those provisions in its Penal Code that pertain to juvenile 
justice. Government authorities have praised themselves for bringing Iran into 
compliance with its international obligation to not execute individuals under 
the age of eighteen. Reporters and commentators have expressed praise, mixed 
with doubt and confusion, about how the amendments can bring about the 
abolition of the death penalty for children in conflict with the law. This note 
discusses some of the flaws and contradictions that are apparent in the Code 
and fundamentally limit its effectiveness in terms of preventing the execution 
of children.

Our analysis should begin with defining two distinct yet interrelated concepts: 
the minimum age of criminal responsibility and the age of majority.

- The minimum age of criminal responsibility is the minimum age below which 
children are presumed not to have the capacity to infringe the penal law. 
Articles 145 and 146 of the Code put this age (referred to in the Code as the 
age of maturity)- at 9 for girls and 15 for boys.

- The age of majority is, by contrast, the age after which individuals are held 
to fully comprehend the consequences of their criminal decisions and are to be 
punished as adults. The Code does not provide a clear definition of this age. 
Its provisions suggest, however, that it is the internationally accepted age of 

As commentators, it is imperative that we do not collapse these 2 concepts into 
each other so that we can arrive at a realistic assessment of the promises and 
limitations of the new code.

Age of Majority

The standards of international law as contained in the Convention on the Rights 
of the Child (CRC) are clear with respect to the age of majority: Individuals 
do not reach it until they become eighteen. As a signatory to the CRC, Iran 
must respect this definition and prohibit the use of adult punishments 
including the death penalty for all individuals who were under the age of 18 at 
the time of committing an offence.

The New Code is a welcome but insufficient step in this direction. Its 
relatively progressive character relates to those provisions of it that divert 
under-18 offenders away from the criminal system and to correctional centers. 
Its insufficiency lies in the exception however that it carves out for crimes 
that incur the punishment of had and qesas. Article 90 of the Code provides 
that mature under-18 individuals (i.e., boys between the ages of 15 and 18 and 
girls between the ages of 9 and 18) who are convicted of had and qesas crimes 
may be exempted from adult sentences including the death penalty if [and this 
is an enormously consequential if] they establish that they were not mentally 
mature and developed at the time of committing the crime, and could not 
recognize and 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-02-14 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 14


Commute death sentence to life: Kasab tells Supreme Court

Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab, convicted for the 26/11 Mumbai terror 
attack, today pleaded the Supreme Court to commute his death sentence to life 

Arguing for Kasab, Raju Ramachandran, who was appointed by the top court to 
represent him, said that the cost of keeping the terrorist alive should not be 
considered by the court while deciding whether to hang him or not. He further 
added that it is for the legislature to consider the cost criteria.

Kasab is lodged in a special cell in Mumbai's high-security Arthur Road jail, 
the construction of which alone cost the state exchequer over Rs. 5.24 crore.

Stressing on the Pakistani gunman's age as an important factor to commute his 
sentence, Mr Ramachandran said, Kasab is young and was drawn into this by 
exploitation of religious faith, false ideology and distortion...young age 
coupled with economic conditions drove Kasab to this path.

Saying that Kasab has not waged war against India, Mr Ramachandran told the 
court that there was a denial of fair trial to him. The choice before the 
Supreme Court is life and irreversible death penalty. It would not be prudent 
to affirm the extreme penalty, he said. He also told the court that Kasab 
should be treated like any other accused.

To this, the top court observed that the Pakistani gunman's trial was unlike 
any ordinary murder trial. There may be hundreds of murder trials going in 
this country because of the facts and circumstances of the case. But in many 
ways, this is entirely different. Application of law is one thing but the 
manner of trial is different - venue of the trial (inside jail), special court, 
day to say hearing etc,, the court said.

The Maharastra government will counter the arguments by Kasab's counsel 
tomorrow. Former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam is representing the state 

The trial court sentenced Kasab to death on May 2010, an order which was later 
upheld by the Bombay High Court in February last year.

(source: NDTV News)


3 Executed by Militants for Helping U.S. in Yemen

Islamist militants in southern Yemen said they executed 3 men on Sunday for 
giving the United States information used to carry out drone strikes in the 

Residents of the towns of Jaar and Azzan said 2 Saudis and 1 Yemeni were 
beheaded at dawn by the militant group Ansar al-Sharia.

A spokesman for the group later said none of those executed were Saudi 
citizens, but all three had been working for the intelligence services of the 
kingdom, a close ally of the United States.

A number of important figures in Al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen are Saudi militants 
wanted by the authorities in Riyadh.

The United States has been launching drone strikes against militants in the 
south. Last month, at least 12 people were killed in one such attack.

Federal prosecutors in the United States said Friday that Anwar al-Awlaki, a 
leader of Al Qaeda’s Yemen affiliate who was killed in a drone strike last 
year, had personally directed and approved the 2009 attempt to blow up an 
airliner over Detroit.

Weakened by months of protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s 
government has lost control of whole chunks of the country, giving Islamist 
militants room to tighten their grip in the south.

In Aden late on Saturday, witnesses said, separatists set fire to a tent camp 
housing about 100 antigovernment protesters, in opposition to an election on 
Feb. 21 to replace Mr. Saleh. About 10 people were injured.

Last year, southern separatists joined protesters calling for Mr. Saleh to 
leave, but the 2 sides have since grown apart.

The separatists want to revive a southern socialist state that was united with 
the north in 1990. They fear that the election will not serve their goal.

Anti-Saleh demonstrators broadly back the vote as a step toward ending his 
33-year rule.

Northern Shiite rebels have said they too will boycott the vote, in which 
acting leader Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is the sole candidate.

Mr. Saleh is in the United States receiving medical treatment for injuries 
inflicted during an assassination attempt, but he has said he will return home 
before the vote, shedding doubt on his commitment to leave office in line with 
a Persian Gulf-brokered plan to end a year of political upheaval.

(source: Reuters)


Prosecutors say will push for death penalty – Suspected Bali bomber on trial in 

A Muslim militant arrested in the same Pakistani town where US commandos later 
killed Osama bin Laden stood trial in Indonesia yesterday on charges including 
murder for the 2002 Bali bombings. Umar Patek, 45, faces 5 other counts, 
including bomb-making and illegal firearms possession, and prosecutors say they 
will push for the death penalty.

Amid a security lockdown, with anti-terrorism units deployed in 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-02-03 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 3


Death row inmate hanged

The Department of Prison and Rehabilitation confirmed that death row inmate, 
Zibani Thamo, hanged yesterday morning.

In a statement the department says that the execution was carried out on 
Tuesday morning but did not state who carried it out and where the body was 
buried. However, it is common knowledge that prison warders are the one who 
carry out the execution and burial in the prison compound.

Thamo was convicted of the 2007 murder of his girlfriend Sihle Dube. The 
Francistown High Court learnt that Thamo mutilated his girlfriend and scattered 
her pieces along the Tati riverbank. He was sentenced to death in March 2011 
and immediately sought the intervention of the Court of Appeal in September, 
which upheld the sentence.

His execution leaves 3 death row inmates being, Modise Tlhokamolelo, Mangombe 
Tadubane and Gatlhalosamang Gaboakelwe. Thamo's execution brings the number of 
hanged convicts to two since President Ian Khama took office in 2008.

The 1st one was Modise Fly in 2010, who was convicted of the murder of his son 
in Francistown while he was avenging the sour relationship between him and the 
mother of his son. Meanwhile former death row inmates Brandon Sampson and South 
African Michael Molefhe are due for release this year. Prisons spokesman 
Wamorena Ramolefhe would not disclose when the duo is going to walk free nor 
would he reveal where they are currently kept for security reasons.

(source: Mmegi Online)


High court orders hanging for hit men in political murder case

Convicted killers of the activist wife of business mogul Chief Moshood Abiola 
were sentenced to death this week in a long-delayed decision by Nigeria's high 

Alhaja Kudirat Abiola was murdered 16 years ago in a gruesome murder 
orchestrated by an aide to the former military ruler Sani Abacha and a protocol 
officer of her husband as she was being driven to the U.S. embassy. The two 
major conspirators to her death, Major Hamza Al-Mustapha and Alhaji Lafeef 
Sofolahan, received the ultimate penalty at the Lagos High Court sitting at 

The Abiolas were a distinguished political family. MKO Abiola, a self-declared 
pan-Africanist, was the founder of over a dozen enterprises that included 
banks, ocean liners and a soccer club. He was President of the Nigerian Stock 
Exchange, Patron of the Kwame Nkrumah Foundation and patron of the WEB du Bois 
Foundation, among others.

The Congressional Black Caucus hailed him as a hero in the global pursuit to 
preserve the history and the legacy of the African diaspora.

MKO's successful run for the presidency was annulled by the military in June 
1993, after which he was jailed by the Sani Abacha regime. This led Kudirat to 
take an active part in the pro-democracy movement, including a role in the 
freedom march in Lagos in 1995.

She was killed on June 4, 1996. The trial is said to be the longest in Nigerian 
history, spanning over 5 judges and the recantations of several witnesses. An 
appeal has already been filed by Major Al-Mustapha, according to the BBC.

(source: New York Amsterdam News)


Death is too high a price for Wu to pay

The death sentence handed last month to businesswoman Wu Ying for fraud has 
prompted a rare unanimous plea for mercy from the mainland public, and rarer 
still, some rational discussions on the use of capital punishment.

If the public's concerns are heeded, this could perhaps also provide impetus 
for a bolder change to death sentence reviews in the upcoming amendment of the 
Criminal Procedure Law.

The 29-year-old Wu, who started her own hair salon at the age of 15 and went on 
to become the billionaire owner of Bense Holding Group in Zhejiang , was 
arrested in 2007 and convicted in 2009 for illegally collecting public funds 
worth up to 770 million yuan (HK$947.6 million) with the intention to defraud.

More recently, on January 18, the Zhejiang High Court upheld the death 
sentence, shooting down defence lawyers' arguments that Wu was only borrowing 
money for an overambitious business that ultimately failed. Now her life is in 
the hands of the Supreme People's Court, which will hold a final review of the 
death sentence soon.

Wu's case has drawn widespread sympathy from the mainland public for several 
reasons. Compared to most suspended death sentences imposed on corrupt 
officials in recent years, Wu's punishment seems unnecessarily harsh.

It is also a well-known fact that, due to policy restraints, it is very 
difficult for private mainland entrepreneurs to obtain loans from banks. The 
line between private borrowing and illegal fund-raising has become dangerously 

The authorities have taken various steps in recent years towards easing back on 
capital punishment, in line with international trends. One such step in 
February last year was cutting the list of crimes punishable by death to 55 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-02-02 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 2


Germans, Moroccan face death in Malaysia drug case

2 Germans and a Moroccan man are facing the death penalty on charges of 
smuggling more than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of methamphetamine into Malaysia, 
known for its strict anti-drug laws.

A district court near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport charged the three 
men on January 13 with drug trafficking, said a customs official who declined 
to be named.

Airport officials arrested the men arriving from Istanbul on January 1 after 
finding 10.2 kilograms of methamphetamine hidden in the bags they were 
carrying, the official said Wednesday.

He said no plea had been recorded from the three pending the case’s transfer to 
a high court once a chemist report on the drugs is ready.

The 2 Germans have parents from Afghanistan but were born in Germany, while the 
Moroccan has lived in Germany for 15 years, the official said.

Authorities in the Southeast Asian country went on “red alert” late last year 
following a surge in arrests and drug seizures, tightening passenger and 
luggage screening.

Despite Malaysia’s strict laws — death by hanging is the mandatory penalty for 
drug trafficking convictions — Kuala Lumpur airport authorities last year 
seized some 195 kilograms (430 pounds) of drugs and held more than 30 people.

Smugglers have traditionally arrived from Africa and the Middle East but are 
increasingly coming from countries such as Turkey and the Philippines, 
according to officials.

A high court sentenced a 23-year-old Iranian mechanic to death Monday for 
trafficking 1.4 kilograms of methamphetamine two years ago, according to the 
official Bernama news agency.

Several other Europeans, including 2 from Britain, 1 from the Netherlands and 1 
from France, were arrested in drug raids in Malaysia and charged with 
trafficking in November.

In October, a Malaysian court sentenced a Japanese woman to death for smuggling 
methamphetamine into the country in what officials said was the 1st such case 
involving a citizen of Japan.

(source: Agence France-Presse)

Perth opal dealer faces Malaysia's gallows Aja Styles

A 31-year-old Perth businessman faces the death penalty in Malaysia after being 
charged with the murder of a Malay woman, 25, who was abducted and later killed 
while jogging with her younger sister 6 years ago.

Shahril Jaafar, who is a permanent resident in Australia and works for his 
father's meteorite and opal company, was arrested at the Kuala Lumpur 
International Airport on January 17.

Yesterday he faced the Sungai Petani Magistrates Court unrepresented and was 
not required to enter a plea.

Mr Jaafar was charged under Section 302 of Malaysia's Penal Code, which means 
he could be hanged if found guilty.

He is accused of abducting snack food marketing executive Chee Gaik Yap, 25, 
who had been out jogging in the housing area of Kelab Cinta Sayang on the night 
of January 14 with her then 24-year-old sister when she disappeared.

The recent university graduate's body was found 9 hours later in a semi-nude 
state, with a 10cm wound to the top of her head and an almost severed neck, a 
local news agency reported.

It was believed she was tailed by her assailant, kidnapped and taken elsewhere 
to be raped and killed before her body was dumped near the housing estate, 
according to The Star online.

Following investigations, Mr Jaafar was arrested and released on police bail, 
pending his DNA result. However, he fled the country to Australia where he 
managed to obtain permanent residency, according to New Straits Times.

News organisations reported that for 6 years, police kept an eye on all 
airports and entry points for the businessman who had fled the country in the 
same year.

Clad in purple-coloured prison attire, Mr Jaafar was calm when the charge was 
read to him before Magistrate Raja Shahril Anuar Raja Baniamin, The Star online 

Mr Jaafar was kept in custody until his next hearing date on March 11, when DNA 
and chemist reports were expected to be presented.

None of the family members of the victim and the accused were at the court. 
However, a man believed to be a family friend of the accused was seen talking 
with Mr Jaafar at the court, the news site said.

The Star had previously written a feature article about Mr Jaafar's family 
business since his father was considered a prestigious man, marked by the title 

Jamaludin Jaafar frequently jetted between his two homes in Canning Vale, 
Perth, and Sungai Petani, Kedah, in Malaysia, to run his business that mainly 
features jewellery made out of opals, meteorites and rare gemstones.

It is a family business that includes his wife Datin Norbariah Ibrahim and 
their 4 children, Rosmina, Zamani, Shahril, and Amirah.

The family moved to Perth in 1994 when Mr Jaafar senior decided to venture 
abroad and met a group of people who collected fossils, meteorites, and rare 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news-----worldwide

2012-02-01 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 1


17 former death row Indians have criminal case adjourned

The criminal case against 17 Indian men who were spared the death penalty after 
being convicted of murder last year has been adjourned to February 8.

The men were found guilty of killing a man during a brawl in Sharjah in 2009 - 
a fight prosecutors claimed was part of a bootlegging turf war - but were 
spared the death sentence after paying Dh3.4 million in blood money to the 
victim's family last year.

In September of last year, the Sharjah Court of Appeal ordered the men to be 
deported and commuted their sentences to 2 years. But prosecutors appealed 
against the verdict at the Federal Supreme Court, urging it to take into 
account injuries sustained by 3 other men during the brawl as well as further 
charges of possessing and selling alcohol.

However, in December of last year, the apex court transferred the case back to 
the appeal court, ordering it to review only the alcohol charges.

A final verdict had been expected today, but has been adjourned to next 

In a separate civil case, two of the three men who claim they were hurt in the 
brawl have filed a Dh1.5 million compensation suit at the Sharjah Court of 
First Instance. The civil case has been adjourned to February 15.

(source: The National)


Death penalty debate sparked by Tory senator'Every murderer should have a 
rope in his cell,' says Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu

Conservative Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu said Wednesday he's against the 
death penalty, but not opposed to convicted murderers having ropes in their 
cells to kill themselves.

His comments, made to reporters ahead of the Conservative caucus meeting, 
prompted immediate reaction on Parliament Hill and quickly had Boisvenu 

No, I'm not in favour of the death penalty, I think people need to be given a 
chance. But other cases should be reconsidered, he said.

Boisvenu went on to talk about convicted murderers who are deemed to have no 
chance at rehabilitation and gave serial killer Clifford Olson as an example.

Basically I think that every murderer should have a rope in his cell and he 
can decide on his own life. But I'm against the death penalty, Boisvenu said 
in French. He then talked about the cost of housing convicted killers in jail 
and also referred to the Shafia family case, in which a mother, father and 
their son were convicted on Sunday of murdering 4 members of their own family.

Boisvenu later told a television network that he had gone too far with his 
comments and that he shouldn't have made them publicly. He also told a radio 
station that it was an inappropriate thing to say and that mistakes are made in 

He said that he is not lobbying for a debate on the death penalty, but that 
there are plenty of people who would like to see it talked about.

Boisvenu, who was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 
2010, sits on the committee that is studying the government's omnibus crime 
bill. It is holding its first meeting on the bill later Wednesday and senators 
will hear from Justice Minister Rob Nicholson and Public Safety Minister Vic 

NDP calls it a 'sad day'

The Quebec senator is known as a victims' rights advocate and is the founder of 
the Murdered or Missing Persons' Families' Association, a group he created 
after his daughter was murdered in 2002.

While Boisvenu made it clear he is against the death penalty his comments still 
sparked criticism on Parliament Hill.

Interim NDP Leader Nycole Turmel said it was a sad day.

I just hope that it's not the feeling or sentiment of all the Conservative 
senators we have in the House, she told reporters after her party's caucus 

I believe Mr. Harper should have a good discussion with the senator, Turmel 
said. If he maintains his views, he should be asked to withdraw from the Senate 
committee, because that doesn't represent the Canadian society at all.

Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae said Boisvenu's comments were obviously 
completely unacceptable.

He's also suggesting that the prison system break the Criminal Code, which is 
equally ludicrous, he said. Rae said Boisvenu's personal experience may have 
prompted the emotion that led to those remarks but they are still 

I hope Mr. Harper will completely disown them and make it clear that they're 
not the policies of the government, Rae told reporters.

Senator Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu said Wednesday he is against the death penalty 
but not opposed to convicted serial killers having ropes in their cells. 
Boisvenu's fellow senator on the legal and constitutional affairs committee, 
Conservative Bob Runciman, said Boisvenu's opinion is not one he shares and 
that the debate on capital punishment should not be reopened.

Runciman said people should understand what Boisvenu has been through because 
of the loss of his daughter and 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-30 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 30


Chinese fugitive millionaire appeals sentence

A Chinese millionaire who fled to Canada and was jailed for fraud after he was 
deported back to China has lodged an appeal against the sentence, his son and 
lawyer said Monday.

Zeng Hanlin, 66, fled in 2004 to escape the charges but was deported in March 
last year after Canadian authorities dismissed concerns he would be tortured or 
executed if he returned to China.

He was tried and convicted of fraud in November over a stock scheme linked to a 
failed business merger and a court in the southwestern city of Chengdu earlier 
this month sentenced Zeng to 15 years in prison.

We sent the appeal to the Supreme Court in Chengdu, Zeng's son, Sam, told 

We are appealing the original decision and we would like a retrial.

Zeng's lawyer, Yang Zhaodong, told AFP the appeal was lodged last week but he 
had not yet received confirmation from the court, which was closed for the 
week-long Lunar New Year holiday.

AFP calls to the court on Monday went unanswered.

Canada, which does not practise capital punishment, bans the return of 
prisoners to countries where they might face the death penalty. But it has 
recently deported several people wanted by China.

Last year, Canada deported alleged Chinese smuggling kingpin Lai Changxing 
after a 12-year legal battle when Beijing issued an unusual promise not to 
execute him if he was found guilty.

Sam Zeng said his father was innocent of the charges and he wanted the case 
heard in an open court in Beijing to ensure a fair trial.

We don't want the Chengdu court because we will not have a fair trial - we 
want to change the hearing place to Beijing, he said, noting journalists had 
been barred from the original trial and crucial evidence rejected.

Sam Zeng said the family would hold a news conference in Toronto next week 
ahead of Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's visit to China.

He wants Harper, who arrives in Beijing next Monday, to raise his father's case 
during talks with Chinese leaders.

Everyone knows he is innocent. How can they do this? he said, adding his 
father suffers heart problems and diabetes.

(source: Agence France-Presse)


Saudis want swap for imprisoned royals

Saudi Arabia is seeking a prisoner swap for 6 Saudis, including 3 royal family 
members, reported to be on death row in Iraq, officials said.

Iraqi state-run media reported Monday that Saudi officials were pressing for 
the exchange.

Saudi Arabia seeks a deal with the Iraqi government to exchange them with 
convicted Iraqis inside the kingdom, Iraqi lawmaker Kamila al-Moussawi said.

The reasons why the Saudis were imprisoned or sentenced to death were not 
given, Bikyamasr.com reported.

Saudi Arabia's royal al-Saud family has thousands of members, although the 
ruling power lies with descendants of Saudi Arabia's founder, King Abdul-Aziz.

(source: United Press International)


1 prisoner was hanged in western Iran today

1 prisoner was hanged in the prison Zanjan (western Iran) early this morning 
Monday January 30.

According to the state run Iranian news agency Fars, the man who was not 
identified by name was convicted of drug trafficking and sentenced to death by 
the revolutionary court in Abhar. No further details were given in the report.

(source:: Iran Human Rights)


Mumbai gunman in death penalty appeal

India's Supreme Court was due to begin an appeal hearing on Tuesday into the 
death sentence handed down to the lone surviving gunman from the 2008 Mumbai 

Mohammed Kasab, one of 10 gunmen who laid siege to Mumbai in attacks which 
lasted nearly three days and killed 166 people, has appealed for his sentence 
to be overturned after he was convicted in May 2010.

The 24-year-old Pakistani was found guilty of a series of crimes, including 
waging war against India, murder and terror acts.

The November 2008 attacks saw 10 heavily-armed Islamist gunmen storm targets 
including luxury hotels, a Jewish centre and a train station.

2 Supreme Court judges in New Delhi will hear the appeal, which is expected to 
last several weeks after opening with a statement from Kasab's court-appointed 
counsel Raju Ramachandran.

It is a call of duty, Ramachandran told AFP by telephone, declining to talk 
further about the case.

India blames the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) militant outfit for 
training, equipping and financing the attack with support from elements in 
the Pakistan military.

Kasab's death sentence was confirmed by a state high court in Mumbai last year. 
If he loses his Supreme Court appeal, he will be able to appeal for clemency 
from the president.

Ujjwal Nikam, who prosecuted the case in Mumbai on behalf of the Maharashtra 
state, is seeking to push through the death sentence.

This is the rarest of rare cases, Nikam told AFP ahead of the hearing. He 
should not be 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-29 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 29


Mubarak urges world leaders to save him from death penalty

Egyptian daily reports ousted president sent 9 letters to Arab, Western states 
asking to mount pressure on Egyptian authorities to release his family members, 
not sentence him to death .

Susan Mubarak, the wife of ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak sent 9 
personal letters dictated by her husband to a senior attorney, in order for him 
to deliver them to heads of states which had good relations with Mubarak, Ruz 
al-Yusuf Egyptian daily reported on Saturday.

In the letters, which were most likely addressed to the United States, France, 
Britain, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Lebanon, the ailing Mubarak 
pleaded with the leaders to mount pressure on Egyptian authorities to allow his 
2 sons, Gamal and Alaa – who are also facing trial – and his wife to leave the 
country without being sent to jail.

Mubarak also reportedly plead with American officials to dissuade Egyptian 
authorities from sentencing him to death, claiming that the current rulers of 
Egypt and his historic rivals – the Muslim Brotherhood – will not allow the 
court to acquit.

The former Egyptian president is standing trial for his alleged involvement in 
the deaths of civilians during the uprising against him at the beginning of 
2011. Mubarak is accused of involvement in the deaths of 850 protesters as well 
as charges of corruption and abuse of his power as the executive.

Mubarak's sons are also standing trial for alleged involvement in the killing 
of protesters as well as corrupt activities. Some allegations of curroption 
have been made against Mubarak's wife, but she has not been put on trial as of 

(source: Ynetnews)


1 prisoner was hanged in western Iran

1 prisoner was hanged in the prison of Ilam, western Iran.

According to the state run Iranian news agency ISNA , the prisoner who wasn’t 
identified by name, was convicted of murder and had once escaped from the 
prison by blowing the prison wall.

(source: Iran Human Rights)


Guardian Council approves new penal legislation

The Guardian Council has approved the Islamic Penal Code legislation, 
announcing that it does not contradict the principles of Shari’a or the Islamic 
Republic constitution.

ISNA reports that Parliament made necessary reforms in the legislation, and the 
newly approved law will replace the former.

Experts report, however, that the newly approved legislation remains unchanged 
in terms of penal sentences like stoning, dismemberment and execution of 
minors, and gender discrimination persists in many of its articles.

The organization, Justice for Iran, said in an earlier statement that approval 
of this legislation would worsen the already dismal human rights situation in 

“After years of criticism from Iranian and international societies regarding 
numerous points of blatant violation of human rights in Iranian laws, the 
Islamic Parliament is on the verge of approving legislation that not only 
disregards all the aforementioned criticism but in some cases makes the 
situation even worse,” Justice for Iran announced in an earlier statement.

In recent years, Iranian penal sentencing has caused great outrage both in and 
outside Iran, with stories of women sentenced to stoning for adultery, and 
minors sentenced to death who are executed after reaching adulthood behind 
bars. The rise in the number of executions in Iran has drawn criticism from 
human rights groups, who have called on the United Nations to make every effort 
to pressure the Islamic Republic into addressing these issues.


Supreme court upholds death sentence for web programmer

Iran’s Supreme Court has approved the death sentence for Saeed Malekpour, an 
Iranian web developer who has been jailed in Iran since 2008. Iranian 
authorities accuse Malekpour of launching “obscene websites.”

IRNA reports: “Saeed Malekpour in Canada, with the support of an American 
company, began the development of an obscene website in Persian, and in 2008, 
after returning to Iran from Canada, he was identified and arrested.”

He was sentenced to death based on the charge of “spreading corruption on the 

Farideh Eftekhari, Malekpour’s wife, has told the media that her husband had 
merely developed photo-uploading software that was used by a pornographic 
website without his knowledge.

She told The Guardian: “Even if my husband's charges were true, which they are 
not, it's hard to imagine why he should be sentenced to death. I think Iran is 
trying to intimidate the opposition or any sign of protest by sentencing an 
unprecedented number of prisoners to death.”

Malekpour was shown on Iranian state TV a year after his arrest, making 
confessions which he has since retracted, insisting that he had been under 

(source for both: Radio Zamaneh)


Iran media confirm Canada 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-24 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 24


Mother asks Europe to save son from Belarus execution

Lyubov Kovalyova, a Belarussian receptionist, was listening to the radio at 
work in April when she heard that her son had confessed to helping plan a 
terrorist attack - a bomb in a metro station in the capital Minsk which killed 
15 people.

8 months later, after a 2-month trial, her son - who says he is innocent - and 
a childhood friend were condemned to death, a sentence delivered in Belarus by 
a pistol shot at an unannounced time.

In a race to gain a reprieve, Kovalyova is taking her case to European 
institutions, and is also campaigning to abolish the death penalty in her 
country, the only one in Europe still to practise it.

She met the EU sub-committee on human rights last week. On Monday she spoke in 
Strasbourg to the Council of Europe, an international organisation promoting 
human rights and the rule of law. On Tuesday she was scheduled to appear at the 
European Parliament in Brussels.

The focus now is to secure the life of my son, Kovalyova said at the weekend. 
The ultimate goal is to get a moratorium on the death penalty.

Belarus, a former Soviet republic which shares borders with three EU member 
states, as well as Russia and Ukraine, has Europe's longest-serving leader: 
President Alexander Lukashenko has been in power since 1994. But election 
irregularities led to the country's barring from the Council of Europe in 1997, 
making it the sole European country outside the grouping.

Lukashenko, who secured a fourth term in power in December 2010 despite mass 
protests against his rule, has said he is considering a pardon for Kovalyova's 
son, Vladislav Kovalyov, aged 26, and Dmitry Konovalov, 25.

He says he faces a hard decision.

Kovalyova, a slim woman of 47 with short, blonde hair, says her son was framed 
for an act he did not commit.

Law-enforcement agencies say otherwise. Guilt was fully proven in the court. 
Sufficient proof was presented. So any further comment is simply unnecessary, 
Belarussian KGB spokesman Alexander Antonovich told Reuters in Minsk after 
being presented with Kovalyova's allegations.

Since the judgment was delivered by Belarus' Supreme Court, there is no right 
of appeal, and the two on Death Row can only hope now for a presidential 


Kovalyova, who lives in Vitebsk, a small city in eastern Belarus, had never 
left her country until last year when she went to talk about the case in 
neighbouring Poland. Speaking in a Brussels hotel room, she kept her composure, 
except when recalling how she learned about her son's arrest.

The bomb explosion took place last April 11 at evening rush-hour on the 
platform of one of Minsk's busiest metro stations. Apart from the final death 
toll of 15, about 200 people were wounded. Vladislav had left home the previous 
year to work in Minsk as an electrician, so she tried to call him.

I was worried, because he uses the metro to get to work, she said. So I was 
trying to reach him on the phone, but I couldn't get through because the 
network was overloaded.

On the morning of April 12, she reached him. He told her he was fine, as he 
hadn't been in the subway at the time of the blast. His voice was completely 
normal, she said. I was not worried any more after I heard his calm voice.

At 2 a.m. that night, the police came to Lyubov Kovalyova's apartment, and 
searched her son's belongings. Asked by a neighbour what Vladislav was 
suspected of, a policeman said merely that he had been at the wrong place at 
the wrong time.

The following morning, Kovalyova went to the hardware factory where she works. 
At 9 a.m., Lukashenko went on national television and radio to announce that 
authorities had rapidly caught 2 people responsible for the Tuesday bombing - 
and that they confessed to this as well as to two previous incidents - a series 
of blasts in 2005 and another in 2008.

The president said 1 of the 2 was an electrician - like Vladislav. The other 
was a lathe operator - like Vladislav's childhood friend Dmitry Konovalov, who 
had just travelled to stay with him in Minsk in order to visit a girl he'd met 

Lyubov Kovalyova became shocked, hysterical, scared, she says, and went home 
for the day.


In the months after her son's arrest, Kovalyova found a lawyer and decided to 
trust the judicial process, which she thought would find him not guilty.

5 months later, when the trial started, Vladislav told the court he had only 
confessed because of being beaten up. He said he had heard his friend's screams 
from a nearby jail cell. Video of parts of the interrogation shown during the 
trial showed him bruised, his mother said.

He added that later during his detention, after he said he would retract his 
confession, a prosecutor told him he would put a green mark on his forehead - 
which he understood as code for putting a bullet through his head.

When she saw her son in court - for the 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-23 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 23


Feds must help Canadian Iranian on death row: Québec solidaire

Québec solidaire is adding its voice to those calling on Iran to stay the 
execution of a Canadian computer programmer currently on death row in the 
fundamentalist Islamic state.

Saeed Malekpour faces the death penalty over allegations that he created a 
website in Iran that facilitated the distribution of pornographic images. 
Malekpour has been a resident of Canada since 2004.

“Mr. Malekpour did not have access to a fair trial,” said Québec solidaire MNA 
Amir Khadir in a release published on Sunday. “The Canadian government must 
intervene immediately to save Mr. Malekpour by demanding a cancellation of this 
death sentence and the right to a fair trial for this Canadian citizen.”

Amnesty International is also calling for a reversal of the sentence, which was 
handed down last week by an Iranian court.

(source: Montreal Gazette)

JAPANjuvenile faces possible death sentence

Okinawan teen suspected of killing Kadena High student to be tried as 
adultFriends remember slain Kadena student Edward Allshouse

A Japanese teen will be tried as an adult and could face the death penalty if 
convicted of killing of a Kadena High School student with a sword in November, 
the Naha District Prosecutor’s Office said.

The 17-year-old suspect, whose name has been withheld by authorities, was 
indicted formally for the murder and transferred from family court to the Naha 
Detention Center on Friday, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office said.

The teen was arrested in a Yomitan apartment where his friend, Edward Allshouse 
Jr., 17, the son of a U.S. civilian worker, was fatally stabbed in the chest 
with a replica sword during an argument over a woman, Japanese police said.

The suspect will be tried by a jury for murder, a charge that carries the 
possibility of the death penalty under Japanese law. No trial date has yet been 
set, the prosecutor’s office said.

Allshouse was a popular student and member of a local rock band. His death 
caused an outpouring of grief from the small Japanese-American community on 
Okinawa, with about 200 people attending his funeral, including the commander 
of the nearby Torii Station Army base.

Prefectural police said Allshouse was stabbed with the sword in the left side 
of his chest at about 5 a.m. on Nov. 26 at the suspect’s apartment in Yomitan 
and died about 7 hours later at a local hospital.

The suspect, who was unemployed and living alone in the Takashiho district, 
told Okinawa police that the 2 were arguing over a woman and he attacked 
Allshouse, a police spokesman told Stars and Stripes.

The teen called an ambulance after the incident and was immediately apprehended 
at the site, police said.

(source: Stars and Stripes)


Algeria sentences fugitive Qaeda leader to death

A court in Algeria has sentenced a fugitve leader of Al-Qaeda's north African 
wing and 3 of his followers to death for attacks against the military.

The sentence against Mokhtar Belmokhtar and the 3 others was handed down in 
absentia on Sunday night after a day-long trial in Algiers.

6 other suspected members of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), who are 
also currently on the run, received sentences of between 2 to 20 years.

All 10 had been accused of involvement in acts of terrorism and participation 
in voluntary acts of homicide against members of the armed forces.

Among the attacks on the charge sheet was a deadly attack in May 2010 when an 
army commander was killed in Djelfa, which lies around 270 kilometres (170 
miles) south of Algiers, by members of the group.

Algerian courts have twice sentenced Belmokhtar to life in prison, including in 
2008 for the assassination of 13 customs officers, but the authorities have 
never been able to capture him and enforce the sentence.

Algeria has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1993.

AQIM also operates in Niger, Mali and Mauritania but its leadership is 
dominated by Algerians and was previously known as the Salafist Group for 
Preaching and Combat, founded in the late 1990s with the aim of toppling the 
Algerian government and creating an Islamic state.

(source: Agence France-Presse)


No decision yet on Gadhafi son's trial: ICC

The International Criminal Court said on Monday it has not decided whether Saif 
al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the overthrown Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi, should 
be tried in Libya, contradicting earlier comments by a Libyan minister.

Libya and the international war crimes court appear to be at loggerheads over 
where Saif al-Islam's trial should take place.

Depending on the outcome, Gadhafi's most prominent son could either face the 
death penalty in his home country, or the prospect of awaiting trial in a 
comfortable detention center known as The Hague Hilton in the Netherlands, 
with no risk of capital punishment.

The ICC issued 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-20 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 20


Egyptian Church spokesman argues against death penalty for Mubarak

A spokesman for the Catholic Church in Egypt has argued against the imposition 
of the death penalty for former President Hosni Mubarak.

Mubarak, who was deposed last year, is being held responsible for the deaths of 
850 people during the “Arab Spring” demonstrations of January 2011. But Father 
Rafik Greiche said that the Church “is against the death penalty for any 

Mubarak’s lawyer has argued that the former Egyptian leader cannot be convicted 
for the massacres of January 28, since he had already ceded is power to the 
country’s military leaders and was not in a position to give the order to fire 
into the crowd.

(source: Cathoilc Culture)


State moves HC for death penalty to one of Katara’s killers

The Delhi High Court today issued notice to Sukhdev Pehalawan, the third person 
sentenced to life term in the Nitish Katara murder case, on a state’s plea 
seeking death penalty for him.

A bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha sought Pehalwan’s response by 
February 1 on a petition by Special Public Prosecutor Dayan Krishnan seeking 
capital punishment for him in the case.

Citing Pehalwan’s conduct in the case, the prosecution, in its petition, said, 
“Pehalwan is not capable of being reformed or rehabilitated as it is evident 
from his conduct post-crime and the circumstances.”

According to the petition, after killing Katara, Pehalwan, in collusion with 
co-accused Vikas and Vishal Yadav, did not only burn the body but also tried to 
destroy the evidence.

“The trial court should have awarded maximum punishment to Pehalwan as he did 
not only kill the victim but had tried to destroy evidence after murder,” said 
the petition.

Pehalwan, an alleged henchman of former Rajya Sabha member D P Yadav’s son 
Vikas and nephew Vishal, was awarded life term by the trial court in July 12, 
last year for abducting and killing business executive Nitish Katara in 
collusion with the duo in February 2002.

While pronouncing the sentence, the trial court had rejected prosecution’s plea 
for death sentence to him, saying the case did not fall under the category of 
the rarest of rare crimes.

“The case of the appellant cannot be taken to fall in a category where murder 
was committed with a motive which evinced total depravity and meanness, for 
example, murder by hired assassin for money or reward,” the trial court had 

The trial court had also rejected state’s arguments that the case could be 
treated as ‘honour killing’ and Pehalwan should be awarded death penalty as it 
said the victim was not related to the convict.

Pehalwan was present with the Yadavs in their car when they had abducted Nitish 
from a marriage function in Ghaziabad and killed him on the night of February 
16, 2002.

His trial was separated from those of Vikas and Vishal as he had jumped bail 
and was declared a proclaimed absconder.

His trial started only after his arrest in 2005.

He was chargesheeted in April 2006 for murder, abduction and destruction of 

The Yadavs did not approve of the affair of their sister Bharti Yadav with 

Vikas and Vishal were earlier awarded rigorous life imprisonment for their role 
in the murder of Nitish, a son of an IAS officer.

(source: The Hindu)


Students face death penlty

2 Nigerian students were charged at the magistrate’s court here with possession 
of 714gm of cannabis.

Abu Bakar Gidato Umar, 23, and Eze John, 20, allegedly had 94 clear plastic 
packets containing the cannabis with them in a car at Persiaran Surian 
Damansara at 9.15pm on Dec 5 last year. No plea was recorded.

The offence under Section 39(B) of the Dangerous Drugs Act carries the 
mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

Abu Bakar’s lawyer Shahul Hameed Abdul Wahab requested for copies of the 
chemist’s report and charge sheet but DPP Siti Ruvinna Mohd Rawi said the 
report was not ready.

Magistrate Ahmad Solihin Abd Wahid set March 8 for mention of the case.

Teenage son charged with 4 counts of murder and 1 attempted murder

The 44-year-old mother of the 17-year-old youth who is suspected of killing 
four persons in a family on last January 3 will become a key police witness in 
the case which rocked this town.

Sessions Court judge Indra Ayub released the mother under Section 118 of the 
Criminal Procedure Code upon the expiry of her remand yesterday.

She was released on a court bond of RM10,000 with one surety.

Ayub also ordered her to report herself to the Sibu Central police station once 
a month.

Meanwhile, the same court charged her teenage son with 4 counts of murder under 
Section 302 of the Penal Code and 1 count of attempted murder under Section 307 
of the Penal Code.

By virtue of Section 302 of the Penal Code, the suspect is facing the death 
penalty for murder and a maximum jail sentence of 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-14 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 14


2 prisoners were executed- 9 others to be executed in the coming days

2 prisoners were executed in Tehran’s Evin prison and 9 others are scheduled to 
be hanged in the coming days in Shiraz, reported the Iranian state media.

According to Shargh newspaper, 2 prisoners were executed in the Evin prison of 
Tehran, Wednesday morning January 11. According to the report the prisoners 
were identified as Fazlollah and Jalal who were both convicted of rape. 
Fazlollah was also sentenced to 173 lashes for immoral relationship.

The report also mentioned that 3 Afghan citizens were also sentenced to death 
by a Tehran court and the execution order was confiermed by the head of the 
Iranian judiciary.

The state run Iranian news agency Aftab reported that 9 prisoners will be 
executed in Shiraz (southern Iran) in the coming days.

According to this report 2 of the prisoners were convicted of rape, 1 prisoner 
convicted of murder and 2 prisoners were convicted of armed robbery. These 
prisoners will be hanged publicly, while 4 other prisoners who were convicted 
of drug-related offences will be hanged in the Adelabad prison of Shiraz.

(source: Iran Human Rights)


Political Prisoner Mohamad Javad Lari Has Been Sentenced To Death Once Again

Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court’s presiding Judge, Salavati, has once 
again sentenced Mohamad Javad Lari to death.

Judge Salavati had before issued a death sentence for Javad Lari. Upon appeal, 
the Supreme Court over turned the death sentence and sent the case back to 
Judge Salavati’s court.

Javad Lari was arrested last year and was tried and sentenced to death by Judge 
Salavati. The death sentence was overturned by Judge Biyazi, the presiding 
Judge at Branch 32 of the Supreme Court. The case was returned to Branch 15 of 
the Revolutionary Court presided by Judge Salavati.

Judge Salavati sentenced Javad Lari to death once again based on the testimony 
from an Intelligence Ministry’s agent and based on Javad Lari’s support of the 
Mojahedin Khalgh Organization (MKO) in the 80's.

It should be noted that Intelligence Ministry’s special interrogator for 
Mojahedin members, Alavi, met with Javi Lari in Evin Ward 350 sometime ago and 
told him, “You have lived on borrowed time since the 80's. You should have been 
executed at that time.”

57 years old Javd Lari suffers from heat ailment and in was sent to hospital 
from Evin prison several times in recent months.

PS: Javad Lari was a political prisoner in the 80's. He was in prison for three 
years charged with supporting MKO. Javad Lari, a well known Tehran Bazar 
businessman was arrested September 2009.

(source: HARANA)


Iran Pastor Nadarkhani Rejects Release Offer

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani in an Iranian prison

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has rejected an offer to be released from 
prison if he publicly acknowledges Islam's prophet Mohammed as a messenger 
sent by God well-informed Christians and rights activists said Friday, January 

Iranian authorities reportedly summoned lawyers for Pastor Nadarkhani to his 
home city of Rasht on December 30, to explain the deal. Local officials 
indicated they would release the pastor if he agreed to make the statement 
about Mohammed, Christians with close knowledge about the situation explained.

However, Pastor Nadarkhani has refused to do so, and remains in prison 
awaiting a final decision on his case, confirmed advocacy group Christian 
Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) in a statement to BosNewsLife.

Christians said the pastor has made clear that making the demanded statement 
about Muhammed would amount to abandoning his faith in Jesus Christ.

Another source assisting the pastor told BosNewsLife there is concern about the 
renewed pressure on Nadarkhani, who faces execution for refusing to recant his 
Christian faith and return to Islam.


Keep in mind that brother Youcef has not had a Bible the entire two years and 
about three months that he has been in prison. He has no access to a computer 
or the outside world other than meeting with his wife and family, the source 

Yet, the Christian said that The Holy Spirit is sustaining him in his faith 
and endurance. He added that the 34-year-old pastor, who is married with 2 
children, is healthy in mind and body and his faith is as strong as ever.

Pastor Nadarkhani was detained in the city of Rasht in October 2009, while 
trying to register his Church of Iran home congregation, with hundreds of 
members in Gilan province.

The Church of Iran has also several other congregations, making it one of the 
largest house church movements in the country.

In September 2010 he was tried and found guilty of apostasy, or abandoning 
Islam, and sentenced to death by hanging.

After further legal wrangling in 2011, during which the pastor refused to 
recant his faith to save his own life, his case was eventually 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-10 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 10


'Gay people should get the death penalty’: 5 Muslim men on trial for stirring 
up hatred after 'handing out homophobic leaflets near mosque -One leaflet 
called The Death Penalty? showed image of mannequin hanging from a noose and 
said buggery led to hell, court hears

-Jury told the 'horrible' leaflets were designed to stir up 'hatred and 
hostility against homosexual people'

-Prosecution of the group is first of its kind since new laws were passed

A group of Muslim men handed a leaflet out to the public that called for 
homosexuals to be 'punished' and given the death sentence, a court has heard. 
The 5 men gave out the pamphlet, called The Death Penalty?, which showed an 
image of a mannequin hanging from a noose and said buggery was a great sin 
leading to hell, the court wast told.

It also said that it used to be punished by hanging and that people practising 
and allowing homosexuality would suffer, the court was told.

Ihjaz Ali, 42, Mehboob Hussain, 45, Umar Javed, 38, Razwan Javed, 27, and Kabir 
Ahmed, 28, are alleged to have handed out the document outside and near the 
Jamia Mosque in Derby, in July 2010.

They are also alleged to have put it through people's letterboxes in the 

All 5 men are accused of stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual 
orientation in the 1st prosecution of its kind since legislation came into 
force in March 2010.

Opening the prosecution's case at Derby Crown Court today, where the 5 men are 
on trial after denying all charges, prosecutor Bobbie Cheema said the case was 
an example of a hate crime.

She told the jury of 7 men and 5 women: 'The essence of this case will come 
down to this - an allegation of a hate crime, that these 5 defendants were part 
of a small group of men who distributed horrible, threatening literature, with 
quotations from religious sources and with pictures on them, which were 
designed to stir up hatred and hostility against homosexual people.'

Miss Cheema showed the jury a series of 3 leaflets the men are said to have 
handed out, which included The Death Penalty? leaflet, and told them they would 
hear from witnesses who received them.

The 2 other leaflets were made and used as part of the campaign to publicise a 
counter-protest in response to the Gay Pride parade due to be held in Derby on 
July 10, 2010, she said.

She added: 'The leaflets you will see are not educational or simply 
informative, they are, we suggest, threatening, offensive, frightening and 
nasty.' The Death Penalty? leaflet, which mentions execution and says it is the 
only way the immoral sin of homosexuality can be erased from society, was 
handed out to people outside the Jamia Mosque after Friday prayers on July 2, 
she said.

Miss Cheema said a police officer near the mosque at the time was handed a copy 
by Razwan Javed, who is Umar Javed's brother, and was then given a 2nd leaflet 
by Kabir Ahmed in nearby Madeley Street.

Miss Cheema said this came after a previous 2 leaflets had been distributed to 
the people of Derby in the streets and through their letterboxes.

The 1st, called 'Turn or Burn', showed images of a burning lake of fire and an 
image of hell.

It stated that the decriminalisation of homosexuality was the root cause of all 
problems, she said.

The 2nd leaflet used the word 'GAY' as an acronym for God Abhors You, and was 
distributed in the same way.

Miss Cheema said Ali first approached police a few weeks before the planned Gay 
Pride parade to talk about a counter-protest by members of the Muslim community 
and was advised that any placards, signs, flyers or speeches that were made 
should be carefully worded so as not to commit any criminal offences.

Many members of the public complained about the first two and on July 1 Ali met 
with police again and told them his group had been giving them out, Miss Cheema 

He was advised that officers were investigating the leaflets to see if any 
criminal offences had been committed.

Ali is also said to have shown police an A4 page of slogans intended for use on 
placards, some had been crossed out by his solicitor, he said, and he asked 
police to check out the remaining ones.

Miss Cheema said they contained such things as 'Stay gay and you will pay' and 
'Adam and Eve, not Steve'.

Ali's request for permission to counter the Gay Pride parade was eventually 
refused because he did not apply to the council with enough time.

Miss Cheema told jurors that Ali, of Derby, was charged with all 4 counts on 
the indictment because the prosecution say he was the person responsible for 
organising the distribution of the leaflets.

Miss Cheema also said a fourth leaflet, Dead Derby, was found but not 

It described homosexuality as a 'vile, ugly, cancerous disease' and asked the 
question 'Gay today, paedophile tomorrow?'

Miss Cheema told the jury that it was just The Death Penalty? leaflet upon 
which the 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-09 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 9


Lawyers demand death sentence for Mubarak

Civil rights lawyers demanded the death penalty for former Egyptian President 
Hosni Mubarak on Monday, joining prosecutor's calls for him to be executed.

We merged our voice with the prosecutor's closing arguments from last week's 
hearing and demanded the death sentence to Mubarak, his former interior 
minister Habib El Adly, and four of his aides for killing hundreds of 
protesters and injuring thousands more, attorney Khalid Abu Bakr told CNN. We 
have proof Mubarak is directly responsible for the killings along with El Adly 
and his aides.

Abu Bakr said Mubarak deserved to die for violating Egypt's criminal law 77.

His negligence and actions led to endangering the national security of the 
country, he said.

The attorney also provided the court with a list of alleged suspects he wants 
indicted, including police officers he said where caught on camera firing their 
weapons on protesters.

Another lawyer, Sameh Ashour, said he provided evidence to the court of 
communication between security forces that prove the presence of snipers on 
rooftop buildings during the revolution.

The judge, Ahmed Refaat, has set aside Monday and Tuesday to hear from at least 
10 civil rights lawyers. The defense is expected to make its closing arguments 
later in the week.

The judge will then decide on a day to announce the final verdict, said Adel 
Saeed, the official spokesman of the General Prosecutor's office. If he is 
fast, we may see a verdict before January 25th -- the day the Egyptian 
uprising began last year.

Last week, the Russian foreign ministry issued a statement, expressing its 
deep concern over the prosecutor's request for a death sentence to Mubarak 
and calling on Egypt to consider Mubarak's old age and poor health. Germany and 
France also issued statements of concern.

Mubarak is accused of corruption and ordering protesters killed during the 
country's uprising last year. He has denied the charges.

2 of Mubarak's sons are also on trial on a variety of charges. The sons, Gamal 
and Alaa, have pleaded not guilty.

Lawyers familiar with the case said it is unlikely Mubarak and his fellow 
defendants will receive the death penalty.

This is in part because of the difficulty in proving the president ordered the 
killings, the lawyers said.

Analysts agreed that while some Egyptians might welcome a death sentence for 
Mubarak, particularly at a time of heightened tension as the anniversary of the 
uprising approaches, he is more likely to receive a prison term.

Many Egyptians have criticized the court proceedings and some worry that 
Mubarak may be acquitted of the murder charges. Five police officers accused of 
killing protesters already have been acquitted.

Amnesty International had estimated more than 840 protesters were killed and 
6,000 injured. Saeed, the prosecutor's spokesman, said the prosecutor's 
estimate of 225 deaths and more than 1,300 injured is lower because there has 
been a differentiation between those killed outside police stations while 
attacking the precinct and those shot while protesting.

(source: CNN)


Bahrain court overturns 2 death sentencesCassation court annulls 
protesters' death sentences, while civil court continues trials of 20 medics.

The court of cassation in Bahrain has overturned a ruling by the court of 
appeals that had sentenced 2 Bahraini anti-government protesters to execution.

Monday's decision will require the court of appeals to re-examine the case and 
issue a new verdict for the 2 protesters earlier sentenced to death, and 5 
others who had been sentenced to life in prison.

The defendents, 2 of whom were tried in absentia, were accused of deliberately 
killing 2 policemen in March.

According to court documents, the accused hit Kashef Ahmad Manzoor and Mohammad 
Farouq Abdul Samad, both working for the interior ministry at the time, with 
large vans. The defendents are then said to have run over the officers in an 
open area near Manama's Pearl Roundabout.

This is a positive verdict. We are optimistic, said Mohsen al-Alawi, a member 
of the team defending one of the men whose death sentence was annulled.

He said that a new witness, a policeman, had come forward after the appeal 
verdict was initially announced, claiming that the charges were fabricated.

His statement has been taken by the public prosecution and we shall use it, 
in the forthcoming retrial, he said.

Medics retrial resumes

Elsewhere in the Bahraini capital, a civil court has begun a new hearing for a 
group of 20 medical staff who were convicted of taking part in crimes against 
the state during anti-government protests that rocked the country last year.

The doctors, nurses and paramedics were handed sentences, ranging from 5 to 15 
years in prison, on September 28, over a raft of charges, including incitement 
to overthrow the the ruling Al Khalifa family.

But a 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2012-01-05 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 5


Bring back death penalty, Liberal elder Henry Bolte told Jeff Kennett

VICTORIA'S longest-serving premier, Henry Bolte, urged Jeff Kennett to pledge 
to reintroduce the death penalty.

Mr Kennett said yesterday he had no doubt he would have won the tightly 
fought 1985 election had he followed Bolte's political advice, but he couldn't 
in all conscience agree to do it.

Mr Kennett recalled how prior to the 1985 election, he had Christmas lunch with 
Bolte, who sent Ronald Ryan to the gallows in 1967 in a storm of controversy - 
the last hanging in Australia.

He said he had arrived with a bottle of whisky for the Liberal elder statesman, 
which they drank before lunch. They drank another bottle over lunch and I've 
got to say, I left the place absolutely legless, Mr Kennett told Fairfax 

But, prior to lunch, Henry was telling me about the forthcoming election and 
he said to me: 'Young man, if you want to win the election . . . there is one 
thing that will get you over the line and that is if you reintroduce capital 

...When Henry brought this up, I said: 'Henry, look, thank you, but I just 
can't do it in all conscience. I would hate ever to be the premier that 
actually sent someone to the gallows to find out I'd made a mistake, or the 
advisers or the law had made a mistake. I can't do it.'

And he said: 'Well, son, if you want to get (elected), you'll introduce 
capital punishment.' 

Mr Kennett said he had lost the 1985 election by 1500 votes, and I've got to 
say to you I have no doubt that had we introduced that policy, it would have 
got us over the line.

It wouldn't have made us as good a government as we were by '92 (when he began 
seven years in government), because we wouldn't have been ready, we (didn't) 
have the policies, we didn't have the people. But that comment sticks in my 

During the interview, Mr Kennett said he had been deeply influenced by the 
hanging of Australian drug couriers Kevin Barlow, 27, and Brian Chambers, 28, 
in Malaysia. But Barlow and Chambers were executed in July 1986.

He said later his memory of the sequence of events might have been faulty, but 
his response to their executions remained vivid. Returning from a game of golf, 
he was so shaken by reports of the executions he pulled his car off to the side 
of the road.

Mr Kennett said there were times when he had heard of an offender who should 
sacrifice their life for what they've done.

But you've got to be so very, very sure and I would always err on the side of 
caution, he said.

He said while Bolte recognised political gain in the death penalty, I think he 
also believed it was the right thing to do morally.

Mr Kennett said Australia was now well past that point.

(source: The Australian)


British hangman cut a bargain deal with Free State Authorities in 1925Irish 
government availed of ‘buy one get one half price’ offer

The Irish government availed of a ‘buy one get one half price deal’ in 1925 – 
from the notorious English hangman Thomas Pierrepoint.

Newly revealed documents confirm that Pierrepoint struck a deal with the Dublin 
authorities to carry out the execution of Annie Walsh (31) and her nephew 
Michael Talbot (24).

They were sentenced to the death penalty for the murder of Annie’s elderly 
husband Edward Walsh at his County Limerick farm.

Pierrepoint was the hangman of choice for the Free State government who chose 
not to employ an Irish executioner after the War of Independence.

The Englishman would regularly travel from his home in Yorkshire to carry out 
hangings in Ireland at a cost of £10 per execution.

In August of 1925 he travelled to Mountjoy Prison in Dublin for the rare double 
hanging and struck a bargain price deal with the Irish authorities.

His invoice totalled just £15 with the hangman slashing the price for the 2nd 
execution to just £5 – or 50% off.

Now his invoice and expenses claim, submitted to Ireland’s Department of 
Finance, is to be auctioned by the Mealy’s sales house in March.

The Irish Times reports that the document, handwritten in spidery black ink, is 
possibly the most macabre ever submitted to the department.

The letter, from his home address near the city of Bradford, requests 
reimbursement of fees and travel expenses for Pierrepoint an unnamed assistant, 
believed to be his nephew Albert Pierrepoint, who was later appointed hangman.

The senior hangman travelled first class, by rail and saloon according to his 
expense claim, while his nephew went by third class travel.

They spent the night before the execution in Mountjoy Prison where they rested 
the gallows equipment. According to the report, refreshments for each man 
amounted to only ‘10 shillings’ as ‘hangmen were discouraged from drinking 
alcohol the night before a job’.

Auctioneer George F Mealy believes the letter could fetch a thousand dollars. 
“It might appeal to collectors and is 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-12-12 Thread Rick Halperin

Dec. 12


Meet the Death Row VolunteersMeet a group of young Australians who spend 
their summers on death row

When recently graduated Melbourne law student Matthew Goldberg visited 
prisoners on death row in the jails of America’s Deep South, he found the 
experience harrowing.

“I met with people on death row in Louisiana and Missippissipi. In each case 
people who had been on death row at that point for a number of years and the 
visits we to either to offer them insight into the running of their case or to 
check on their welfare.”

The then 23 year-old was a volunteer for 3 months at the LCAC (Louisiana 
Capital Assistance Center) - a legal service that assists people on death row 
in the southern states of America.

The LCAC is run by a former Melbourne barrister Richard Bourke who set up the 
intern program in 2001. Each year around twenty volunteers from Australia are 
selected by Melbourne-based not-for-profit Reprieve to work in trials in the 
US. You do not have to be a lawyer or a law student to volunteer. Reprieve has 
sent over teachers, fire-fighters and nurses to work on death row cases.

Interns’ work can include legal research, drafting submissions for appeal work, 
visiting clients in prison, taking witness statements, as well as file 
organisation and photocopying.

Matthew’s first task as an intern was to help prepare documents to try and 
secure a retrial for a man convicted of murdering multiple members of his own 

“The first step in that was to shift through the mountainous archives,” said 

“It was a multiple murder – family issues - he was on the death row – the trial 
had already been and he had already been found guilty. The same jury had to 
make a decision whether he should be executed.”

The LCAC became involved in trying to get the man a new trial.

Matthew was one of ten volunteers working in New Orleans, where he shared a 
house set up by the LCAC with other interns.

For some like Ben Kiely – a Melbourne commercial lawyer – doing a Reprieve 
internship is a regular occurrence. Next year he is returning to the US for his 
third internship.

Ben has visited prisoners and also put together a manual for other lawyers – 
like a how-to guide for death penalty cases.

He said prison visits are an important part of being an intern – as often the 
prisoner, particularly if they have been on death row for a long period of 
time, no longer gets visitors.

Both former interns say you need around $8000 US to support yourself over a 
period of 3 months in the US. Reprieve organise visas and assist with 

Many interns find the experience profoundly affecting. Although they often 
return to jobs in commercial law firms, they continue to volunteer for Reprieve 
back in Australia – helping out with fundraising or sitting on the committee.

Matthew was voted president of Reprieve last month. He says volunteers are 
crucial in fighting the death penalty.

“Reprieve is interested to hear from anyone who stands of in opposition of the 
death penalty. If you are prepared to devote any time or energy to fighting 
this extraordinary punishment by the state we want to hear from you.”

(source: probonoaustralia.com)


Hotelier negotiates blood money settlement to free death-row killers

An Indian businessman has paid close to a million rupees to secure the release 
of 2 compatriots on death row in Sharjah.

TS and PS were found guilty of murdering Chinna Ganganna Chepuri from Hyderabad 
on May 26, 2009. They were also found guilty of bootlegging alcohol.

The Dubai-based businessman, SP Singh Oberoi, the founding president of the 
Indian Punjabi Society, arranged to pay blood money of more than 800,000 rupees 
(Dh56,500) to the victim's family, thereby securing their pardon and release.

He said the men will be free to return home by next week.

We have paid blood money after tracing the victim's family and obtaining the 
letter of pardon. Their death penalties have been waived and they will be 
released in a week's time, he said.

Satnam Singh, the father of PS, 24, said he was overjoyed to hear his son would 
be released from prison. I will be seeing him for the first time in four 
years, said Mr Singh. It will be the happiest day of my life.

Mr Singh said his son moved to Dubai to work as a construction labourer in 
2008. I got a call from him after a few months and he said that he left the 
company due to non-payment of salaries and landed in the jail, he said.

Mr Singh said his family had borrowed up to Dh8,000 from friends and relatives 
to send their son to Dubai.

We are yet to repay the money which we borrowed, said Mr Singh. It was 
difficult for us to believe that he was in jail. He went there to earn money 
and support the family. We were shattered when we heard the news.

Today, he is ready to welcome his son home. We are waiting for him to come 
back and start a new life, 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-12-11 Thread Rick Halperin

Dec. 11


Belarus death-row bomber appeals for clemency

Vladislav Kovalyov, 1 of the 2 men sentenced to death in Belarus for bombing a 
metro station in the capital, Minsk, has appealed to President Alexander 
Lukashenko for clemency.

“In the appeal, he wrote he was not guilty of this heinous crime,” his mother, 
Lyobov Kovalyova, told reporters on Friday.

The 11 April attack killed 15 people and injured hundreds of others.

Kovalyov, 25, was found guilty of “assisting in an act of terrorism,” and 
Dmitry Konovalov, also 25, was convicted of carrying out the attack.

The Supreme Court said on November 30 the 2 men will be executed by firing 

About 160,000 people have signed a petition to President Lukashenko not to 
execute the men, Amnesty International researcher Heather McGill told a news 
conference in Minsk on Friday.

Belarus is the only country in Europe which still uses capital punishment.

(source: Ria Novosti)


Truth about laughing prisoner who wanted to look her best to be shot

She was the Chinese woman seen by millions laughing and joking during her final 
hours on death row.

Pictures circulating on the internet last week showed her asking for a black 
top to wear to make her look ‘less fat’ for her execution.

Finally, she was seen weeping while being marched off to be shot for heroin 

But The Mail on Sunday can reveal that 25-year-old He Xiuling was not a 
hardened criminal but a ‘simple girl’ from the countryside sucked into the 
drugs trade and used as a ‘mule’ by a domineering boyfriend.

Worse still, it appears she was led to believe she might receive a lighter 
sentence if she confessed. She did just that – and was condemned to death.

At her trial Xiuling had pleaded to the judge: ‘Please give me a second chance 
to live. I want to live. I am still young.’

But while wealth and political connections can often secure leniency in China, 
Xiuling had neither.

Just 9 months after her court appearance she was executed with a bullet in the 
back of her head.

Such was her naivety she believed right to the end that she would be spared and 
handed instead a 15-year jail term.

She excitedly told fellow inmates: ‘I’ll still only be 40 when I’m free.’

Details of her case, gleaned from court records, official reports and 
interviews, are likely to further stir debate about the death penalty in China, 
where more prisoners are killed every year than in the rest of the world 

The pictures were taken inside No 1 Detention Centre for Women in Wuhan, 
central China on June 24, 2003. But they were deemed too sensitive for release 
at the time.

They chronicle the 10-hour period before Xiuling and 3 other women were shot – 
an execution timed to coincide with a United Nations no-drugs day.

The daughter of a small-time businessman, Xiuling grew up in Xiantao, a shabby 
city in China’s rural Hubei province.

Though vivacious and outgoing, she found herself trapped in a £2-a-day factory 
job after finishing high school with average grades.

But aged 24, she defied her family and moved to the relatively cosmopolitan 
city of Zhongshan in Guangzhou, southern China, in search of excitement.

There she became besotted with a boyfriend, Wang Qizhi. When she discovered he 
was a drug dealer she threatened to leave him, but he won her back with gifts 
of jewellery and a mobile phone.

In January 2002, Wang persuaded Xiuling to take a consignment of heroin hidden 
in a microwave oven from Guangzhou to Wuhan and deliver it to a hotel.

She was talked into doing 2 more drug runs for Wang, in February and March, but 
on the 3rd trip she was arrested in Wuhan and caught with 15lb of heroin. Wang 
fled and was never caught.

Advised by police to confess in return for the possibility of a lighter 
sentence, Xiuling pleaded guilty and was sentenced to death in September 2002. 
According to a journalist who visited her, Xiuling was convinced her sentence 
would be revoked.

‘Her fellow inmates told her the sentence would be changed to 15 years in 
prison,’ said the journalist. ‘She would sing in her cell.

‘She was a simple girl who never thought her execution would really go ahead.

‘I think warders encouraged her to believe that, maybe out of kindness. But 
they must have known she had no chance.’

It was only a few hours before her execution that Xiuling finally accepted her 
fate. She penned a letter to her parents apologising for being ‘such a 

‘You used to tell me off for being naughty,’ she wrote. ‘But I never knew I 
would get into so much trouble. I wanted to go away and make money to send back 
and to look after you but it all went wrong.’

It was newspaper photographer Yan Yuhong, 36, who captured her last hours. He 
said Xiuling looked so relaxed because she was surrounded by fellow prisoners 
and warders she regarded as friends.

But in the hour before execution her mood changed.

‘She was 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-12-09 Thread Rick Halperin

Dec. 9


Boko Haram: NIREC advocates death penalty for offenders

Nigeria Inter-Religious Council, NIREC, Thursday called for the death penalty 
for anyone found guilty of killing innocent citizen under pretence of belonging 
to any group in the country.

In a statement at the end of its two-day meeting in Ilorin, Kwara State, the 
council condemned the recent security threat posed in the country by activities 
of the Boko Haram sect, insisting that shedding blood of fellow human being “is 
an abomination before God and clearly condemned by our faiths. It is also a 
crime against the laws of the nation. Any one found culpable should be charged 
under the criminal Code with murder.”

The Council co-chaired by the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar 
and President of Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor 
maintained that the government should effectively tackled the menace of Boko 
Haram and other security problems confronting the country.

The statement by the Executive Secretary of the Council, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, 
who is also the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, commended the 
Senate for passing into law the Bill against same sex marriage, stating the 
practice “offends the moral sensibility of our people.

Urging the House of Reps to also pass the bill into law, NIREC urged the 
government not to succumb to pressure from any where to undermine the nation’s 

To curb anti social behaviour among Nigerian youths, it appealed to the Federal 
Ministry of Education to effect the directive of government mandating the 
teaching of Christian religious and Islamic studies in primary and post-primary 
schools in the country.

Commenting on the on-going strike embarked on by the Academic staff of Nigerian 
Universities, ASUU, the Council appealed to the lecturers to suspend their 
strike action to avoid unnecessary disruption of academic activities in 
schools, while urging the government to re-appraise the issues reached with the 
lecturers without delay.

It also condemned wave of corruption in all levels in the country, urging the 
government and Nigerians to team up to bring the menace under control.

(source: The Vanguard)


China farmer gets death penalty for poisoning milk

A Chinese dairy farmer has been sentenced to death for lacing her rival's milk 
supply with industrial salt, causing the deaths of 3 young children, state 
media said Friday.

China has been plagued by a slew of food safety scandals. The government 
cracked down after the industrial chemical melamine was added to milk products 
to appear to bolster the protein content. That 2008 scandal had nationwide 
reach and left 6 children dead and sickened 300,000.

But the latest case was isolated. A local court in Pingliang city in far 
western China's Gansu province found Ma Xiuling guilty of deliberately adding 
nitrite to the milk of a dairy farming couple in revenge for some business 
disputes, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Earlier reports said a month-old baby and 2 children younger than 2 died. 
Xinhua said 36 people were hospitalized.

The Gansu Daily newspaper said Ma's husband, Wu Guangquan, was sentenced to 
life in prison for purchasing the poison.

Both Ma and her husband have lodged appeals, Xinhua said.

(source: Associated Press)


Duo's killer may face death penalty

The sentencing of 2 men who murdered a British couple on their honeymoon has 
taken a dramatic twist after a court heard one of them will no longer be 
automatically exempt from the death penalty.

Newlyweds Ben and Catherine Mullany, from Rhos, near Pontardawe, were both shot 
in the head while on the holiday island of Antigua in 2008. weeks after 
witnessing their marriage, their parents were attending their funerals.

Kaniel Martin, 23, and Avie Howell, 22, were convicted of their murders, and 
the killing of a local shopkeeper in almost identical circumstances, last July.

Following the completion of their 2-month trial, prosecutors said they would 
reserve judgment on seeking the death penalty.

However, Howell looked to have dodged the hangman's noose as it was thought he 
was 17 at the time of the murders, which would have resulted in him getting a 
more lenient sentence.

But Antigua's High Court has heard that Howell's date of birth is not September 
1990, as the trial previously heard, but September 1989.

The evidence apparently came to light after the Director of Public Prosecutions 
had sought a copy of Howell's birth certificate.

Despite the revelation, both Martin and Howell's legal team urged Judge Richard 
Floyd to treat their clients leniently, insisting they were capable of reform.

In mitigation, barristers Michael Archibald and Maureen Payne Hyman both 
claimed Martin and Howell had shown remorse for their crimes, despite refusing 
to testify at their trial. They also stressed the deceased in all three murders 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-12-06 Thread Rick Halperin

Dec. 6


Egyptian killer cop gets 2nd death penalty

A Cairo court handed down a 2nd death sentence to a fugitive Egyptian police 
officer already facing execution for fatally shooting 33 protesters.

Mohamed al-Sunni was given his 1st death sentence in May after he was convicted 
of fatally gunning down the protesters during the 18 days of uprising that led 
to the ouster of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, bikyamasr.com reported.

Al-Sunni indiscriminately opened fire outside a police station of the al-Zaiwya 
al-Hamarah housing development into a crowd of hundreds of protesters Jan. 28 
and then ran from the scene.

He has been on the lam for 11 months with his current location unknown, 
bikyamasr.com reported Sunday.

(source: United Press International)


Cleric advocates death penalty for same sex marriage

Malam Abdulkadir Apaokagi, an Abuja-based Islamic scholar, on Sunday in Abuja, 
called for death penalty for same sex marriage in Nigeria.

Apaokagi in a sermon at the weekly prayer session of Nasrul –lahi-L-Fatih 
Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), said gays in Nigeria were perverts who did not 
deserve to co-exist with right thinking and decent people.

He said gays were worse than murderers, and deserve stiffer penalty than those 
accused of killing fellow human beings.

“Homosexuality and lesbianism are just too dirty in the sight of Allah, those 
who engage in them deserve more than capital punishment. When they are killed, 
their corpse should also be mistreated.”

Apaokagi, who is the deputy chief Imam at the Abuja branch of NASFAT, said in 
his lecture entitled: “The position of Islam on gay marriage” that gay people 
were mentally unstable and could bring severe instability to the society in 
which they lived.

“None of them can pass a psychiatric test, because they are not normal,” he 

The scholar’s sermon came against the background of a recent law passed by the 
Senate banning same-sex marriage and public display of affection by gays in 

The bill, “Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) bill 2011” also prescribed 14 years 
jail sentence for convicted gays in Nigeria.

Quoting from the Quran, Apaokagi hailed the Senate for passing the law, saying 
that Allah decreed marriages only between members of the opposite sex.

“Any society that tolerates gay marriage would come to destruction the way God 
destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for sodomy.

“They are criminals, Allah Himself describes them so, and it is great that the 
Senate has criminalised what they are trying to do.”

He urged the House of Representatives to take a cue from the Senate, and pass 
its own version of the bill without delay so that President Goodluck Jonathan 
could sign a harmonised version into law.

Apaokagi also urged Nigerians to ignore criticisms from the West, and come 
together as one to fight practices that might bring destruction to the country.

(source: The Vanguard)


Asian countries putting thousands to death after unfair trials - new report

A hard-line group of Asian countries are defying the global trend against the 
death penalty and putting to death thousands of people after unfair trials 
every year, Amnesty International and colleagues in the Anti-Death Penalty Asia 
Network (ADPAN) said today in a new report.

Some 14 Asian countries, taken together, execute more people than the rest of 
the world combined. Worryingly Thailand and Taiwan have both resumed use of the 
death penalty after a period of cessation.

The report, When justice fails: thousands executed in Asia after unfair trials, 
highlights the struggle to secure a fair trial in eight of these countries. The 
report calls for action for eight people facing execution in China, India, 
Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan and Pakistan. In each case, a 
death sentence was delivered after an unfair trial and in six of the cases the 
conviction relied on a confession extracted through torture.

Catherine Baber, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Asia-Pacific, 

The flawed justice systems in many of these countries, creates a situation 
where people are executed after blatantly unfair trials where they have had 
little or no access to legal advice and may even have been convicted after 
being tortured into confessing.

Over 1/2 of all Asian countries have officially abolished the death penalty, or 
have in practice not carried out executions in the last 10 years.

Yet Taiwan restarted executions in 2010 after a 4-year break, despite declaring 
a policy of gradual abolition in 2000. Thailand resumed executions in 2009, 
despite committing to abolishing the death penalty in its human rights action 

Chiou Ho-shun is Taiwan’s longest-detained criminal defendant in its 
longest-running criminal case. Sentenced to death for murder in 1989, he has 
been detained for more than 23 years. His case was described by lawyers as “a 
stain on our country’s 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-12-04 Thread Rick Halperin

Dec. 4


Drug Suspects Excrete 137 Wraps of Drugs At MMIA

2 drug suspects arrested at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), 
Okonkwo John Martins Ebuka, 21 and Ajaekwe Chinedu Charles, 31, vomited and 
excreted no fewer than 137 wraps of methamphetamine from their systems.

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) in a statement Friday, signed 
by Ofoyeju Mitchell, head, Public Affairs of the agency, quoting Airport 
Commander, Hamza Umar, said, 'Immediately they tested positive for drugs, 
officers were taking them for documentation when Okonkwo openly vomited two 
wraps of drugs he ingested.'

The statement said, 'While under observation, he excreted 45 wraps of 
methamphetamine weighing 800 grammes.

Ajaekwe Chinedu excreted a total of 88 wraps also of methamphetamine weighing 

Also, it was revealed that Okonkwor is among 2 Malaysia bound passengers who 
tested positive for drug ingestion at the Murtala Muhammed International 
Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The suspects brazenly disregarded the death penalty for drug trafficking in 
Malaysia but they were lucky to have been arrested while attempting to board 
Emirate and Qatar flights at the airport.

Ebuka who vomited two wraps of substances that tested positive for 
methamphetamine sells generator parts at Trade Fair complex, Ojo, Lagos.

The suspect who was to board an Emirate flight to Malaysia told investigators 
that he wanted to increase his capital.

'I sell generator parts at Trade Fair Complex Ojo, Lagos. My business is not 
growing and I have no helper so I decided to increase my capital through drug 

'I actually begged to be recruited as a trafficker. Initially they doubted my 
ability to smuggle the drugs but when I insisted they then considered me.

This is my first time and they promised to pay me 4,000 dollars. The drug was 
causing pain in my stomach and I could not control myself.

I vomited some of the drugs,' Okonkwo who hails from Eziagu in Enugu stated.

In a similar vein, Ajaekwe was to board Qatar airline flight to Malaysia when 
he tested positive for drug ingestion.

He ingested 88 wraps of methamphetamine weighing 1.125kg. Ajaekwe who claimed 
to be studying English language in Malaysia, attributed his involvement in drug 
trafficking to financial hardship, hails from Oru in Imo State.

Chairman/Chief Executive of the agency, Ahmadu Giade said the agency would 
continue to prevent drug trafficking and protect the image of the country.

'Drug trafficking attracts death penalty in Malaysia. We are happy to have 
stopped these suspects.

Their action is simply suicidal and the trend is becoming worrisome. However, 
we shall intensify efforts to prevent cases of drug trafficking in the country' 
he stated.

Both of them will be charged to court soon.

(source: All Africa News)


Many flaws of death penalty

Some professor colleagues and I go out from time to time. On the last two 
occasions, we discussed, amongst other things, the death penalty in America and 
its moral implications.

One of my colleagues is a moderate liberal, the other, an atheist conservative. 
I was surprised at their arguments for the death penalty, and, as I saw it, a 
lack of understanding of the history and empirical data surrounding it.

I reminded my colleagues, who are also my friends, that America has an 
``unpleasant history with race, class and access to fair treatment under the 
law, particular with state-sanctioned death. It wasn’t a hundred years ago when 
white Christians in America would have picnics after church with their 
children, I say again, with their children, present, as they ate sandwiches and 
watched black people be hanged by poplar trees. Little black boys were 
summarily executed, absent of trials, evidence or any of the attendant benefits 
that come with proper American citizenship.

Capital punishment has been used for thousands of years, often unjustly. 
Political dissidents, unpopular aristocrats, religious and racial minorities, 
the poor, the conquered and colonized and other social ``undesirables” were put 
to death to reify political power and destroy enemies, real or imagined. The 
Holocaust could be considered the largest, and most heinous, use of systematic 
capital punishment. The crime: being Jewish, or politically divergent or 

My argument to you, the reader, as it was to my colleagues, is very simple. In 
civilized societies, justice should be based on as much factual, physical 
evidence as possible. And since, like all institutions, our legal system is 
flawed due to human error and prejudices, we should never put any convicted 
felon to death. Why? Because mistakes are made. Killing an innocent person 
(wrongly convicted) is just as egregious as any murder, perhaps even more so, 
because these deaths are sanctioned by the state and enshrined in law.

The Innocence Project, a non-profit organization 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-11-25 Thread Rick Halperin

Nov. 25


Poland's rightists want death penalty back

Poland's biggest opposition party, Law and Justice (PiS), said Friday it would 
push for bringing back capital punishment.

'There are no EU rules which forbid this,' Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the chief of the 
right-wing party, said in Warsaw.

PiS is planning to lobby for an amendment to criminal law so that especially 
brutal murders become punishable with death.

Currently, murderers spend 7 years in prison on average, Kaczynski said.

'This is a situation that has to be changed,' he said. 'The state is there to 
protect honest citizens.'

Poland was under no obligation to follow the stance of the European Union's 
elites on this matter, he added.

Kaczynski's twin brother, the late president, had started a discussion on the 
death penalty when he was justice minister from 2000 to 2001. Lech Kaczynski 
died in a plane crash last year.

(source: Deutsche Press-Agentur)


Poland's opposition party wants death penalty reinstated

PiS leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski said the penalty should be applied to those who 
commit exceptionally cruel murders

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of Poland's main opposition party, Law and 
Justice (PiS), told journalists on Friday that his party will soon submit an 
amendment to the penal code calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty.

“We would like to reinstate the death penalty for exceptionally cruel murders, 
and in general, increase the punishment for murders,” Mr Kaczynski said.

According to the PiS party leader, Poland's average punishment for committing a 
murder is seven years in prison; this figure includes second degree murder.

“The nation should be protecting its honest people and combating crime, so that 
the average Pole can feel safe,” he added.

Mr Kaczynski said that he is aware of objections the EU administration could 
have to this plan. However, he said that there is no law in the EU which 
forbids the death penalty.

“Just because the EU elites are against it, does not mean we have to be. We are 
a sovereign state,” he added.

Poland has signed and ratified Protocol 6 of the European Convention on Human 
Rights which forbids the death penalty in times of peace.

Signing and ratifying the treaty is a condition which must be met in order for 
a country to be allowed to join the EU.

(source: Warsaw Business Journal)


CIA Spies Caught, Fear Execution in Middle East

In a significant failure for the United States in the Mideast, more than a 
dozen spies working for the CIA in Iran and Lebanon have been caught and the 
U.S. government fears they will be or have been executed, according to 4 
current and former U.S. officials with connections to the intelligence 

The spies were paid informants recruited by the CIA for 2 distinct espionage 
rings targeting Iran and the Beirut-based Hezbollah organization, considered by 
the U.S. to be a terror group backed by Iran.

Espionage is a risky business, a U.S. official briefed on the developments 
told ABC News, confirming the loss of the unspecified number of spies over the 
last 6 months.

Many risks lead to wins, but some result in occasional setbacks, the official 

Robert Baer, a former senior CIA officer who worked against Hezbollah while 
stationed in Beirut in the 1980's, said Hezbollah typically executes 
individuals suspected of or caught spying.

If they were genuine spies, spying against Hezbollah, I don't think we'll ever 
see them again, he said. These guys are very, very vicious and unforgiving.

Other current and former officials said the discovery of the two U.S. spy rings 
occurred separately, but amounted to a setback of significant proportions in 
efforts to track the activities of the Iranian nuclear program and the 
intentions of Hezbollah against Israel.

Remember, this group was responsible for killing more Americans than any other 
terrorist group before 9/11, said a U.S. official. Attacks on the U.S. embassy 
and Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 killed more than 300 people, including 
almost 260 Americans.

The U.S. official, speaking for the record but without attribution, gave 
grudging credit to the efforts of Iran and Hezbollah to detect and expose U.S. 
and Israeli espionage.

Collecting sensitive information on adversaries who are aggressively trying to 
uncover spies in their midst will always be fraught with risk, said the U.S. 
official briefed on the spy ring bust.

But others inside the American intelligence community say sloppy tradecraft 
-- the method of covert operations -- by the CIA is also to blame for the 
disruption of the vital spy networks.

In Beirut, two Hezbollah double agents pretended to go to work for the CIA. 
Hezbollah then learned of the restaurant where multiple CIA officers were 
meeting with several agents, according to the 4 current and former officials 
briefed on the case. The CIA used the codeword 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-11-20 Thread Rick Halperin

Nov. 20


France's Le Pen calls for return of death penalty

French far-right party leader Marine Le Pen called on Sunday for the death 
penalty to be reinstated in France for child killers, trying to make herself 
heard in what is quickly becoming a two-man race for France's presidency next 

Le Pen, leader of the National Front party and the third most popular candidate 
behind Socialist Francois Hollande and President Nicolas Sarkozy, made her 
appeal for a referendum on the death penalty, abolished in 1981, after the 
murder of a teenage girl dominated news coverage in France over the weekend.

The remark highlights Le Pen's difficulties in making a mark in a political 
debate largely focused on France's deficit problems, with both leading 
candidates in the poll casting themselves as safe managers of the French 

I will organise (if I am elected) a referendum to ask the French to choose 
between the death penalty and life sentences, she said in an interview on 
Europe 1 radio. I think people who kill our children should face the risk of 

Le Pen's support for the death penalty, which is banned in the European Union, 
adds a talking point to her presidential programme, broadly based on 
withdrawing France from the euro, putting the state back into the centre of 
public life and slashing immigration.

France was one of the last countries in the European community to abolish the 
death penalty. Public opinion was in favour when deputies voted to abolish the 
death penalty in 1981, under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand.

In a speech to supporters on Saturday, the former lawyer and daughter of 
Jean-Marie Le Pen - founder of the National Front party - pounded home her 
vision of a more sovereign France with a stronger state, outside the euro.

The anti-euro stance has helped to maintain her popularity as frustration over 
the lack of a solution to Europe's debt problems mounts in France.

A survey by pollster Ipsos, published on Nov. 12, showed 31 % of French people 
approved of her, up from the mid-20s in mid-October.

(source: Reuters)


Kenya yet to expressly abolish death sentence

When High Court judge Mohammed Warsame sentenced to death police inspector 
Dickson Munene and his friend Alex Chepkonga for the murder of James Ng’ang’a, 
the defence faulted the ruling. It cited a recent precedent where the Court of 
Appeal upheld a death sentence saying it is not the only punishment for murder 

And though the country retains the mandatory death penalty for murder, armed 
robbery and treason, the sentence re-ignited debate about whether death 
sentence should be abolished.

There have been no executions since 1987 when Hezekiah Ochuka and Pancras Oteyo 
Okumu, both accused of plotting the August 1, 1982 coup, were given capital 

Despite the courts handing out death sentences, the country seems to have 
adopted a policy or established a de facto abolition.

In August 2009, President Kibaki commuted the sentences of all convicts on 
death row, which affected over 4,000 prisoners. This was seen as one of the 
largest commutation of death sentences in the world.

But even with the indications that the leaders are jittery Kenya, which is 
party to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 
since 1972, has neither signed nor ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the 
ICCPR aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (1989).

According to Nolasco Kubasu, a philosopher and conflict management specialist, 
death sentence is barbaric and should be abolished.

Gross injustice

Kubasu argues that courts should hand sentences to convicts that are 

For the State to take the high moral ground, they should correct wrongs by 
passing life sentences where it deems fit and not killing, he says.

Kubasu says by taking away the life of a convict, the State destroys another 
life, creating a cycle of bitterness and not remorse.

The State will not be any different from the person purporting to punish by 
killing, so death penalty is immoral and just a sanitised form of vengeance, 
which has no place in the modern world, he said.

He says witnesses, prosecutors, and jurors can all make mistakes and when this 
is coupled with flaws in the system, it is inevitable that innocent people 
would be sent to the gallows.

Where capital punishment is used such mistakes cannot be put right, he says.

Moi High School, Kabarak, chaplain, Reverend Paul Ombati, looks at the death 
penalty in a theological perspective.

He argues that capital punishment should be viewed more as a prerogative of 
human government than as a mandate.

Capital punishment is legitimate, but should be operative only if gross 
injustices have been committed, he says.

He, however, says the courts should be careful not to commit another form of 
injustice in the name of meting out justice.

If capital punishment is 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-11-08 Thread Rick Halperin

Nov. 8


Tunisian’s Execution Postponed in Iraq After Intervention by Rached Ghannouchi

The execution of a young Tunisian in Iraq has been stayed after the 
intervention of Ennahda party leader Rached Ghannouchi.

Yosri Triki left Tunisia to fight against the United States in Iraq in 2003. 
His execution by the Iraqi government, rumored to be scheduled for today, has 
been suspended, pending a future trial. According to Yosri’s father, Fahker 
Triki, the personal intervention of Rached Ghannouchi, leader of moderate 
Islamist party Ennahda, was instrumental in securing the delay. An Ennahda 
spokesperson confirmed this new development to Tunisia Live this afternoon.

Yosri was captured by the Iraqi police on May 5th, 2006 in the Salaheddine 
district, located in northern Iraq. Under reported conditions of torture, Triki 
admitted to his involvement in the bombing of Marqad al Imamayn Houssin and 
Hedi Askari — a tomb of two imams located in Samarra, north of Baghdad. 
According to Rachid Mefli, a lawyer and legal director for Al Karama Human 
Rights Association, Triki was forced to sign a statement of confession in 
October of 2010. Without a chance to defend himself, Yosri was sentenced to 
death that very month, on October 10th.

According to Farid, the Ennahda spokesperson with whom Tunisia Live spoke this 
afternoon, Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri Maliki telephoned Rached Ghannouchi at 
12:45 pm today to give his word to the Ennahda leader that Triki’s execution 
would be canceled until further notice. Ghannouchi subsequently issued the 
following statement to his spokesperson to release to the media: “After 
communicating with the Iraqi government, we have received a promise from Nouri 
Meliki to halt the execution of Yosri Triki.”

When Tunisia Live spoke with Yosri’s father, Fakher Triki, Fakher expressed his 
elation with the recent turn of events, and stated that the trial has been 
postponed until after the Eid holiday, which concludes on Monday.

Ennahda’s spokesperson could not comment on the future of Yosri Triki’s case, 
however, and could neither confirm nor deny Fakher’s claims that the trial 
would be reopened after Eid’s conclusion.

Yosri Triki is not the only Tunisian living in Iraq who has been detained since 
the war broke out with the United States in 2003. According to an article 
issued by the Tunisian news source TAP on November 3rd, 2011, there were 
approximately 1,000 Tunisians living in Iraq during the war in Iraq in 2003, 
and of them 85 have been jailed. Like Yosri, a number of these Tunisians 
traveled to Iraq in order to become shuhada, or martyrs, while others were 
already working in the country as students or merchants. On November 3rd, 2011, 
the parents of many of these Tunisians gathered in front of the Tunisian 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in protest of the Ministry’s inaction, and urging 
the administration to take more forceful steps to free the 85 Tunisians who 
remain incarcerated in Iraq, and who may very well face a fate similar to that 
of Yosri Triki.

(source: Tunisia Live)


'Some Judges Still Write Judgments Under Candle Light'

Akinlolu Timothy Kehinde was called to the Bar in 1986 and since then he has 
been in practice. He did his NYSC in Gongola State, now Adamawa, worked with 
eminent lawyers such as Paul Usoro SAN, for about 15 years. He has been on his 
own, he has an office in Kaduna and equally has a branch in Abuja. In this 
interview with Adelanwa Bamgboye he speaks about the criminal law practice and 
the judiciary and traditional institution.

Do you handle free cases (pro bono cases)?

Yes I do and I have discovered over the years that most of the people that 
require pro bono cases are the indigent people and because they are indigent, 
they don't have the capacity to pay lawyer. Since they cannot engage 
experienced hands, most of them have their cases messed up. With due respect to 
my younger colleagues , I have had to take up a number of these pro bono cases 
even up to the Supreme Court. By the grace of God, we have been able to repair 
some of the damages and get some of the people off the hook. At the moment we 
still have a number of these pro bono cases at the appellate court - but we 
will continue to do our best, the best we can contribute to the legal 

How would you feel to learn that the Federal Ministry of Justice has a fund 
running into billions of Naira for prison decongestion and yet you are engaging 
in pro bono cases?

Yes, I am aware of the prison decongestion fund arrangement. It was a beautiful 
idea that was started by Chief Bayo Ojo SAN and my firm also participated in 
between 5 to 10 of such cases. The records are there, all the 5 to 10 people 
were either discharged or acquitted or had their cases dismissed.

Are you saying that the management of the prison decongestion fund is in order?

Yes it is in order but because of the Nigerian factor, over the years we 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news---worldwide

2011-11-04 Thread Rick Halperin

Nov. 4


Will the 5 men on death row be executed?

WHILE the Ninth World and European Day Against The Death Penalty was being 
celebrated on Monday, October 10, 5 inmates on death row at Her Majesty’s 
Prison in St. Kitts were still awaiting announcement of the day when they would 
be executed.

The 5 condemned men are Everson ‘Blee’ Mitcham, Romeo ‘Buncome’ Cannonier, 
Ruedeney ‘Denny’ Williams, Sheldon ‘Hatcher’ Isaac and Louis ‘Tooloo’ Gardener.

Mitcham was sentenced to death by Justice Davidson Baptiste on June 26, 2001 
for the February 3, 2001 murder of Vernal Nisbett, while his co-accused, 
Vincent Fahie and Patrice Matthew, were sentenced to life imprisonment.

According to the facts presented in court, on the day in question, Mitcham, 
Fahie and Matthew were about to rob Arlene Fleming, who was at the time vending 
barbecue chicken at the junction of Marshall Alley and Cayon Street, when 
Nisbett attempted to stop them but was fired upon and killed in the process.

An appeal was filed in 2004 by defence counsel Dr. Henry Bowne, who called for 
the dropping of the murder charges and the consideration of manslaughter.

However, Justice Baptiste upheld the sentences.

Appeals were also made to the Eastern Caribbean Court of Appeal and the Privy 
Council in London, which effectively stayed his execution that was scheduled 
for June 19, 2004; but both attempts to have the High Court’s decision 
overruled were upheld.

Cannonier is facing two death sentences - one for the July 25, 2004 murder of 
Police Constable Delvin Nisbett for which he was convicted on October 23, 2007, 
and the other for the March 21, 2005 shooting-death of Gavin ‘Magilla’ Gilbert.

Nisbett was gunned down in cold blood while traversing a stretch of road 
between Parsons Village and Dieppe Bay en route to his girlfriend’s home.

According to evidence presented during the case, Cannonier confessed to his 
then girlfriend, Makenia Lucas, that he had committed the crime.

Other evidence showed that after Cannonier was arrested for the offence and 
remanded to prison, he had sent instructions to the ‘outside’ concerning the 
whereabouts of the gun used in the murder and also instructions on what should 
be done with it when retrieved.

After his conviction, Cannonier appeared before the Justices of Appeal 
requesting that the decision and sentence imposed by the High Court of Justice 
be overturned. But the Justices of Appeal ruled that his conviction of 
Nisbett’s murder and the death sentence be sustained.

They had however imposed a stay of execution which expired on December 1, 2008.

In the killing of Gilbert, Cannonier was sentenced to death along with 
Gardener, Williams and Isaac by Justice Alfred Redhead on July 15, 2008.

The court was told that between 9:50 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. on March 21, 2005, 
Gilbert was gunned down a short distance from his Saddlers Village home.

According to evidence presented, the four men had played unique roles in 
Gilbert’s orchestrated death. Also, in accordance with the evidence, Cannonier 
had masterminded the plan, Williams was the transporter and whistle blower 
while Isaac and Gardner were the executioners.

The plan was birthed, as evidence suggested, because Gilbert was a key witness 
in the case of the murder of Constable Nisbett.

It was reported that Cannonier was behind bars when the incident occurred but 
other evidence presented indicated that he communicated his plan to Gardener 
through Lionel Warner, whom Sir Richard Cheltenham described as “the messenger 
of death”.

Evidence also suggested that Isaac was present when the message was 
communicated and he volunteered his services to commit the reprehensible act.

In the case of Mitcham, 10 years have passed since he was sentenced to death, 
while four years have passed since Cannonier was sentenced to death for the 
killing of Constable Nisbett, and he, along with Gardener, Williams and Isaac 
have been in Death Row for more than three years for the killing of Gilbert.

However, will these men be taken to the gallows?

At this time, Mitcham’s death sentence can be commuted to life imprisonment, 
and by October 22, 2012, Cannonier can also be fortunate for his to be commuted 
for the first death sentence. And while Cannonier, Gardener, Williams and Isaac 
are awaiting their dates of appeal to the Privy Council, the foursome can also 
have their sentence commuted to life imprisonment after July 13, 2013

. An explanation for these assumptions is listed below.

At trials, cases are won or lost based on evidence presented and arguments 
proffered by prosecutors and defence counsels. And the sentencing of a 
convicted individual is not automatic; it is dependent on the discretion of the 
trial officer or, in some cases, the precedent, which is termed the rule of law 
established for the first time by a court for a particular type of case and 
thereafter referred to in deciding similar 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-10-31 Thread Rick Halperin

Oct. 31


Honour killing, girl’s 4 relatives awarded death sentence

In an honour killing case, a local court has awarded death sentence to 4 
persons. They were held guilty of killing a youth little over 2 years back. The 
girl' relatives were accused of killing the youth, Gurpreet Singh, for marrying 
the village girl against wishes of her family.

The court of Faridkot district and sessions judge Fatehdeep Singh holding 4 
persons guilty of killing Gurpreet awarded death penalty on Friday, earlier on 
Monday the court had held these persons guilty and had deferred the 
announcement of punishment to Friday. Gurmukh Singh, Gurnaib Singh, Resham 
Singh and Kulbir Sharma have been awarded death penalty.

(source: The Times of India)


Supporters of Rajiv Gandhi's killers protest in Chennai demanding their release

Women supporters of assassins of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi staged a 
mass demonstration here on Saturday demanding the immediate release of the 
three convicts- Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan.

The latest developments came after the Madras High Court on Friday adjourned to 
November 29 the hearing on the bail petitions filed by Gandhi's assassins.

Scores of women gathered on the roads here and shouted anti-government slogans.

Expressing her unhappiness over the verdict of the court, Revathi, a protestor 
here, said they want all three accused to be released immediately.

The Chennai High Court yesterday and the Central Government stood by its stand 
that it will hang Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan, ignoring and insulting the 
deep sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu, which we are very shocked and very 
angry about, said Revathi.

Tamil Nadu Government has also said that it cannot intervene in this matter 
despite many activists and lawyers pointing it out that the state government 
has the power, the Tamil Nadu Government does not want to use its power which 
also very appalling. We have decided that we will continue this struggle 
committee until this death penalty is commuted, she added.

Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber at an election rally in 
Sriperumbedur on May 21, 1991. Fourteen other people also lost their lives in 
that blast.

In 1999, the 3 convicts - Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan - were sentenced to 
death by the Supreme Court for being part of the group that conspired to kill 

They were scheduled to be hanged on September 9. But the Madras High Court 
suspended their execution by eight weeks. Their mercy petitions, filed 11 years 
ago asking for their sentence to be commuted to life in prison, have been 
rejected by President Pratibha Patil.

The convicts have appealed to the High Court against this decision on the 
grounds that the President''s office showed an inordinate and inexplainable 
delay in deciding their mercy petitions and so it violates Article 21 of the 
Constitution (Protection of life and personal liberty).

After Nalini, married to Murugan, gave birth to a baby girl in jail, her death 
sentence was commuted to life at the request of Sonia Gandhi.

(source: New Kerala)


Reconsider capital punishment

More and more people continue to be sentenced to death, to hang until they die. 
They would have been found guilty of cold-blooded murder and, according to 
Zimbabwean laws, a killer must also be killed.

More than 50 condemned prisoners languish inside Chikurubi Maximum Security 
Prison on the outskirts of Harare today as they wait for their date with the 

That date does not appear to be imminent, however, as Zimbabwe has no hangman. 
There are campaigns going on against capital punishment and Cabinet is said to 
have that issue on its agenda as well.

Arguments against the death penalty include moral issues and matters of the 
conscience. Judges who pass the death sentence apparently do so against their 
will, but only because that is what the law says.

They try very hard to find extenuating circumstances in a bid to avoid sending 
convicts to the gallows.

Those against the death penalty must not slack in their fight until Zimbabwe 
lawmakers realise the primitiveness of such a statute which has been thrown 
away in the majority of countries around us.

Being on death row is not a joke.

Some of the prisoners on death row have languished in solitary confinement for 
more than a decade. Their petitions for mercy have been rejected by President 
Robert Mugabe.

George Manyonga has spent 13 years awaiting execution, while James Dube and 
Bright Gwashinga have waited to be hanged for 10 and five years respectively.

Aaron Masongo was sentenced to death last week and will join the long list of 
condemned people that are in prison waiting to be executed.

At least 65 people have been hanged in Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. But 
it is unlikely that those currently on death row will be executed any time 
soon. Chikurubi has searched high and 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide----INDIA, LEBANON, INDONESIA

2011-10-19 Thread Rick Halperin

Oct. 18


India's hang man kept waiting

India's Supreme Court last week postponed the hanging of Ajmal Kasab for the 
November 26, 2008, Mumbai terrorist attacks in Mumbai, highlighting a national 
dilemma over the death penalty.

The apex court passed the stay order on October 10, the day the European Union 
plans to mark each year as World and European Day against the Death Penalty. 
The United Nations too is campaigning worldwide for a ban on death sentences.

Whether or not India's Supreme Court judges knew the impending significance of 
October 10, they permitted 24-year-old Kasab to join 300 others estimated to be 
on India's death row. Some of the convicts there have been waiting in it for 
years as mercy petitions are filed; others are simply waiting for the hangman.

New Delhi's Tihar Jail, Asia's largest prison, has a daily count of prisoners 
on death row written in white chalk on a black notice board high up on the wall 
in the main foyer that separates the outer gates and the inner prison premises. 
There are also 1,242 inmates serving a life sentence in the sprawling nine-jail 
complex in the Janakpuri area, western New Delhi. Tihar houses over 12,000 
inmates - nearly double its capacity of 6,250. Not helped by the fact that 
since 1989, not a single member of the death row at the prisoner has been 

21 people [19 males, 2 females] are currently on death row in Tihar, Sunil 
Gupta, Law Officer of Tihar Prisons, told Asia Times Online. With passage of 
time, most of them turn religious, remorseful or become more depressed. But the 
terrorists on death row usually express no remorse - they continue trying to 
justify their killings.

It was in 1989 that Tihar last saw the Black Warrant, a black envelope that 
the court sends to jail officials when all mercy petitions have been rejected 
which sets the date for a hangman to enter the jail. Satwant and Kehar Singh 
were executed for assassinating prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1983. They shot 
her with their machine guns while on duty as her bodyguards, and after Indira 
had expressed her trust in them.

Others awaiting the noose include terrorist Afzal Guru for the attack on 
parliament on December 13, 2001, that brought India and Pakistan closest to a 
full-fledged war since 1971; Murugan, Santhan and Perarivalan for assassinating 
Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi's son and former prime minister, in 1991. Both 
death penalty cases face more political than legal challenges.

India, having executed just two people since 1995, appears stuck between 
abolishing the death penalty and using it only in very exceptional cases. The 
Supreme Court ruled in 1983 that the death penalty should be imposed only in 
the rarest of rare cases”.

On August 26, 1995, Sudhakar Joshi was hanged in Pune's Yerawada jail. He had 
confessed to robbing and murdering his employer and his two children. In August 
2004, a security guard Dhananjoy Chatterjee was hanged in West Bengal for 
raping and murdering a schoolgirl in 1990. He claimed he was innocent.

India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are the only South Asian countries with the 
death penalty, while Bhutan, Nepal, Sri Lanka and even military-ruled Myanmar 
have abolished it. Pakistan and Bangladesh carried out executions this year.

Neighboring China is the acknowledged world leader in death sentences, with an 
average of 5,000 people executed annually, sometimes in front of spectators.

Though Chinese delegates were not exactly overcrowding the International 
Commission against the Death Penalty (ICPD) meeting in Geneva, on October 10 
and 11, China was the primary focus of the ICPD's fourth such meeting.

Experience in Europe has taught us that the death penalty does not prevent an 
increase in violent crime, nor does it bring justice to the victims of such 
crimes, said a declaration issued by Catherine Ashton, European Union High 
Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Any capital punishment 
resulting from a miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system can be 
immune, represents irreversible loss of human life.

Guarding against the slightest miscarriage of justice is largely why 104 
countries have abolished the death penalty. Thirty-five other countries have a 
formal moratorium on executions. India belongs to neither club, but is it not a 
very active member among the 58 countries that do have the death penalty.

India's quandaries sometimes involve complicated legal equations with countries 
that have outlawed executions. Portugal this month revoked the extradition of 
gangster boss Abu Salem to India for the 1993 Bombay bomb blasts, as India's 
courts were seen to be violating Lisbon's condition that he would not face the 
death penalty. The accused mobster has since refused to attend court hearings 
in India until his extradition case is heard.

Similarly, Professor Devender Pal Singh Bhullar, who faces execution for 
killing 9 bystanders in a 1993 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-10-07 Thread Rick Halperin

Oct. 7

SAUDI ARABIAexecutions

Saudi Arabia executes 8 Bangladeshi nationals

8 Bangladeshi men have been executed in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh on 

The migrant workers, who were beheaded in public, were sentenced to death for 
the alleged murder of an Egyptian man in April 2007.

Since the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, executions have resumed in Saudi 
Arabia at an alarming rate.

“Court proceedings in Saudi Arabia fall far short of international standards 
for fair trial and news of these recent multiple executions is deeply 
disturbing,” said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy 
Director for Middle East and North Africa.

“The Saudi authorities appear to have increased the number of executions in 
recent months, a move that puts the country at odds with the worldwide trend 
against the death penalty.”

“The government must establish an immediate moratorium on executions in the 
Kingdom and commute all death sentences, with a view to abolishing the death 
penalty completely,” she added.

The beheadings bring the number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year to at 
least 58, more than double than the 2010 figures. 20 of those executed in 2011 
were foreign nationals.

The Bangladeshi men who were executed are Ma'mun Abdul Mannan, Faruq Jamal, 
Sumon Miah, Mohammed Sumon, Shafiq al-Islam, Mas'ud Shamsul Haque, Abu 
al-Hussain Ahmed, Mutir al-Rahman.

According to reports, the Egyptian man was killed during a clash between the 
Bangladeshi workers and a group of men who allegedly were stealing electric 
cable from a building complex where the Bangladeshis worked.

3 other Bangladeshis were sentenced to prison terms and flogging.

2 other Saudi nationals were executed in the northern city of Tabuk, bringing 
the total number of executions on Friday to ten.

Many of those executed in Saudi Arabia in recent years have been foreign 
nationals, mostly migrant workers from poor and developing countries. 
Defendants often have no defence lawyer and are unable to follow court 
proceedings in Arabic. They are also rarely allowed formal representation by a 
lawyer, and in many cases are not informed of the progress of legal proceedings 
against them.

They, and many of the Saudi Arabians who are executed, also have no access to 
influential figures such as government authorities or heads of tribes, nor to 
money, both crucial factors in paying blood money or securing a pardon in 
murder cases.

Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences.

They may be convicted solely on the basis of confessions obtained under duress 
or deception.

At least 158 people, including 76 foreign nationals, were executed by the Saudi 
Arabian authorities in 2007. In 2008 some 102 people, including almost 40 
foreign nationals, were executed.

In 2009, at least 69 people are known to have been executed, including 19 
foreign nationals and in 2010, at least 27 people were executed including 6 
foreign nationals.

(source: Amnesty International)


Pakistani Doctor Faces Treason Charges in Bin Laden Case

An official Pakistani inquiry into bin Laden's presence in the country 
recommended that Dr. Afridi be charged with high treason after an exhaustive 
review of the U.S. strike in May.

In view of the record and evidence placed before the commission in relation to 
Dr. Shakeel Afridi; the commission is of the view that prima facie, a case of 
conspiracy against the State of Pakistan and high treason is made out against 
him, the inquiry said in a statement.

The commission doesn't have the legal authority to institute charges against 
Afridi, but its recommendations are likely to be followed. Dr. Afridi was 
working for a foreign intelligence agency, which is a serious crime in most 
countries, including the United States. If convicted, the doctor could be 
sentenced to death.

The inquiry's judgment has angered U.S. officials, who consider him a hero. 
Earlier this year, Dr. Afridi was revealed to have been recruited by the CIA to 
verify bin Laden's location in a walled compound in Abbottabad, a 2-hour drive 
north of Islamabad, Pakistan's capital.

The doctor organized an elaborate sham immunization campaign, sending health 
workers into bin Laden's compound to try to take DNA sample. The effort failed 
to gather any evidence as to bin Laden's location, however, even when President 
Obama decided to mount the raid.

Three weeks after the May 2 raid, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence 
Directorate spy agency arrested Dr. Afridi, who is a senior health official in 
the Pakistani government. He has been in custody ever since, and there have 
been allegations that Dr. Afridi was severely tortured during questioning.

Washington had been pressing the Pakistani government to release the doctor 
since the end of May, in an effort to get Afridi and his family settled in the 

American officials are already in a tense diplomatic 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-09-25 Thread Rick Halperin

Sept. 25


Opposition to death penalty rising

The drop in executions is an indication that the world is moving in the 
direction urged by the UN.

The approval by the UN General Assembly in December 2007 of the Resolution for 
a Universal Moratorium against Capital Punishment was a fundamental step 
forward not only for the anti-death penalty campaign but also for the 
affirmation of the rule of law and of those natural rights historically won and 
often written into national law but not always respected.

After the vote, the usual practitioners of realpolitik tried to diminish its 
import, saying if would serve no purpose. It is true that the UN cannot force 
any member country to abolish the death penalty, but the moral force and 
political message sent by the resolution are undeniable. For the first time 
ever, the United Nations established that capital punishment is a matter of 
individual rights and not simply an internal question for national judicial 
systems. It also sent the message that the elimination of capital punishment 
would constitute a significant advance for the system of human rights.

Since the vote, it has had concrete effects in many countries, as documented in 
the latest report by Hands off Cain.

Drop in executions

The legal abolition of the death penalty in recent years in many states of the 
US — which saw a drop in executions from 52 in 2009 to 46 in 2010, the 
reduction that is apparently occurring in China, the reduction in the number of 
capital offenses in China and Vietnam, and the thousands of death sentences 
commuted in Pakistan, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Burma are not insignificant 
developments. While they cannot be seen as prelude to the immediate abolition 
of the death penalty, they are a clear indication that the world is moving in 
the direction urged by the United Nations.

Also significant is the abolition of the sanction in recent years in Africa and 
particularly countries like Rwanda and Burundi, symbols of a continent that has 
been battered more than any other in recent history by human tragedy: genocide, 
mutilation, mass rape, summary executions, and deportation.

In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak risks falling victim to the death penalty that he 
himself, during his three decades of uninterrupted rule, extended to forty 
crimes. Ali Abdalla Saleh in Yemen and Bashar al- Assad in Syria are still 
resisting but at the price of a war they have chosen to launch against their 
own people.

Muammar Ghaddafi received an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity issued 
by the International Criminal Court. In Morocco after the huge 
anti-establishment protests in February, King Mohammed decided grant the 
release of 92 political prisoners and commute the death sentences of 5 others 
and to transform the absolute monarchy into a constitutional monarchy. In 
Jordan, the death penalty has not been implemented since 2006, which suggests 
that the monarchy is headed towards abolition. In Lebanon a de facto moratorium 
has been in place since 2004. Djibouti constitutionally abolished its death 

Last December, these and other Arab countries, including Bahrain, the Arab 
Emirates, Mauritania, and Oman, which all abstained from the first vote, did 
not oppose the new resolution on abolition that was approved by the UN. Algeria 
not only voted for it but was one of the co-sponsors.

To uproot once and for all this aberrant and contradictory principle that life 
must be defended by inflicting death, the countries that supported the UN 
moratorium must insure that it is respected in all circumstances.

But it isn’t all good news: the Hands Off Cain report shows that Iran, which 
has consistently finished among the world's top executioners, kicked off the 
new year with an orgy of executions. In North Korea, public executions tripled 
in recent years. In Iraq, even under the “democratic” government of Nouri 
al-Maliki, the pace of executions has continued uninterrupted.

In China as in Iran, and North Korea as in Iraq, it will be the “parallel 
democracy” by the Radical Party that will have to compensate for the lack of an 
official presence on the part of the so-called liberal, civil, abolitionist 
world. In fact it was Radical Party leader Marco Pannella who, after the 
announcement that former Iraqi foreign minister Tariq Aziz was condemned to 
death, staged a hunger strike to obtain “a moratorium against capital 
punishment for Tariq Aziz as well”, partly to break the tragic continuity with 
the sanction’s vogue under Saddam Hussein but also to preserve a key witness 
for the reconstruction of the historical record and the responsibility of the 
regime up until the war — a war that, it is now clear and amply documented, was 
set in motion by Bush and Blair precisely to prevent peace and the realisation 
of our plan of bringing about a free Iraq through the exile of Saddam Hussein 
and the installation of a fiduciary UN administration.

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-09-15 Thread Rick Halperin

Sept. 15


Potrait of a Terrorist

Emotions amongst Edris Nsubuga's family and friends continue to run like a 
fickle stream.

They all wonder why a young man with such a promising career and charming 
character would become the face of a bloodstained act that claimed the lives of 
at least 76 Ugandans.

Many are still vexed and baffled by what became of Nsubuga, the first suspect 
to confess to terrorism as the trial of the July 11 terror suspects kicked off 
in earnest on Monday at the High Court in Kampala.

On Tuesday, 2 of the 14 Al Shabaab suspects, Nsubuga and Mohamoud Mugisha, 
pleaded guilty to participating in the July 11, 2010 Kampala bombings.

Nsubuga, 31, who put up his hand and was allowed to talk to his lawyer, Alex 
Bashasha, told the court that he had wanted to plead guilty the previous day, 
but he felt intimidated by the reactions from his co-accused men.

My lord, I have now decided to change my plea of not guilty to guilty on the 3 
counts of terrorism, he told the court.

However, after the judge had asked him whether he had been coerced or 
influenced by anyone, Nsubuga, who spoke fluent English, maintained that he had 
decided on his own to plead guilty.

Mugisha, 25, told the High Court trial judge, Alfonse Owiny-Dollo, that he 
conspired with Al Shabaab leaders in different countries, including Somalia, 
Kenya and Uganda, to commit acts of terrorism.

Who is Nsubuga?

On his Facebook account, still running, Nsubuga strikes a charming smile but, 
like those that shared camaraderie with him say, no one could ever tell that 
beneath his innocent face lay evil and terror.

Did he embrace lofty jihadist ideals? Or did he conflate the struggles of a 
young man looking for quick success in a competitive society with religious 

Like any complex puzzle, his case churns many questions, but few answers. 
According to information pieced together from close friends and those who went 
to school with him, Nsubuga was a quiet, shy, humble and brilliant guy.

Many of the people we spoke to that went to school with him at Buganda Road 
Primary school and Kibuli Secondary school continue to 'express shock' over his 
brazen act.

He was someone you hardly expected could do such a thing, says a former 
schoolmate who requested not to be named.

In high school, Nsubuga's dream of becoming a businessman seemed within grasp. 
Although he prayed at the school mosque in Kibuli, he portrayed a secular 
character, with one foot in Islam and another out. So often, he listened to the 
combustible lyrics of rap artiste Tupac Shakur.

He likes rap a lot and wore vintage baseball shirts often associated with what 
rappers wore then, the former schoolmate added.

Another source revealed that Nsubuga, who was in Africa House at Kibuli, was a 
ladies' man and never missed the school dance. After completing a bachelor's 
degree in commerce at Makerere University, Nsubuga's dreams veered from being a 
rap icon to a businessman.

He bought a music system for hire and run a mobile phone shop at the Pioneer 
mall, says another source.

This source recalls the last time he saw Nsubuga - in 2009. I was going to 
change my lenses on Wilson road and, ever with a charming smile, he said to me, 
'OB (old boy), you're lost. Give us some money'.

So, what spurred the once smiling Nsubuga to give in to such a barbaric act? 
Those who saw him days before the July 11 attacks say he appeared conflicted. 
Not much is clear of the period when he began to embrace fanaticism.

However, some sources believe Nsubuga had been searching the internet for 
jihadist videos, chat rooms and listening to lectures by fanatical preachers. 
For a young man who confessed to having been a conduit of the Al Shabaab, 
Nsubuga's struggles had dovetailed with his religious transformation as he 
continued to learn from jihadist videos and embrace radical teachings.

Nsubuga, who had previously lived a worldly lifestyle, seemed to have undergone 
an adventure of purpose and renewal.

On his Facebook page, a friend posted, before Nsubuga's arrest, a comment 
regretting her lost phone, but Nsubuga replied: Only hope that tomorrow is 
another day . . . didn't you invest your faith in the most High. Sorry girl.

Since his arrest, friends have continued to flood his Facebook page with 
comments. One wrote: Hello brother, I know this is the greatest test you've 
faced in life so far, but I know you have faith and Allah is with you and HE 
will surely come through for you and us. Never give up; we love you.

Another message reads: Eddy, I know the truth will prevail and, inshallah in 
this month of Ramadan, Allah will give you the strength and u will get your 
freedom back . . . always live in hope . . . [as] u go through everything even 
in the darkest hour like this one. . . remember the song HERO. We are praying 
for you brother. God bless.

But another cautious message posted after his confession to the 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-09-07 Thread Rick Halperin

Sept. 7


DR Congo prison raid springs militia boss from death row

Nearly 1,000 inmates escaped from a Congolese prison Wednesday in a spectacular 
raid by masked gunmen to spring a militia leader from death row, only weeks 
before presidential polls.

Officials in eastern Katanga province said the eight gunmen took advantage of 
visiting day to slip in unnoticed on a minivan at the jail where Commander 
Gedeon, a top leader of the Mai-Mai community-based militia, was being held.

They opened fire on the police and the military guards, killing 2, Katanga 
provincial interior minister Dikanga Kazadi said.

They freed a former militia leader and a total of 967 inmates, 150 of whom 
have already been brought back in, Kazadi added.

Witnesses told AFP they saw more than 2 bodies including guards and visitors 
but officials did not confirm this.

The brazen attack on the Kassapa prison, on the outskirts of Lubumbashi, 
happened at around 10:30 am (0830 GMT), the minister said.

Lubumbashi is the Democratic of Republic of Congo's second largest city and one 
of the resource-rich country's major mining hubs.

Commander Gedeon was the 1st one to be freed, said Kazadi.

Late afternoon calm returned to the prison. Part of the wall surrounding the 
compound was destroyed in the attack and Republican Guards protected the scene.

In March 2009, a military court in Katanza found Gedeon Kyungu Mutanga -- his 
real name -- guilty on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, 
insurgent activity and terrorism.

The crimes he was convicted for took place between 2003 and 2006 in the 
Mitwaba, Pweto and Manono regions of the vast, mineral-rich Katanga province.

After freeing this high-profile detainee, the attackers asked all the other 
prisoners to leave, the interior ministry official said, adding that a 
helicopter was scanning the area in a bid to track down scattered fugitives.

Mutanga's escape comes weeks ahead of November 28 elections in which President 
Joseph Kabila is widely expected to seek re-election although his candidacy is 
not yet official.

Tension has risen in recent days, notably after a man was killed on Tuesday 
when police broke up a demonstration by opposition supporters protesting the 
sacking of their party headquarters.

The Roman Catholic Church, United Nations, United States and European Union all 
urged restraint Wednesday ahead of the election, voicing alarm that the country 
was on the brink of an escalation of political violence.

Human Rights Watch had in 2009 hailed Mutanga's conviction as a major step in 
the country's efforts to bring to justice some of the key perpetrators of the 
Congolese conflict.

This conviction is a victory for the victims of Gedeon and his Mai-Mai 
militia, who inflicted horrific atrocities on thousands of people in central 
Katanga, the watchdog had said at the time.

Mai-Mai militia were armed and equipped by Laurent-Desire Kabila, the current 
president's father, in his rebellion against dictator Mobutu Sese Seko, who was 
toppled in 1997.

The Mai Mai -- an umbrella name for a patchwork of armed groups led by 
warlords, tribal leaders and politically-motivated fighters -- were also used 
against rebel troops backed by Rwanda in the 1998-2003 war.

However at the end of the war some militia leaders refused to hand back their 
arms, saying they had not been properly compensated for their support for the 

The Congolese military has always denied having any links with Mutanga's group 
or with the Mai-Mai still active in the western Kivu region. (source: Agence 


Man hanged for killing woman, son

A man, awarded death penalty for killing a woman and her son in south-western 
Khulna district of Bangladesh 11 years ago, was executed in Jessore Central 
Jail, one minute past Monday midnight.

ABM Nazmul Sakib, alias Ashik, 32, a private tutor and son of Didarul Islam of 
Purbo Kalikapur of Kaliganj sub-district of Satkhira district was hanged to 
death in the presence of a magistrate and senior police and jail officials.

Deputy Inspector General of Police of Jessore in charge of prisons Fazlul Haque 
said his body was handed over to his relatives for burial at his village after 

A gang of 3 robbers, led by Ashik, killed a housewife and her son after 
committing robbery at their house in Sonadanga sub-district in Khulna on 
September 17, 2000, after they recognised Ashik as their tutor at the house.

A case was lodged with Sonadanga police station on September 18, followed by 
filing of charge-sheet in Khulna District and Sessions Judge Court which 
sentenced him to death by hanging in a judgment in 2002.

The High Court and the Supreme Court upheld the verdict.

The petition for mercy by Ashik to President Zillur Rahman was not granted.

(source: Gulf Times)


7 foreigners accused of heroin trafficking in Singapore

7 foreigners 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-09-04 Thread Rick Halperin

Sept. 4


Is the death penalty about to die?

The Madras High Court's order last week staying the execution of former prime 
minister Rajiv Gandhi's three killers has triggered a fresh debate on the 
desirability of the death penalty in India. The court also asked the government 
to explain why it took 11 years for the president to reject the trio's mercy 

President Pratibha Patil rejected them in early August. The Tamil Nadu assembly 
then passed a unanimous resolution requesting the president to reconsider her 
decision. Politicians in Punjab are making a similar demand for Devender Pal 
Singh Bhullar, convicted of a 1993 terror attack in Delhi that claimed several 
lives. Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah reflected the sentiment 
in his state when he tweeted that had his state assembly passed a similar 
resolution about Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru reactions would not have 
been so muted.

The BJP favours the death penalty for such criminals, but Congress leaders have 
been airing their personal views for or against it. The Indian intelligentsia - 
the media, academics and the judiciary is also divided about the issue.

A look at the debate:

Punishment is a natural response to crime

This principle is almost universally accepted and that letting off criminals 
can result in vigilante justice. Also, the punishment has to be proportionate 
to the degree of wrongdoing and mitigating circumstances have to be considered 
while deciding the quantum of punishment. It goes without saying that the 
accused will be given a fair chance to defend himself/herself.

But various societies in different parts of the world react to crime in 
different ways. While some, such as a few Arab countries, choose retributive 
punishment of an eye for an eye, others have deterrent punishment. Of late, 
there has been a shift towards restorative and reformist approaches to 
punishment, including in India.

Death Penalty in India

Capital crimes are murder, gang robbery with murder, abetting the suicide of a 
child or insane person, waging war against the government and abetting mutiny 
by a member of the armed forces. In recent years, the death penalty has also 
been imposed under a new anti-terrorism legislation for people convicted of 
terrorist activities.

Is the judiciary becoming averse to the death penalty?

Section 354(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which was added to the 
Code in 1973, requires a judge to give special reasons for awarding death 
sentences. In 1980, in the Bachan Singh case, the Supreme Court propounded the 
rarest of rare doctrine and since then, the life sentence is the rule and the 
death sentence the exception.

But recently, the Supreme Court refused to impose the capital punishment in the 
Graham Staines, Jessica Lall and Priyadarshini Mattoo murder cases on the 
ground that these did not fall within the category of rarest of rare. Is the 
judiciary becoming averse to capital punishment?

According to senior advocate KTS Tulsi, the vice chairman of the Law Commision 
of India, India has found a perfect balance by retaining the death penalty as 
a deterrent, yet invoking it only in exceptional cases. While the deterrent 
effect is maintained, the possibility of an erroneous execution is minimised. 
Compared with China, Japan, Arab countries and the US, the use of capital 
punishment in India has been minimal.

Moratorium on the death penalty

In December 2007, India voted against a UN resolution calling for a moratorium 
on the death penalty. But in effect, there has been a moratorium on the death 
penalty in India. Since 1995 there has been only one execution, that of 
Dhananjoy Chatterjee, in August 2004.

The judiciary appears to be hesitant in awarding the death penalty. The 
executive has disposed of several mercy petitions in the past few months, but 
around 20 such pleas, including that of Afzal Guru, are still pending before 
the president.

According to Amnesty International, in India, at least 100 people in 2007, 40 
in 2006, 77 in 2005, 23 in 2002, and 33 in 2001 were sentenced, but not 
executed, to death.

Rajiv Gandhi Killers' case is a test case

The Rajiv Gandhi Killers' case is going to be a test case for death penalty in 
India. Whatever be the Madras HC decision, the matter is bound to go to the 
Supreme Court, which could lay down guidelines for timely disposal of mercy 
petitions. If the court rules that inordinate delay is a ground for converting 
a death penalty to life imprisonment, then it would have bearing on all pending 
mercy petitions, including that of Afzal Guru.

World moving towards abolition of death penalty

According to Amnesty International, more than 2/3 of countries in the world 
have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice. 96 countries have 
abolished capital punishment for all crimes while 9 have done away with it for 
ordinary crimes. Further, 34 countries have abolished it 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-08-29 Thread Rick Halperin

Aug. 29


Writers seek repeal of death penalty

Several social activists, writers and intellectuals have urged the central 
government to scrap the death sentence from the Indian penal laws.

Speaking to reporters here on Sunday, they recalled that more than 100 
countries had abolished death sentence and India too signed a treaty of the 
United Nations against death penalty.

Varavara Rao of Revolutionary Writers' Association opposed the death sentence 
awarded by a Ranchi court to poet and people's artiste Jiten Marandi and his 
associates Anil Ram, Manoj Rajwar and Chhatrapati Mandal.

He said they were also opposing the death penalty to three accused in the Rajiv 
Gandhi murder case and Afzal Guru in the Parliament attack case.

Film director and producer R Narayana Murthy termed the death sentence on 
Marandi as a brutal act.

Sentencing singers and poets to death was like hanging democracy and those 
fighting for the rights of Adivasis, he said and appealed to the President to 
repeal Marandi's death sentence.

The writers and intellectuals are organising a meeting at Sundarayya Vignana 
Kendram here on August 30 to register their protest against the death sentence 
on 4 artistes.

Marandi's wife Aparna Marandi and others will address the gathering.

Writers and singers Devi Priya, Yacoob, K Pratap Reddy, Dappu Ramesh, Telangana 
Journalists Forum leader Ramesh Hajari and others were present at the press 

The Case of Jiten Marandi

A sessions court in the state of Jharkhand stunned the nation by slapping a 
death sentence on Jiten Marandi, a very popular artiste and his three 
associates who were much loved and admired by people.

Marandi was arrested in the case of the murder of Anup Marandi, the son of 
former chief minister Babulal Marandi.

Maoists claimed responsibility for the murder and the police charge-sheeted 
some known Maoists.

The name of one such person happened to be Jiten Marandi.

This became handy to the police to implicate artiste Marandi to cover up their 
failure to apprehend the Maoist Marandi, writers and intellectuals explained to 
the media.

The death sentence was pending before the Jharkhand High Court for 

It is a shame on the part of our government which still wants to hand out the 
death sentence to eliminate those who oppose their unjust and undemocratic 
rule, when more than a hundred countries have done away with the death penalty.

The death sentence on Jiten Marandi and his three associates is against the 
people of this country.

We should raise our voice to abolish death sentence from Indian penal law, 
said Vara Vara Rao.

(source: The New Indian Express)


I don't have power to annul death penalty: CM

'I don't have any power to annul the death penalty of the trio, including 
Perarivalan, convicted in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv 
Gandhi after their mercy petitions were rejected by President Prathibha Patil', 
Tamilnadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today said.

She said that it was the then Chief Minister M Karunanidhi who rejected the 
mercy pleas of the trio. That he is now seeking action to halt the sentence 
exposes his double-standards.

Making a statement under Rule 110, Jayalalithaa said, 'after the assasination 
of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur on 21 May, 1991, the 
legal proceedings were conducted at the TADA Court in Poonamalle. A total of 26 
persons convicted in the case were handed death sentence.

But following an appeal by all the convicted, the Supreme Court confirmed death 
sentence for only four persons - Peraraivalan, Nalini, Santhan and Murugan.

Jayalalithaa also pointed out that on 8 October, 1999, the review petitions of 
the four was dismissed by the apex court.

'On 17 October, 1999 they filed a mercy petition with Tamilnadu Governor who 
rejected it on 27 October, 1999. Meanwhile the Madras High Court isued a fresh 
order on 25 Novermber 1999 setting aside the Governor's decision and urged the 
State Cabinet to issue a fresh order on them', she said.

Jayalalithaa further recalled that on 19 April 2000, the then Chief Minister 
Karunanidhi after a discussion with the Cabinet urged the court to accept 
Nalini's plea on compassionate grounds and reject the rest, thereby confirming 
their death sentence.

On 21 April, 2000, the Governor gave nod to the Cabinet's decision and the 
death sentence for the trio was confirmed.

'At such a juncture, I am getting representations and letters from various 
quareters to halt the death sentence to the trio', Jayalalithaa said and added, 
'Peraraivalan's mother and even Tamil Film Directors Association president 
Bharathiraja have written to me in this regard'.

'Interestingly even former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi has urged me to save 
the three from being hanged. At this outset, I wish to clarify that it was 
Karunanidhi who had confirmed their death 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-08-24 Thread Rick Halperin

Aug. 24


Palestinian doctor falsely imprisoned in Libya calls for Gaddafi's execution

The Palestinian doctor imprisoned in Libya for eight years alongside 6 
Bulgarian medics on charges of deliberately infecting Libyan children with HIV 
has said he would like to see Muammar Gaddafi face the death penalty for his 

However, Ashraf Jumaa El Hagoug, interviewed on Dutch television, said that he 
realised that the death penalty was not something that the International 
Criminal court (ICC) in The Hague would countenance. Nevertheless, he said he 
feels very strongly that justice should be seen to be meted out to Gaddafi.

I’m desperately waiting for the moment when he disappears behind bars and 
feels the pain for himself. I was severely tortured and I still have the scars 
on my body 12 years after I was jailed in Libya...He must find out what it’s 
like to be imprisoned. He should feel the isolation. He should experience the 
humiliation, said El Hagoug.

El Hagoug and the Bulgarian medics were first accused of deliberately infecting 
more than 400 Libyan children in 1999. The spurious allegations, which were 
particularly immotive because the victims were children, were first laid out in 
a Libyan magazine in November 1998.

On July 24 2007, the 5 medics and the doctor were extradited to Bulgaria, where 
their sentences were commuted by the Bulgarian President and they were freed.

In February 2011, Libya's former justice minister Mustafa Abudel-Jalil conceded 
that the Gadaffi regime was responsible for infecting the children.

Shortly after the medics were released and returned to Bulgaria, Gadaffi's most 
famous son, Seif al-Islam, admitted in an interview with French newspaper Le 
Monde that the medics had indeed been tortured, prompting an angry exchange 
between father and son.

Snezhana Dimitrova, one of the Bulgarian nurses who also spent more than 8 
years in a Libyan jail on the same charges has also said that the dictator must 
be brought to justice for his misdeeds.

In a handwritten 2003 declaration to the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry, Dimitrova 
described how she had been tortured with electric shocks and beatings until she 
made a confession.

They tied my hands behind my back, Dimitrova wrote. Then they hung me from a 
door. It feels like they are stretching you from all sides. My torso was 
twisted and my shoulders were dislocated from their joints from time to time. 
The pain cannot be described. The translator was shouting, 'Confess or you will 
die here.'

Muammar Gaddafi belongs in the Hague and he must be sued not only because he 
committed crimes against us but against his own people, Dimitrova said on 
August 23.

(source: Sofia Echo)


'Public opinion didn't sway trial'

Legal experts on Tuesday defended China's death penalty rules and said a 
high-profile case in which a murderer was re-sentenced to death was not 
influenced by public opinion.

In 2009, Li Changkui, 29, a farmer from a village in Southwest China's Yunnan 
province, raped and murdered a 19-year-old girl before killing her 3-year-old 
brother. The high people's court of Yunnan province sentenced him to death on 

This was Li's third trial. He was sentenced to death at his 1st trial in the 
intermediate people's court in Zhaotong city in the province last July, but the 
verdict was commuted to a death penalty with reprieve by the high people's 
court of Yunnan in March this year.

Gao Mingxuan, a leading criminal law professor with Renmin University of China, 
said the review of the case followed strict trial procedures, and the latest 
sentence, which overturned the previous ruling, was based on the re-examination 
of the case's facts and was a decision made in accordance with the law.

Gao said it is completely correct for courts to be prudent about handing down 
death sentences. However, in this case, it was improper to give Li a death 
penalty with reprieve during the second trial.

He said the final verdict was not influenced by online opinion, and the 
judgment was in accordance with trial procedures and has full legal standing.

To respect public opinion is different from being influenced by it, he said.

The case aroused much anger among netizens. By 5:30 pm on Tuesday, more than 
122,000 micro-bloggers had posted their opinions about the case on Sina Weibo, 
a Chinese micro-blogging website.

Most of the comments supported giving Li a heavier sentence instead of his 
previous reprieve.

Before Li's case, the sentence of Yao Jiaxin, another high-profile murderer who 
stabbed a young mother to death to cover up a hit-and-run accident, also 
received huge public attention. The 21-year-old university student was executed 
in Xi'an, Shaanxi province, on June 7.

Tang Hongxin, a Beijing-based lawyer at Yingke Law Firm, said a sentencing 
should be supervised by the public but should not be changed in response to 
public objections.

If courts change 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-08-22 Thread Rick Halperin

Aug. 22


Amnesty International to TT Govt: Stop the hangings...commute all death 
sentences to jail terms

The death penalty, discrimination against lesbians and gays, excessive use of 
force by police officers and backlogs in the courts are some of the human 
rights concerns listed in the July 31 published report on TT submitted by 
Amnesty International to the United Nations Universal Periodic Review, October 

The report said although there had been no executions since 1999, death 
sentences continued to be handed down by the courts. It said at the end of 2010 
at least 40 prisoners were on death row. “Mandatory death sentences violate 
international standards on fair trials, individualised sentencing is required 
to prevent cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and the arbitrary deprivation 
of life,” the report stated.

In January, the Government submitted a bill for approval by Parliament to 
reform the Constitution for the implementation of the death penalty. In her 
statement on January 14 on the bill, Prime Minister Kamla-Persad Bissessar said 
it was “a crucial step to overcoming the hindrances to the implementation of 
the death penalty arising from the Privy Council’s jurisprudence and, as a 
consequence, as a necessary measure to fight crime and in particular, to 
respond to the high number of murders that each year are committed in Trinidad 
and Tobago.” The bill was defeated on February 28. Amnesty International, 
however, expressed concern that the evident contradiction with international 
human rights law and standards had not been discussed in the parliamentary 

Amnesty International called on the Government to immediately establish a 
moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty and to 
commute without delay, all death sentences to terms of imprisonment. Among its 
other recommendation on the death penalty, it said to refrain from proposing 
and adopting legislative and constitutional amendments which could result in 
the resumption of executions in violation of international human rights and 

Repeal laws that discriminate against gays and lesbians

On the issue of discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender 
people, the report called for all provisions that criminalise same-sex 
relations, including the Sexual Offences Act to be repealed. It said provisions 
in the Immigration Act that were discriminatory against such people should also 
be repealed.

It listed Sections 13 and 16 of the Act which criminalised “buggery” which is 
punishable with 25 years’ imprisonment when committed by one adult on another 
and same-sex intercourse as “serious indecency” which is punishable with five 
years’ imprisonment when committed by same-sex partners over the age of 16.

It also listed Paragraph 8 (1) of the Immigration Act which prohibits 
prostitutes, homosexuals or people living on the earnings of such; or people 
reasonably suspected as coming to TT for these and other immoral purposes. The 
report said: “Although these provisions are not enforced, they contribute to 
creating a discriminatory environment against lesbian, gay and transgender 

Excessive use of force by police

The report said excessive use of force by members of the TT Police Service 
(TTPS) was widespread.

It said at least 79 people were killed in 2008 and 2009. “In most cases, 
witness testimonies and other evidence suggested the killings might have been 
unlawful,” despite police officers claiming they acted in self-defence, the 
report stated. It listed the case of Tristan Cobbler who was allegedly shot by 
police in January last year. Cobbler called his mother, saying he had been shot 
in the leg by police and was hiding in a bushy area in Mentor Alley, 
Laventille. His mother found him dead where he said he was hiding. His autopsy 
revealed that he died from multiple gunshot wounds to the leg, neck, back and 
chest. The report said: “Mechanisms to hold members of the Police Service 
accountable for alleged abuses are weak.” It recommended that the Government 
ensured all complaints of human rights violations by security forces be 
subjected to immediate, thorough and independent investigation and that those 
found responsible should be brought to trial in an expeditious manner.

The report said while there was an amendment to the Police Complaints Authority 
Act in 2007, enabling it to investigate criminal offences involving police 
officers, corruption and misconduct, the laws were still ambiguous about 
certain powers. “The authority’s work was also hampered by it having no 
director for almost three years until December 2010. “A backlog of 1,000 
complaints was reported in February 2011,” the report stated. To address this 
problem, Amnesty International recommended that the Government amend the Act to 
ensure the Police Complaints Authority had the necessary powers to investigate 
all alleged 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-08-20 Thread Rick Halperin

Aug. 20


Amnesty chief targets death penalty---But ex-DPJ lawmaker knows how tough it is 
to effect political change

There is a wide gap between Japan and much of the rest of the world when it 
comes to human rights issues, and nongovernmental organizations need to play a 
role in changing people's awareness, especially on the death penalty, said 
Hideki Wakabayashi, the newly appointed executive director of Amnesty 
International Japan.

Japan currently has 120 people on death row. Every day they live in fear, not 
knowing when they are going to be hanged.

Meanwhile, the global trend is slowly but surely moving toward the abolition of 
capital punishment.

According to AIJ, the most recent information shows 139 countries have ended 
the death penalty by law or in practice while 58, including Japan, retain it.

During a recent interview with The Japan Times, Wakabayashi, who became head of 
AIJ in March, stressed that the government, which is responsible for the death 
penalty, also is responsible for creating a society in which some people become 

The death penalty is a symbol of human rights issues, Wakabayashi said. I 
don't think the government has the right to rob the most important right — to 

According to a 2010 government survey, 85 percent of the public approved of the 
death penalty, the highest rate of support since the survey was first taken in 
1994. This public support is often used to back the government's policy of 
maintaining capital punishment.

We can't just pursue advocacy, Wakabayashi said. We need to win the sympathy 
of the general public to change society.

We need to act so that people supporting the death penalty will change their 
opinions — and that will change policies and politicians and ultimately, 

But as a former lawmaker of the Democratic Party of Japan, Wakabayashi knows 
just how difficult it will be to get the government to move away from 

He served as an Upper House member for 6 years starting in 2001, while the DPJ 
was still an opposition party, but health problems prevented him from running 
again in 2007.

During that time he held several key positions, including as the party's shadow 
trade minister and as chairman of a committee to draft a new Constitution.

Looking back on those days he regrets one thing — that he quit the nonpartisan 
group of lawmakers promoting abolition of the death penalty after being warned 
that affiliation with such an organization would hurt his re-election chances.

The death penalty is still a controversial issue and I was told that being in 
the group would affect my next campaign, Wakabayashi said. I've always 
regretted quitting the group. I am ashamed that I cast my philosophy and 
policies to the winds for the election.

When the DPJ took over the government in 2009 after a historic Lower House 
election, it was believed that various human rights issues, including capital 
punishment, would come to the forefront, especially with the appointment of 
Keiko Chiba, a known opponent of the death penalty, as justice minister.

Chiba opened the execution chamber to reporters for the 1st time in an attempt 
to increase transparency, and she set up a study panel to discuss capital 
punishment, but in the end she also signed off on 2 executions.

Wakabayashi pointed out that DPJ campaign platforms have been written to play 
up differences with the then ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

So when the party includes measures on human rights, those opposed to it 
remain quiet . . . to win the election (by presenting a unified front), 
Wakabayashi said. But whether the party is serious about human rights is 
another matter.

One example, he said, was the DPJ's pledge to establish a human rights 

The need for an independent human rights organ has been cited because human 
rights issues are currently dealt with by the Justice Ministry, which oversees 
prisons and immigration control.

But earlier this month, Justice Minister Satsuki Eda announced that the 
commission would be an affiliate of the ministry, triggering criticism not only 
from opposition parties but from within the ruling coalition.

The human rights commission has been eviscerated, Wakabayashi said.

Aside from being a former lawmaker, the director has had an interesting career.

A graduate of Waseda University with a bachelor's degree in commerce and a 
master's in forestry from Michigan State University, Wakabayashi worked as a 
salesman for Yamaha Corp., the musical instrument maker.

From there, he became an executive member of the Japanese Electrical Electronic 
and Information Union and then worked as a diplomat at the Japanese Embassy in 
Washington. He was also a visiting fellow at the U.S.-based Center for 
Strategic and International Studies.

Japan is viewed as a country that is behind when it comes to human rights 
issues and I would like to use my experiences to make 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-08-18 Thread Rick Halperin

Aug. 18


Killer gets death sentence

A 32-year-old Point Fortin man was yesterday sentenced to death for the murder 
of a fellow prisoner at the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca. A 12-member jury took 
more than four hours to return with a guilty verdict for Jay Chandler before 
Justice Mark Mohammed, presiding in the Port-of-Spain Second Assizes. When the 
sentence was read shortly after 6 pm, a close female relative lunged towards 
Chandler, while he was being led out of the prisoner’s dock. The woman was then 
restrained and removed by female police officers. Chandler was accused of 
stabbing Kern Phillip with a improvised weapon on October 8, 2004.

The incident occurred after an altercation between the men during visiting 
hours at the Remand Yard Prison, Golden Groove, Arouca. Phillip later succumbed 
to injuries while being treated at the prison’s infirmary. Post-mortem results 
showed that his heart was punctured. Both men were incarcerated at the prison 
while awaiting trial.

Chandler was ordered to be retried after his initial trial before Justice 
Rajendra Narine in 2009 ended with a hung jury. Bad character evidence 
concerning another stabbing incident involving Chandler while he was in prison 
was also accepted into evidence during the ten-week retrial before Mohammed. 
Chandler was represented by attorneys Larry Williams and Nicholas Ali, while 
the State was represented by Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Kathy-Ann 
Waterman-Latchoo and attorney Lee Merry.

(source: Trinidad Guardian)


Think tank unveils N. Korean court ruling ordering public execution

A South Korean state-run think tank on Thursday unveiled a North Korean court 
ruling sentencing a man to public execution, suggesting the totalitarian regime 
uses the punishment as part of its legal system.

The Korea Institute for National Unification (KINU) said it included images of 
the document in a 20-minute-long DVD it recently produced to cover North 
Korea's serious human rights abuses. The communist regime has long been accused 
of public executions, torture, and holding hundreds of thousands of political 

Pyongyang denies the accusations, calling them a U.S.-led attempt to topple its 

The DVD, titled No Tears, was produced based on the eyewitness accounts of 
North Korean defectors. More than 21,000 North Koreans have fled poverty and 
repression in their homeland to settle in the South since the end of the 
1950-53 Korean War.

In the ruling, dated September 2010, North Korea's top court sentenced a 
40-year-old man to public execution on charges of stealing six cows, or 
deliberate damage to national wealth.

It is the 1st time such a document has been released in South Korea, according 
to KINU. The institute said it has been difficult to find the legal grounds for 
public executions in North Korea's criminal code, but the ruling, which it 
obtained from a defector, shows the existence of legal procedures that include 
the punishment. KINU estimates that at least 60 public executions were carried 
out in the North last year. (source: The Korea Herald)


Pro-LTTE parties mount pressure on Jayato commute death sentence

Various political outfits in Tamil Nadu have begun to mount pressure on AIADMK 
chief and chief minister Miss J Jayalalitha to take steps to reduce the 
punishment for the 3 charged for assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv 
Gandhi, whose mercy pleas have been rejected recently by the President.

The 1st mention of the issue came up in the state Assembly today with members 
of the PMK trying to raise it in the House. It was disallowed by the Speaker on 
the grounds that this was not the time for raising the issue. The PMK members 
walked out in protest.

However, PMK leader, Dr. S. Ramadoss, at a press meet in the city raised the 
demand that the three, Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan, whose mercy pleas have 
been rejected, be commuted to life sentence through the state government’s 

The demand has already been raised by various Tamil nationalistic groups who 
are also pro-LTTE apart from the mainstream political parties, the VCK and the 

At a meeting in Chennai last night organised by the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam 
(PDK) and Naam Tamilar outfit, an appeal was made to the chief minister to move 
a resolution in the state Assembly abolishing capital punishment and to make a 
recommendation to the Tamil Nadu Governor to commute the death sentences of the 
3, 3 of them Sri Lankan Tamils and 1 from Tamil Nadu, into life sentences using 
the powers granted under Article 161 of the Constitution.

“There are precedents as in the case of Tamil poet Kaliaperumal in Tamil Nadu 
who was pardoned in 1974 after being awarded the death penalty and the case of 
C. A. Balan in Kerala who was pardoned similarly after the state Assembly was 
moved to bring down his punishment,” said PDK leader, Mr. Kolathur 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-08-16 Thread Rick Halperin

Aug. 16


8 sentenced for abducting, murdering children in China as govt tries to combat 

The Chinese government is tightening adoption rules to combat child 
trafficking, state media reported Tuesday, a day after 8 people convicted of 
abducting or murdering children received sentences including the death penalty.

Only orphanages will be able to offer abandoned infants and children for 
adoption, and adults who adopt without official registration will not be 
recognized as legal guardians, the China Daily reported.

China has a thriving domestic black market in children, mostly involving buyers 
who want more children or those who want them as slave labor.

Forcing people to go through official adoption channels will reduce the demand 
for abducted children, Ji Gang, the director of the domestic adoption 
department of the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption, was quoted 
as saying by the China Daily. The rules being drawn up are due to be introduced 
by the end of the year.

Authorities in northwestern China announced earlier in the year they would 
crack down on the trafficking of Xinjiang children, some of whom are bought or 
kidnapped by gangs who force them into pickpocketing and other nonviolent crime 
in China’s eastern cities.

Xinhua News Agency said the children targeted are mostly aged between 10 and 18 
and from 4 cities in Xinjiang, a region with majority Han Chinese and minority 
ethnic Uighurs.

Many of them are forced into stealing by gangs after being conned to leave home 
for large- and medium-sized eastern cities with fake job offers, Xinhua said.

On Monday, eight people were sentenced in 5 cases, including a father who sold 
his 12-year-old daughter twice to pickpocket gangs and 2 child traffickers who 
beat a boy into a coma and then threw him into a river.

In one case, a ring headed by Umair Tohti coaxed young children in Xinjiang 
into working as migrant laborers in Huizhou City, in southern Guangdong 
province, and beat and abused them, Xinhua reported, citing the sentence handed 
down by the Urumqi Municipal Intermediate People’s Court.

On Nov. 9, 2009, Tohti and 2 others, Tudi Daman and Memet Ahmat, beat a young 
boy who had attempted to flee into a coma and threw him into a river, where he 
drowned, Xinhua said.

Tohti was sentenced to death, and Daman and Ahmat were both sentenced to 
suspended death with a 2-year reprieve, according to the verdict. Such 
sentences usually are commuted to life in prison if the prisoner shows good 

In another case, Arken Wusiman sold his 12-year-old daughter in April 2009 to 
criminals who trained her as a pickpocket. After the girl was rescued and sent 
back home, Wusiman sold her again to another pickpocketing gang in January this 
year. He also sent two other abducted children to work as pickpockets, Xinhua 
said, citing the Markit county People’s Court.

He was sentenced to 9 years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan ($780).

In the 3 other cases, 4 people were convicted of child trafficking and 
sentenced to jail terms ranging from two and a half years to 11 years.

Xinhua said authorities in Xinjiang have sent police who speak Mandarin and 
Uighur to other provinces to assist in the crackdown on child trafficking.

Xinhua said that since April police had rescued more than 500 abducted Xinjiang 
children, cracked 90 criminal rings and detained 464 suspects.

The region’s Communist Party chief, Zhang Chunxian, said in April that rescued 
the children will be returned home and placed in government-run shelters that 
provide schooling and a safe environment, according to Xinhua.

(source: Associated Press)


The judicial death of reason

On 12th August the Anti-Terrorism Court handed down its judgment in the Sarfraz 
Shah case: 1 death penalty and 6 life sentences and compensation payments to be 
made to the family of the deceased. Judging from sentiments expressed in major 
news sites and social media, it seems that the internet frequenting public has 
generally welcomed the verdict as a great leap forward for the rule of law – 
see, for example, here and here. I disagree – I do not believe that sentencing 
six low-level, unknown law enforcement agents and a 7th civilian with the same 
maximum punishment that could judicially have been meted out to a convicted 
terrorist is in any way reasonable criminal justice.

As I wrote in my earlier article on this issue, punishment should always be 
proportional, predictable and not go beyond what is necessary to deter criminal 
behavior. This decision does not seem to reflect any of these three attributes 
– instead, it looks more like the paradigm example of a populist court trying 
to placate calls for retribution.

To be clear, I do not propose that these men should not be punished – I indeed 
wrote about holding them accountable. However, I do not think it is good policy 
to see ordinary rangers being labeled and 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2011-08-15 Thread Rick Halperin

Aug. 15


Lanka maid on death row back home after pardonHad battered her sponsor's 
wife with an ornamental pot

A Sri Lankan housemaid who was sentenced to death in 2006 returned home after 
being pardoned.

A 'Gulf News' report quoted a Sri Lankan Embassy statement as saying that 
38-year old Kanzul Maharifa Abdul Kareem was arrested on April 30, 2006, on 
charges of causing the death of her sponsor's wife by repeatedly hitting her on 
the head and face with an ornamental pot.

The Shariah Court issued her capital punishment in 2006.

The Embassy along with Sri Lankan External Affairs Ministry had been closely 
working on the clemency plea.

She was sent to Sri Lanka on July 31, the embassy said.

Sarath Wijesinghe, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the UAE, expressed his gratitude to 
the Rulers and the UAE judiciary.

It is inevitable that these incidents do take place when people work in 
difficult conditions, the press release said.

Employees face problems mainly due to wrongdoings by unscrupulous agents, who 
cause rifts between employers, sponsors and workers, embassy said.

(source: Emirates 24/7)


Convicted murderers to face retrialCassation Court overturns duo's death 
sentences in case involving the death of a sex worker

2 Afghans on death row for premeditately stabbing a sex worker to death will 
face a retrial after Dubai's highest court yesterday overturned their sentence.

The Dubai Cassation Court yesterday overturned the capital punishment against 
the defendants, 40-year-old A.N. and 30-year-old I.H., and ordered the Dubai 
Court of Appeal to hold a new trial.

The court has accepted the defendants' appeal and referred the case back to 
the Appeal Court for a new panel of judges to look into the case all over 
again, said Presiding Judge Mohammad Nabeel Riyadh in Courtroom 22 yesterday.

Prosecutors said A.N. and I.H. purchased 2 knives for Dh26 before they stabbed 
the Uzbek sex worker 23 times and stole her mobile phone.

The Courts of First Instance and Appeal sentenced the 2 to death after they 
were pronounced guilty of premeditated murder associated with a 2nd crime — 

The Afghans had pleaded not guilty and claimed that they didn't intend to kill 
the victim but had intended to rob her. According to the charge sheet, 
prosecutors said A.N. and I.H. premeditatedly killed the woman and stole her 
Dh600, two mobile phones, a DVD player and perfumes.


I intended to rob her. We fought and I unintentionally killed her. I did not 
preplan the crime, argued A.N. in court. I.H. denied the premeditated murder 

They also denied the charge of unlawfully locking up a 42-year-old Uzbek woman, 
N.A., in the washroom of the victim's flat and absconding.

According to the primary verdict, N.A. was jailed 6 months for working in 
prostitution. She has since been deported.

An Emirati police captain who questioned N.A. said she had claimed that the 
Afghans locked her in the washroom before running away.

N.A. broke open the washroom door and when she discovered the murder she ran 
away. We arrested the Afghans in Sharjah after we identified them from the 
surveillance cameras of the shop where they bought the knives, the captain 

The Appeal Court will schedule a hearing for the retrial soon.

(source: Gulf News)


Lawyers fear repeat of Bali 9 tip-offs Dylan Welch

AUSTRALIANS could still face the death penalty overseas as a result of tip-offs 
from federal police despite legal moves to prevent a repeat of the Bali nine 

This concern was raised in submissions to a parliamentary committee created to 
examine changes to extradition and mutual assistance legislation after the 
public outcry over the case in which 9 young Australians were sentenced to 
death or life imprisonment in Indonesia.

Australian Federal Police were criticised for tipping off Indonesian police and 
providing evidence for the prosecution after the 9 were sentenced on heroin 
smuggling charges in 2006.

The incident prompted a review of Australian laws governing when people could 
be extradited from Australia, and when Australian law enforcement agencies 
could provide information to foreign agencies. The proposed changes have been 
in progress since 2005 and, despite broad support in some sections, have been 
criticised by justice groups.

Their chief concern is amendments that give the attorney-general discretion to 
override prohibitions on providing information, or extraditing people, to 
countries where the death penalty is used.

Australian Lawyers Alliance president Greg Barns told The Age: ''I would have 
thought we ought to have been saying that any country with the death penalty on 
its books and with a record of using it in the last decade, we should just say 

He said while the AFP had revised internal guidelines on providing information 
to overseas agencies, the 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2009-02-10 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 10


Saudi supreme court wants revision of death sentence against Canadian

A Liberal MP says Saudi Arabia's supreme court has ordered a review of a
death sentence imposed on a Canadian man.

Dan McTeague, who has been lobbying on behalf of Mohamed Kohail, says the
decision buys time for the federal government to negotiate for Kohail but
leaves him in a legal limbo.

Kohail and his younger brother Sultan were jailed following a 2007
schoolyard brawl which apparently started when Sultan was accused of
insulting a girl.

One teen was killed in the fight but the Kohails have always insisted they
are innocent.

Mohamed Kohail was convicted of murder last year and ordered beheaded
while his brother was sentenced to a year in jail and 200 lashes.

(source: The Canadian Press)


Chinese woman who had son strangled given death

A court in central China has sentenced a woman to death for hiring someone
to strangle her 9-year-old son so she could have another child with her
new husband without violating population laws, a court official and
reports said Friday.

The case stems in part from Chinese policies  in effect for more than
three decades  that limit most couples to only one child.

The Higher People's Court in Shaanxi province ordered the death penalty
for former bank clerk Li Yingfang, overturning a lower court decision that
might have allowed her a life sentence, said a court official.

The official at the lower court in Weinan, a city in Shaanxi, said he was
familiar with the case and confirmed that the death sentence had been
ordered. As is common with Chinese officials not authorized to speak to
media, he gave only his surname, Liu.

Calls to the Shaanxi Higher Court rang unanswered Friday.

Liu also confirmed reports by Shaanxi Television that said Li, 36, gave
custody of her son from her first marriage to the boy's grandmother after
her first husband died.

She remarried, but her second husband also had a daughter from his 1st
marriage, so the couple could not legally have another child, it said.

The report said Li first paid 70,000 yuan (about $10,000) to have a man
named Wang Ruijie kill her second husband's daughter, but the girl
resisted and escaped. Li then took her son to a meeting with Wang, who
strangled the boy and left him by a rural road.

Li initially received a death sentence suspended for 2 years because she
had suffered from depression after having 2 abortions due to the rules
against her bearing another child, the reports said. Such sentences are
often commuted to life in prison.

But the higher court found that her depression was not directly related to
her crime.

Wang also was given a suspended death sentence, which the higher court
upheld. Both were ordered to pay compensation to the bereaved grandmother.

(source: Associated Press)


Former Chinese airport chief gets death penalty for bribery, embezzlement

A former capital airports holding company chief was given a death sentence
for bribery and embezzlement totaling more than 100 million yuan (14.6
million U.S. dollars), a court in east China's Shandong Province said
after the sentencing Tuesday.

Li Peiying, former board chairman and general manager of Capital Airports
Holding Company (CAH), was given the sentence by the Jinan Intermediate
People's Court.

Li, 59, was found guilty of seeking or accepting bribes totaling 26.61
million yuan while he was in office from 1995 to 2003. He abused his power
to provide guarantees for others to get bank loans, the court heard.

Li also misappropriated 82.5 million yuan for personal use from2000 to
2003, according to the court.

The court said the amounts involved were extraordinary and Li's crimes had
inflicted great economic loss on the country.

It also ordered the confiscation of all his personal property and deprived
him of political rights for life.

CAH, under the Civil Aviation Administration of China, is a large
state-owned enterprise, according to the company's official website.

It was founded in December 2002 through the merger of Beijing Capital
Airport Holding Co., Beijing Capital International Airport Co. Ltd.,
Tianjin Binhai International Airport and 3 other companies. It has 30
airports in nine provinces and more than 38,000 staff.

(source: Xinhua News)

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[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2009-01-20 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 20


Ex-Ohio death row inmate faces assault charge in Scotland

A British citizen who spent 2 decades on Ohio's death row is due to face
trial in his native Scotland on assault and robbery charges, officials
said Tuesday.

Kenneth Richey, who was spared the death penalty last summer after
striking a plea deal with U.S. prosecutors, was charged with breaking into
the apartment of Robert McCall in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh, and
stealing his cell phone in July.

Prosecutors also accuse Richey of returning to the apartment a few days
later, wearing a mask, and beating McCall with a metal rod, striking him
in the head and knocking him down a flight of stairs.

Richey denies 4 charges, including assault likely to cause severe injury
or endanger life.

He is due to be tried in Paisley, Scotland, in early March, a spokesman
for Scotland's Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said. The
spokesman declined to give his name, citing policy. Richey has been
ordered to remain in custody ahead of his trial.

The 44-year-old was put on death row in January 1987, after being
convicted of an arson attack in northwest Ohio in which his
ex-girlfriend's daughter, 2-year-old Cynthia Collins, died.

Richey always denied killing the girl, but he pleaded no contest to
attempted involuntary manslaughter and other charges as part of a deal
with U.S. prosecutors and was released from prison last January. Under the
terms of his deal, he made no admission that he had anything to do with
causing the fire and was sentenced to the 21 years he had already served.

His release prompted angry reactions from the child's relatives, but
Richey told a British newspaper in January that he was an innocent man.

He told the paper he was happy to be back in Scotland and hoped to be able
to live a quiet life.

(source: Associated Press)


Singapore defends death penalty

Singapore has defended its use of the death penalty, saying capital
punishment had deterred drug traffickers in the city-state, which Amnesty
says has one of the world's highest execution rates.

The introduction of the death penalty for drug trafficking has, we
believe, had the deterrent effect... As a result of our policies,
thousands of young people have been saved from the drug menace, Minister
for Law K. Shanmugam said in reply to an MP's question in parliament. The
minister's response was reported in The Straits Times.

The death penalty, carried out by hanging, is mandatory for trafficking
more than 15 grams (half an ounce) of heroin, 30 grams of cocaine and 500
grams of cannabis.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International last week asked the city-state
to make public comprehensive information about its use of the death
penalty, and again urged the government to stop executions.

It said the government had yet to provide annual statistics from 1993 to
the present.

The Ministry of Home Affairs could not immediately respond to the comment,
but in January 2004 it issued a statement saying that 138 people had been
executed in the previous 5 years.

Of those, 110 were executed for drug-related offences, while the rest were
for murder or firearms-related crime, the ministry said.

In The Straits Times report, Shanmugam said all capital punishment cases
in Singapore were matters of public record, and often reported extensively
in the media.

Amnesty said Singapore, with a population of more than 4 million, has one
of the highest per capita execution rates in the world and executed 420
people between 1991 and 2004.

Singapore is 1 of 9 states in the Asia Pacific region that still have the
death penalty, Amnesty said.

The watchdog's comments came after Singapore earlier this month hanged a
gunman for a rare gangland-style shooting that shocked the city-state, one
of Asia's most crime-free cities.

(source: Agence France-Presse)


Cotabato lawmaker opposes reimposition of death penalty

Cotabato 1st district Representative Bernardo Piol, Jr. expressed strong
opposition to the revival and re-imposition of death penalty in the

The solon said, he will not support efforts of some lawmakers at the Lower
House to revive the death penalty.

For Rep. Piol, death penalty totally closes the door for death convicts to
reform and lead a new life.

Wala nang pagkakataon ang mga nagkasala na magbago pa, Piol said.

He noted that death penalty had failed to serve its purpose and did not
serve as a deterrent to the rampant illegal drug business in the country.

Most often than not, he said, only small fish are arrested during
government operations against illegal drugs.

Prominent and influential individuals suspected to be involved in the
illegal drugs business remain scot-free and appear to be untouchable, Rep.
Piol added.

(source: Philippine Information Agency)

Capital Punishment, The Media, State and Society

Given the furor over the case of the Alabang Boys and calls for the
restoration of the 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2009-01-09 Thread Rick Halperin

Jan. 10


A double first as executioner

Chavoret Jaruboon, with 55 kills to his name, earned the distinction of
being the last prison executioner of 'Bangkok Hilton'.

THE last time Chavoret Jaruboon shot a man tied to a cross was at 5.21pm
on Dec 11, 2002. He fired 8 bullets, instantly killing Sudjai, a rapist
and murderer.

That historic kill earned Chavoret the distinction being Thailand's last
prison executioner. Since 2003, death row inmates in Thailand are executed
by lethal injection.

Chavoret's 1st execution was on Nov 23, 1984  1 day after his 36th
birthday. On that day he killed 2 criminals.

I did not feel much anxiety and I felt sympathy (towards the condemned
man), he recounted when asked on his first time execution.

He went on to kill a total of 55 men and women out of the 319 convicts
executed at Bangkok Hilton, the nickname of the notorious Bang Kwang
Central Prison, about an hours drive from the Thai capital.

I performed the most executions (compared with other Bang Kwang
executioners) and the last, he said in Thai through a translator during a
lunch interview at a hotel a few kilometres from Bang Kwang, which also
has prisoners who are Malaysians.

Have you executed any Malaysian? I asked. Mai mee (Thai for 'none'),
replied Chavoret, who with Nicola Price co-authored an English-language
memoir titled The Last Executioner.

For 10 years, Chavoret worked his way up as an escort (handling the
prisoners), to gun adjustor (adjusting and aiming the gun used to kill the
convict), to the most prominent position of all  the executioner.

The job of an escort was more challenging than that of an executioner, he
revealed in his book. It's probably one of the most emotional roles in
the whole process of execution because you personally pick up the prisoner
from his cell.

Death row inmates would know that one of them would be executed when lunch
for the day was served earlier than usual.

There was dead silence as the escorts (who he described as death's
messengers) walked into the cell. The atmosphere was gloomy. And inmates
even the troublemakers  avoided eye contact with the escorts.

When I called out (the condemned man's) name and he looked at me, I would
see the light going out of his eyes. It was as if his spirit had left
him, recounted Chavoret.

Those who had nothing to lose  those whose their parents were dead, or
their wife or lover had ditched them, or those that had lost all their
money  were calm when walking to their death.

So were hitmen. Chavoret usually apologised to the prisoners when
escorting them to the execution room. And a hitman's typical reply would
be: It is OK, I've killed so many people in my life.

Those who struggled (they were so terrified that they could not walk and
had to be transported by wheelchair) were those who claimed they were
innocent, or had failed to exhaust all legal means to escape execution.

He would advise them: It is going to happen anyway so please calm down
because, as Buddhist, we believe if you were terrified when you die, you
would be born in a bad place.

The executioner's job was easier. All I had to do was pull the trigger.
It is very easy to empty your mind and just shoot, he confessed in his
memoirs. The escort blindfolded the convict and then secured him to a
cross. The condemned man was tied with his back to a machine gun loaded
with 15 bullets. And a screen  with a concentric circle pinned on it to
denote the heart  separated the convict and the executioner.

But still, Chavoret admitted, before pulling the trigger, he hoped not to
miss so that there would be no screaming.

Has he missed?

They all died. But not all of them die instantly. I needed to keep
shooting for 3 to 5 minutes for some of them to die, he recalled.

If the escort did not tie the convict to the cross tightly, the convict
could wriggle. And when the bullets missed his heart there would be lots
of agonising screams.

Can you sleep at night? I asked.

I've never had any sleeping disorder. And I never used sleeping pills,
the last executioner said without emotion.

What I do is empty this story (the executions) from my mind. If I don't
do that I dont know what (the executions) will do to me.

(source: The Malaysia Star)


GMA against death penalty but ready to listen

President Arroyo stands pat on her opposition to the death penalty based
on her Catholic beliefs but is ready to listen to various sectors
demanding the revival of capital punishment against drug traffickers,
Malacaang said yesterday.

Pending the debates on whether or not to revive capital punishment,
Presidential Management Staff chief Cerge Remonde said the President is
also expected to unveil soon a comprehensive plan to combat the illegal
drug trade in the country in the wake of a controversy spawned by the
bribery-tainted dismissal of a drug case against the 3 so-called Alabang

The President has always stood by the stand of the Church which is

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news-----worldwide

2008-11-27 Thread Rick Halperin

Nov. 27


'Abolishing death penalty amid albino killings unrealistic'

The government has said the porposal to abolish the death penalty has come
at the wrong time because of the recent albino killings which have
tarnished public perception on the idea.

Constitutional Affairs and Justice minister Mathias Chikawe said this in
an exclusive interview with 'The Guardian' on Tuesday.

He was responding to the question whether Tanzania had plans to abolish
the death sentence in view of the fact that her neighbours had already
done so.

The issue of whether to or not to abolish it is sensitive as it calls for
infomed public views.

In big issues such as this one, you have to carry people with you but
cannot simply sail alone, said Chikawe.

The minister said the government was under pressure from human right
activists but added that convincing the people was a hurdle because of the
mixed feelings associated with the issue.

We have been collecting views from members of the public but the timing
is wrong as normal people think the sentence should remain.

Most of them are so disappointed by what is taking place with the albinos
that they don't want to hear anything about abolishing the penatly,
explained Chikawe.

According to Chikawe, the government had been under serious pressure from
activists from within and outside the country but insisted that the issue
remained controversial.

If changes were to take place they would be on Section 197 which calls
for a death sentence to a person charged with murder with intent, he

The government recently said the last time a person was hanged to death in
the country was in 1994 while the number of inmates on death row stood at

Home Affairs Deputy Minister Hamisi Kagasheki was quoted to have told the
National Assembly while responding to a question by Ponsiano Nyami (Nkasi,
CCM) who had wanted to know the number of persons legally hanged, those on
death row, and the time the longest saving inmate had been in the hanging

Ambassador Kagasheki said the longest saving inmate had stayed on death
row for 22 years.

He however insisted that the death sentence was a very controversial

Killing someone is a serious issue and it is in no way embezzlement of
funds to feed someone on death row, said Kagasheki while clarifying a
supplementary question by Nkasi legislator.

The Nkasi MP had wanted to know why the government incurred costs for
inmates sentenced to death and whether that did not amount to embezzlement
of funds that could have been put to some other use.

A final report containing public views on whether or not the death penalty
should be abolished in Tanzania was due in May this year.

Former Law Reform Commission executive secretary now Judge Crecensia
Makuru told `The Guardian` in an interview in Dar es Salaam in March this

We have been collecting views from wananchi.

We will conduct a consultative workshop with stakeholders on March 27.

We would like them to contribute to the report before we compile a final
report. If all goes well the report will be out by May, this year, Makuru
was quoted as saying.

Chikawe was quoted then as saying that the government had assigned the
commission to collect views from the people in Zanzibar and on the
Mainland, adding that the issue was sensitive and that it needed critical
analysis before reaching a conclusion.

Human rights activists have been putting pressure on the government to
ratify the convention against torture, and hence abolish the death

(source: Guardian)


Saudi appeals court upholds death sentence

An appeals court in Saudi Arabia yesterday upheld the death penalty for
Dollard des Ormeaux resident Mohammed Kohail, 23, who was convicted of
killing a Syrian national during a school fight in 2007. His brother
Sultan, 18, was convicted of the same crime, along with a Jordanian.
Sultan's case is still before the courts after an appeals court threw out
a sentence of 200 lashes and a year in prison. He could also face the
death penalty. Mohammed's case was sent to the Supreme Judicial Council
for review, and if the ruling is endorsed it will be passed to the supreme
authority for final approval. The brothers are Canadians who returned to
Saudi Arabia to visit relatives.

(source: CanWest News Service)


Ant-breeding swindler executed death penalty in north China

The general manager of a bogus ant-breeding project that swindled 3
billion yuan (417 million U.S. dollars) from investors was executed for
his crimes on Wednesday in northeast China's Liaoning Province, a local
official said.

Wang was board chairman of Yingkou Donghua Trading (Group) Co.,Ltd. in
Liaoning. Wang and the company managers had appealed to the provincial
high court after the first trial last year. The Liaoning Provincial Higher
People's Court in February made a judgement upholding the death penalty
for Wang Zhendong on the charge of financial 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-11-07 Thread Rick Halperin

Nov. 7


Saudi executed for starting deadly jail fire

A Saudi man was beheaded by the sword on Friday after he was convicted of
deliberately starting a prison fire which killed 69 inmates in September
2003, the interior ministry said.

Saad bin Fhaid al-Sebaiei was executed in Riyadh after he was found guilty
of starting the blaze at Al-Hair jail on the southern edge of the Saudi
capital, where he was held at the time, the ministry said in a statement
carried by the official SPA news agency.

In April 2004, the head of Riyadh prisons was fired and several other
officials were suspended for dereliction of duty in the deadly incident in
Saudi Arabia's largest prison, which housed about 3,500 inmates.

The interior ministry said at the time that an inquiry committee
established that the fire was started deliberately by Sebaiei, who set a
blanket ablaze as prisoners were assembling for noon prayers.

Friday's beheading brings to 86 the number of executions announced by
Saudi Arabia this year.

Last year, a record 153 people were executed in the oil-rich Gulf kingdom,
which applies a strict version of sharia or Islamic law. This figure
compared with 37 in 2006 and the previous record number of 113 executions
in 2000.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in a report last month
that executions were surging in Saudi Arabia and that the principal
victims were poor migrant labourers and Saudis without connections.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking can all carry
the death penalty in the ultra-conservative country, where executions are
usually carried out in public.

(source: Agence France-Presse)

Canadian closer to beheading in Saudi Arabia

A Canadian sitting on death row in Saudi Arabia appears to be closer than
ever to being executed.

A Saudi appeals court has turned down an appeal from Mohamed Kohail, 23,
who earlier this year was convicted for his role in a fatal schoolyard
beating, The Globe and Mail reported Friday.

In March, Kohail was convicted for his part in the beating death of youth
worker Munzer Al-Haraki at Jeddah's Edugates International School on Jan.
13, 2007.

The conviction carries a sentence of public beheading, which Kohail could
face in the near future.

Dubai-based reporter Sonia Verma told CTV Newsnet that Kohail must have
the decision overturned by the Supreme Judicial Council or ask King
Abdullah for clemency in order to avoid being executed.

But she said neither outcome is very likely.

The Supreme Court has to essentially approve the appeals court decision,
Verma told CTV Newsnet in a phone interview on Friday.

Most decisions are simply approved, it's a matter of rubber-stamping. And
then the decision goes up to the King. So, that's the process.

She said the best bet for Kohail's survival was likely for the Canadian
government to make a direct appeal to King Abdullah.

Lisa Monette, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade, said Ottawa could not confirm that a ruling had been
handed down by the appeals court in Saudi Arabia.

Our latest information is that the Court of Cassation (appeals court) has
not yet delivered a verdict on the most recent appeal, she said.

Monette said Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon has been briefed on
the case and it is his intention to speak to his Saudi counterpart in
the very near future to reiterate our concerns.

She said the government is doing everything it can to help Kohail and his
teenaged brother, Sultan, who has also been convicted for his part in the
fatal schoolyard beating.

Mahmoud Al-Ken, who is acting as spokesman for the Kohail family, said he,
too, expects both the King and the Supreme Judicial Council will uphold
the decision against Mohamed Kohail.

All legal procedures have been exhausted, he told CTV.ca over the phone
from Montreal.

Al-Ken said he spoke to Kohail's parents by phone on Thursday evening.

They don't know actually what to do, he said. Their only hope now is
diplomatic communication.

He said they are urging the Canadian government to pull all the strings
that it can to save Kohail's life.

But it is not only Mohamed Kohail who could be executed.

In April, Sultan Kohail was convicted for his part in the same fatal
beating -- but being a youth, he received a lighter sentence than his

His sentence was to receive 200 lashes and spend a year in jail. However,
a court later decided he should be tried as an adult.

According to The Globe, the younger Kohail will be re-tried next week. If
convicted, he, too, could face a penalty of death.

Both brothers immigrated to Canada with their family in 2000.

The Kohail family lived in Montreal until 2006, when they returned to
Jeddah after a family member became ill.

(source: CTV News)


HRCP disappointed on Death penalty for 'cyber-crimes': Asma Jahangir

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-11-02 Thread Rick Halperin

Nov. 1


'An eye for an eye makes the world blind'

For many of our compatriots, the death penalty is one of the bedrock laws
of nature. They can quote references - generally from the Bible - why it
is absolutely right and proper for the state to take the life of someone
who has maliciously ended someone else's life. Vengeance is mine - I will
repay! is their motto, and they plough ahead, regardless of what reason
dictates or what studies and statistics show. My colleague, Barbara
Gloudon, last week raised some questions about this issue, which prompted
me to take a look at the worldwide situation.

First of all, the death penalty is in definite disfavour among the nations
of the world, regardless of their religious or cultural background: rich,
poor or in-between; whether they be democratic, autocratic or
dictatorship. 137 countries - more than 2/3 of them - have abandoned the
death penalty, either in law or in practice. Last year, more than 1,200
people were executed in 24 countries, and almost 3,400 were sentenced to
death in some 50 countries.

Jamaica's attachment to the death penalty puts it in some distinguished
company. According to Amnesty International, a mere 5 countries - China,
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States - accounted for 88 % of
the executions carried out last year. China considers execution figures a
state secret, but we know of at least 470 last year. In the same period
Iran put 317 to death, Saudi Arabia 143, Pakistan 135 and the US 42.
Interestingly, almost everywhere you look, the murder rate has gone down
instead of up, although the relationship between the decrease in homicides
and cessation of the death penalty has never been convincingly

One of the biases we grew up with in the British colonial era is that we
were the beneficiaries of the utmost in civilised behaviour, while those
who were unfortunate enough to fall under Latin influences operated under
a lesser standard. Well, in the Americas, the only countries which still
retain the death penalty are the Anglophone members of Caricom, Cuba and
the United States. Cuba reserves it mainly for cases of treason and other
similar crimes against the state. In Europe, only one country - Belarus,
still hangs on to capital punishment. The prime minister of Russia, the
old KGB man Vladimir Putin, declares that the state must not claim the
right to take human life away, which belongs only to the almighty.

Everyone in this country is familiar with the Old Testament injunction
about An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, which is one of the
rationales for maintaining the death penalty. But no less a figure than
Mahatma Gandhi maintained that An eye for an eye makes the whole world
blind. Supporters of the death penalty argue that it is justified because
it is, first of all, a means of retribution; it is also a deterrent, will
avoid any danger of re-offending, and is cheaper than keeping someone in
prison for years on end. Opponents counter that killing someone is wrong -
for whatever reason. They say there's no evidence of a deterrent effect
(and many studies bear this out); life in prison is just as effective as
execution in preventing someone from re-offending, and saving money can
never be a justification for putting someone to death.

By far the most compelling argument against the death penalty, though, is
the possibility of executing someone for a crime they didn't commit.

There are 4 celebrated cases in recent Canadian history of people who
spent years in prison only to be subsequently proven not to have committed
the crime.

In 1959, a 14-year-old boy, Stephen Truscott, was found guilty of the
murder of a 12-year-old schoolmate and sentenced to death. He was to have
been hanged that same year, but after an appeal the sentence was commuted
to life. He was the youngest person to receive the death sentence in
Canada, and his case became a major factor in the drive towards the
ultimate abolition of capital punishment. He filed a string of motions,
culminating in a declaration by the Ontario Court of Appeal last year that
his trial had been a miscarriage of justice. Finally this year, he was
declared officially innocent.

In 1969, a teenager, David Milgaard, who was on a road trip across western
Canada with some friends, was arrested for the murder of a young nursing
student in Saskatoon. Exactly a year after the murder, he was found guilty
and sentenced to life. He stoutly maintained his innocence, and his
mother, Joyce, conducted a campaign which lasted several years until
Parliament took up the case. It was referred to the country's Supreme
Court, which recommended that the conviction be set aside. DNA evidence
subsequently convicted another person of the crime, and the government of
Saskatchewan apologised for the wrongful conviction and awarded him C$10
million in compensation.

Another teenager, Donald Marshall, was sentenced for the murder of a
teenaged acquaintance in 1971. He 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-10-31 Thread Rick Halperin

Oct. 31


Execution wrong - even for terrorists

After more than 2 years of delays and legal brinkmanship, it seems it is
finally going to happen. In the coming days Indonesian firing squads will
shoot the three men sentenced to death for organising the October 2002
Bali bombing. The bureaucratic wheels are turning to provide the time, the
place, the personnel, the training, the equipment and the legal authority
to kill 3 people.

Many in Australia and Indonesia will applaud the executions, looking to
the firing squads to deliver revenge and a measure of emotional release.
Some journalists will reach for that dubious clich?nd ask whether the
victims now have 'closure'. And their deaths will bring an end to the
stream of heartless and absurd statements from the men who gained an aura
of macabre celebrity from the media attention.

Undeniably these 3 men are criminals, whose actions had a shattering
impact on the hundreds of people killed or injured and the thousands who
cared for them. Undeniably the bombers deserve harsh punishment, both to
protect society from what they may do again, given the chance, and to
signal a collective outrage at their crimes. None of that is at issue.

But there are unsettling questions in the countdown to the executions. Is
it ever acceptable for a government to kill convicted criminals in the
name of society as a whole? Or is it justified in this case?

Here's an answer: execution is never justified. The death penalty is never
an appropriate response to serious crime. This includes the Bali bombers.
It is possible to condemn their crimes while also believing they should
not be killed by the state.

Even if their executions deliver a sense of revenge, they represent a step
that no government has the right to take. No government should carry out
the coldly planned and delivered act of putting a human being to death in
the name of justice. The enormity and the horror of these people's crimes
will never be wiped away by their deaths, and the promise they destroyed
can never be returned.

Over the past 30 years, the death penalty has increasingly been seen as a
human rights issue. Under the key international human rights charters,
every individual has certain basic rights such as the right not to be
tortured and the right to life. In the words of the International Covenant
on Civil and Political Rights, these rights derive from the inherent
dignity of the human person. They are not granted by our parents, our
families, our race or the society around us. This is why murder is, among
other things, a violation of human rights.

Because no government grants us these rights, no government has the power
to take them away. Only where there is a direct or immediate threat to
life are police, soldiers or individual citizens permitted to use lethal
force. An overwhelming majority of countries have come to agree the death
penalty is the ultimate violation of the right to life by a government.

The legitimacy of modern government rests on protecting their citizens,
and ensuring the conditions for people to achieve their potential. It used
to be argued that executions were necessary to protect communities from
criminals and deter further crime. Both of these arguments are now
threadbare, with modern prisons offering physical security and mounting
evidence that the severest punishment does not deliver a greater level of
deterrence against crime.

When it is applied to murder, there is a fundamental contradiction at the
heart of the death penalty which destroys it as a symbol of a society's
values. It is not possible for a government to demonstrate the supreme
worth of human life by killing. Some claim the very seriousness of killing
proves the importance of the innocent life the state is acting to avenge.
But far from cancelling out the original crime, it instead places the
state in the position of mimicking the killer's original decision that a
particular person should no longer live.

The ethical dimensions of execution also need to be tested against the
reality of death penalty systems around the world. It is easy to imagine
the unremorseful criminal, tried in a perfect justice system where
execution sends an unmistakeable signal to would-be criminals that they
will receive the same punishment if they similarly offend. This situation
does not exist anywhere in the world.

The firing squad and the scaffold are symbols of absolute state power, but
also of infallible state power, and there is no such thing as an
infallible justice system. There are cases where the defendant is
certainly guilty, including the Bali bombing conspirators. However many
cases are far from certain, which introduces the very real risk of error ?
even the best justice systems in the world make mistakes. To accept that
some people will be killed as a result of mistaken convictions is to
accept that innocent people will inevitably die.

For a penalty that is supposed to deliver justice using the 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news-----worldwide

2008-10-28 Thread Rick Halperin

Oct. 28


Iraqi Court Sentences Man to Death for Murder of American Soldiers

We've covered attempts by the U.S. government to use the federal court
system to prosecute American soldiers for alleged war crimes abroad. Those
efforts haven't seen much success. So lets go to Iraq.

Today, an Iraqi criminal court held a local militant responsible for the
kidnapping, torture and murder of 3 American soldiers in 2006. Heres a
report from the New York Times.

Twenty-nine-year-old Ibrahim Karim al-Qaraguli  who was part of a gang of
militants operating in an area south of Baghdad known as the Triangle of
Death  was sentenced to death, while his two co-defendants were
acquitted. The NYT reports that al-Qaraguli appears to have been the
driver of one of the vehicles that was used in the soldiers abduction and

The kidnapping and killing of the 3 soldiers, who belonged to the 101st
Airborne Division, was one of the more horrific to occur in the course of
the war, reports the Times. The 3 victims were David J. Babineau, Kristian
Menchaca, and Thomas Tucker. They were attacked by a group of insurgents
as they sat in their Humvee under a bridge near the Euphrates River.

The Mujahideen Shura Council, a militant Sunni group affiliated with Al
Qaeda in Mesopotamia, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was
revenge for the rape of a 14-year-old girl and the subsequent killing of
the girl, her parents and younger sister. According to the Times, the
three soldiers were in the same unit as six that were charged with the
rape and murder.

(source: Wall Street Journal)


EU seeks approval of renewed resolution against death penalty

The European Union (EU) and other countries compiled a U.N. resolution
Monday calling for a temporary suspension of the death penalty.

The resolution was distributed to a number of member states the same day.
It will be submitted to the Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly
in the near future, and the committee and assembly are likely to approve

The EU submitted a similar resolution last year which was accepted in a
majority vote in the General Assembly.

The proposed resolution, a copy of which was obtained by the Mainichi,
reaffirms the resolution adopted last year, and welcomes suggestions in a
report that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently presented to the
assembly. The report noted that abolition of the death penalty was
becoming a worldwide trend and called for a temporary suspension of
executions, adding that even in cases where it was difficult to suspend
the death penalty, countries should place tough restrictions on carrying
it out.

The proposed resolution calls for an examination of the state of the death
penalty worldwide in 2 years time, and seeks talks on how to influence
countries that maintain the death penalty at that time.

Following the U.N. resolution last year, Uzbekistan abolished capital
punishment in January. A U.N. report stated that as of July 1 this year,
there were 141 countries and regions that had abolished the death penalty
by law or in practice.

(source: Mainichi Daily News)


Japan applies death penalty at highest rate since 1975

Japan defied international opinion today by executing 2 men on the same
day as the UN was due to issue a report critical of its use of the death

The executions brought the number of hangings in Japan this year to 15 -
the highest since 1975, when 17 inmates were sent to the gallows.

The 2 men hanged were Michitoshi Kuma, 70, and Masahiro Takashio, 55, the
justice ministry said in a statement.

Kuma abducted 2 7-year-old girls as they walked to school in 1992 and
strangled them in his van. Takashio stabbed to death an 83-year-old woman
and her 55-year-old daughter at their home in 2004, and fled with 50,000
(334) in cash.

The justice minister, Eisuke Mori, said the men had taken precious

They were cases that caused grief and heartbreak to the victims' families
and so I humbly carried out my duty, he said.

Though domestic support for death penalty remains high, Japan is at odds
with a growing international trend towards abolition, despite having one
of the world's lowest crime rates.

According to a recent UN report, 141 countries have abolished the death
penalty, or at least no longer use it, while 56 retain its use, including
the US, Japan and China. Almost 90% of all executions in 2007 were carried
out in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the US.

Today's hangings took place as the UN commission on human rights prepares
to issue its first review of the human rights situation in Japan for 10
years. The report, which was due to be submitted to officials in Tokyo
today, is expected to be particularly critical of Japan's use of the death

Choosing the same day to hang two men sends a clear signal to the UN that
Japan is not willing to listen to criticism or take on board
recommendations, Makoto 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-10-20 Thread Rick Halperin

Oct. 20


Britain's last hangman kept 'diaries of death'  The fascinating
diaries of death written by Britain's last hangman have been disclosed.

Harry Allen, who oversaw dozens of executions between 1941 and 1964, kept
a precise log of prisoners and how they died.

His matter-of-fact journal recorded details of each prisoner's age,
weight, height and his calculations of how long the rope needed to be to
generate the speed required to ensure a swift death.

Referring to one hanging, Allen suggested that, with hindsight, the rope
had been too short.

He noted: Very good job but should have had another 2 or 3 inches - very

Allen was the chief executioner at 29 hangings and assisted at 53 others
in London, Manchester and Leeds.

He always wore a black bow tie during executions as a sign of respect and
for 15 years served as an assistant executioner, mostly to Albert
Pierrepoint, who was recently the subject of a film starring Timothy

Allen's most controversial execution was that of James Hanratty, hanged on
4 April 1962 at Bedford Prison, for the A6 murder case despite efforts to
clear his name.

Allen also assisted in the wrongful execution in 1953 of Derek Bentley,
who was convicted of murdering a policeman after witnesses said he told
the killer: Let him have it Chris.

He performed 1 of the 2 final executions in Britain, when at 8am on August
13, 1964 Gwynne Owen Evans was hanged at Strangeways Prison in Manchester
for the murder of John Alan West.

Evans' accomplice Peter Anthony Allen was hanged simultaneously at Walton
Prison in Liverpool by Robert Leslie Stewart.

In his diary Allen noted that he was 29 when he witnessed his 1st
execution on November 26, 1940 at Bedford prison.

William Cooper, 24, had been convicted at Cambridge of murdering an
elderly farmer called John Harrison.

Allen described it as a very good, clean job despite Cooper's loss of
courage at the last.

The hangman wrote in his diary: The culprit had to be carried to the
scaffold owning to his faintness.

Others though, met their maker with a smile.

Clifford Holmes seemed very cheerful moments before he was hanged at
Strangeways in 1941. The 24-year-old soldier had murdered his wife, Irene,
for having an affair while he was away in the army.

For some death came quickly but others suffered in their final moments.

Allen noted that murderer Walter Cross, 21, died very quickly - within 6

But Peter Griffiths, 22, who had raped and murdered a 3-year-old girl in
Blackburn, was still alive 30 seconds after the trap door opened.

The execution that seems to have made the deepest impression on Allen
happened in 1945 when 5 Nazi prisoners of war were hanged for murdering a
fellow German soldier who had betrayed their escape plan.

Allen wrote: It was a foul murder. They staged a mock trial, kicking the
victim to death and dragging him by the neck to the toilet where they hung
his lifeless body on a waste pipe.

These 5 prisoners are the most callous men I have ever met so far but I
blame the Nazi doctrine for that. It must be a terrible creed.

Erich Koening, 21, was the 1st of the soldiers to go to the gallows at
Pentonville Prison and swore allegiance at the last to Nazi Germany.

Allen wrote: His last words were spoken in German. Long Live the
Fatherland. This man was in my opinion the leader of this gang of
prisoners and a definite Nazi.

Allen died in 1992, at the age of 81. His granddaughter is the comedienne
and actress Fiona Allen who starred in the television show Smack the Pony.

His diary and tools of the trade, including 2 black bow ties and his tape
measure, will be auctioned by Marshall's in Knutsford, Cheshire, on
November 11. They are expected to fetch around 5,000.

(source: The Telegraph)


Death Sentences Follow Fugitives Thick and Fast

Algeria is set to be among the top 3 countries in the world with the
highest number of death sentences passed in 2008, regularly condemning
people accused of terrorism -- whether or not they are present in court to
answer charges.

So far this year, nearly 300 death sentences have been handed down by
courts and tribunals around the country, Amar Zaidi, a lawyer and human
rights activist told IPS. Most of these sentences were passed in absentia
to people on terrorism related charges.

Only a small number of this year's death sentences have been for
premeditated murder and drugs-related offences, according to press

In 2007, Algeria sentenced 271 people to death, putting it third on the
list of 51 countries still passing death sentences, according to Amnesty
International. China was top of the list with more than 1,800 death
sentences, followed by Pakistan with more than 307.

In 2007, Algeria was the only Arab nation to vote for the U.N. resolution
calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. Algeria could do
this because since 1993 it has observed a moratorium on executions.

Since the passing of the 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-06-02 Thread Rick Halperin

June 2


Reps seek end to death penalty

Capital punishment may soon be expunged from the nation's statutes book if
members of the House of Representatives now sponsoring a Bill towards that
direction, have their way.

3 members of the House including former Speaker of Edo State House of
Assembly, Hon. Friday Itulah, Hon. Samson Osagie and Hon. Patrick
Ikhariale are proposing a Bill for an Act to amend the Criminal Code Act
Cap. C38, Robbery and Fire Arms (Special Provisions) Act Cap R11 and the
Armed Forces Act Cap.A20 Laws of the Federation.

They want to substitute death penalty with life imprisonment.

Even though the Bill expected to be tabled on the floor of the House by
Hon. Itulah this week would not seek to abolish state laws, it would
however amend the Federal enactment to abolish capital punishment or out
rightly expunge death sentences from penal laws made by the National

According to a correspondence by Hon. Itulah explaining the merits of the
Bill to members of the House by the time the National Assembly expunges
capital punishment from its statutes book, the various state houses of
Assembly will either follow suit or take steps to domesticate the one that
has been passed by the National Assembly.

He argued that death penalty did not serve the tripartite purpose of
reformation, retribution and deterrence that punishment ought to engender.

According to him, the idea behind the policy of reformation is that a
convict should or ought to be reformed to enable him to become a more
useful person in the society. The question I; can you reform a person that
is sentenced to death?

The idea behind the policy of retribution is to inflict severe punishment
for something seriously wrong that somebody has done.

In this country, people have been sentenced to death for offences that did
not involve the taking of life of another.

People have been sentenced to death for offences such as mutiny,
trafficking in currencies, treasonable felony, etc. This policy
erroneously assumes that that all persons convicted of these serious
crimes committed the offences but people are sometimes punished in error
for offences they never committed.

The emphasis all over the world today is to stop spilling blood where it
can be helped, he argued, citing the instance of Rwanda which abolished
death penalty in 2007 and the fact that no civilian governor had endorsed
execution of criminals since !999.

On the policy of capital punishment as deterrent, the sponsor of the Bill
averred that the killing of convict would not serve the purpose but rather
made criminals more vicious and hardened in their activities.

He therefore observed that what would reduce heinous crimes was not the
letting of more blood but a ''change of our attitude and re-orientation,
saying,  Human life is sacred and it should not be summarily taken through
violent crimes or through the instrument of law.

Government, he stated should pay more attention to the reformation of
criminals rather than committing them to death adding ''when such
criminals are rehabilitated, they are likely to become good citizens of
this nation.

FG Appeals to Indonesia Over Two Citizens On Death Row

The Federal Government has pleaded to the Indonesia Authorities to spare
the lives of 2 Nigerians awaiting execution in Indonesia for drug

The 2 Nigerians according to the Indonesia law has been pencilled down in
the death roll for execution, but the Federal Government want them off the
death penalty at least.

Pleading on behalf of the Nigerian Government, when the Indonesia
Ambassador, Mr. Nurhadi Djazuli visited him over the weekend in Abuja ,
the minister of foreign affairs, Chief Ojo Maduekwe, said that move was in
line with the new foreign policy thrust of citizen diplomacy, which is
concerned with the welfare of the Nigerian citizens globally.

According to him, the Indonesian government should spare the lives of the
two Nigerians by commuting the death sentence to imprisonment.

We employ the ambassador to use his good offices to get the death
sentence passed on the 2 Nigerians commuted. There has been a long
standing relation between the 2 nations, both at bilateral and
multilateral levels, especially, as members of the non-alien movement.

Such long standing relation between Nigeria and Indonesia that has been
cordial needs to be nurtured and further strengthened, through
collaboration as well as cooperation.

Although, Nigeria was aware of the existing judicial process of Indonesia
, but due to the government's concern for the welfare of its citizens, it
is compelled to make the plea on behalf of the convicted Nigerians.

At this stage, it is not a matter of legality but a matter of diplomacy,
so I have to appeal on the issue the minister noted.

Maduekwe pointed out that even Nigerian citizens who may have done wrong
have a right, as such, the present government has a duty and is deeply

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news-----worldwide

2008-05-27 Thread Rick Halperin

May 28


Iran hangs 2

Iran has hanged 2 murderers for killing close relatives in the latest in a
growing number of executions in the Islamic republic, the Fars news agency
reported yesterday. A man convicted of fatally shooting 3 members of his
family was hanged yesterday in the northern city of Babol. Fars identified
the man sent to the gallows as R. A., convicted of killing 2 brothers and
the wife of his brother about 2 years ago. He was hanged in a police
station in the city, the report said, adding that the shooting broke out
over an inheritance feud. Meanwhile, a man was hanged in the northern city
of Ardebil for murdering his wife. The execution was carried out by the
victim's family in Ardebil's central prison. The hangings bring to at
least 98 the number of executions in Iran so far this year, according to
an AFP count.

(source: Kuwait Times)


After 13 yrs, Bhagalpur readies hangman noose

The Bhagalpur Central Jail will be witnessing its 1st execution in 13
years very soon.

The jail authorities have received the black warrant for Prajeet Kumar
Singhs execution. As per law, execution takes place between the 21st and
28th day from the date of issuance of such a warrant. In this case, the
warrant was issued by a Bettiah court on May 16.

The last execution in this jail took place in 1995 when Suresh Bahri, who
was convicted for killing his wife and children, was hanged by executioner
Jagua Dom, originally a sweeper in the jail.

Incidentally, Bhagalpur happens to be the only jail in Bihar and Jharkhand
where executions have taken place. After 1995, although several convicts
were lodged in this jail after being sentenced to death, they were
officially not on death row.

Prajeet, who hails from Indragachhi village under Sangrampur police
station in East Champaran district, was awarded the capital punishment by
a court in Bettiah. The Patna High Court and Supreme Court subsequently
upheld the death sentence. Prajeet had killed 3 children of his co-tenant
at Bettiah with the help of a knife on April 18, 1998.

Now the gallows will have to be readied once again here. A hangman will
have to be roped in, possibly again from the late Jaguas family, as the
same family had served our purpose in Bahris case. A separate request will
be made to manufacturers of the special noose rope in Buxar. If we are
not able to get a hangman at the local level, we will make a request to
hire one from outside Bihar, said jail superintendent Uma Kant Sharan.
Prajeet has been kept in a special cell and he will be allowed special
food and other things although the enclosure will be as secluded as ever,
he said.

He, however, denied that Nata Mallick, the hangman who executed Dhananjoy
Chatterjee in Kolkata in 2004, would be roped in.IG (prisons) Sandeep
Paundrik confirmed that the black warrant had been issued against

Everything will take place within the parameters of law and according to
the jail manual, he told TOI over phone on Monday. Meanwhile, Prajeets
family has sent a mercy petition to the President.

(source: The Times of India)


Bangladeshis banned in Bahrain

Bahrain has stopped issuing work permits to Bangladeshis following the
brutal murder of a national. (Getty Images)Bangladeshis have been banned
from working in Bahrain following the alleged brutal murder of a Bahraini
national by a mechanic from the Asian nation.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa on Monday ordered
authorities to stop issuing work permits to Bangladeshis amid calls from
MPs to deport all Bangladeshis from the Gulf island state, Bahrain's Gulf
Daily News reported on Tuesday.

The accused was charged with premeditated murder on Friday for allegedly
slitting the throat of Mohammed Jassim Dossary with a hacksaw after a
disagreement over payment for work on the victim's car.

The murder has outraged some Bahraini government officials, who have
repeatedly claimed Bangladeshi immigrants are behind the nation's growing
crime problems.

Following the murder, MP Abdul Halim Murad demanded the deportation of
more than 100,000 Bangladeshi labourers from the kingdom.

Murad on Sunday called on the government to put a timetable for the
deportation of Bangladeshi labourers from Bahrain after their repeated
involvement in murders and other crimes.

Bangladesh Embassy head Saif Al-Islam said the move had left him and his
colleagues in shock and the embassy would appeal against it.

For one person the government is punishing a whole nation, which is not
acceptable to us. We will appeal to the government to reconsider thiswe
will ask them at least to delay implementing this restriction, he told
the Gulf Daily News.

There are thousands of Bangladeshi people working in the cold and heat
for the development of Bahrain.

We have a good relationship with the people and respect Bahrain. The
government should not take such a harsh action.

Al-Islam said 106,000 Bangladeshis are 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-05-26 Thread Rick Halperin

May 26


Japanese gangster sentenced to hang for mayor's assassination

A Japanese court on Monday sentenced a gangster to death by hanging for
gunning down the mayor of Nagasaki in a rare assassination that led the
country to tighten controls on guns.

Tetsuya Shiroo, 60, who was associated with Japan's largest criminal
syndicate, was convicted of shooting Mayor Iccho Ito as he campaigned for
re-election in April last year.

This was a crime that shook the democratic system from its root and was
equivalent to denying the electoral process, Judge Yoshimichi Matsuo said
in the southwestern city, as quoted by Jiji Press.

Shiroo's crime was premeditated with a strong intention of murder. Shiroo
made the decision to assassinate him immediately after he expressed his
candidacy, Matsuo said.

The judge said Shiroo blamed his personal financial problems on the
mayor's administration and decided to flaunt his power by killing him.

Shiroo had previously had a dispute with the city authorities over
compensation for a traffic accident.

Shiroo, wearing a pale pink shirt underneath a suit, stood and showed no
emotion as the judge read the verdict, Jiji Press said.

He said during the trial that he was ready to be hanged.

I would like to sincerely receive the ultimate punishment, he had said.

A court official confirmed to AFP that the death sentence was handed down.

Ito, 61, was an outspoken pacifist born just weeks after Nagasaki's
best-known event -- the world's 2nd and last atomic attack.

His assassination led Japan, which already had strict gun control laws, to
raise punishments for illegal possession of firearms.

More than 1,130 people rushed to the courthouse Monday to grab tickets for
only 39 seats for the session, media reported.

Japan is the only major industrial nation other than the United States to
administer capital punishment, but it is rare for courts to give a death
sentence to people who have killed only one person.

Prosecutors called for the death penalty, saying that the assassination
was an atrocious act, an act of terrorism aimed at an election.

Shiroo planned to prevent a re-election and obstructed the right to have
an election in a way that has no precedent in the criminal history of our
country, said a closing statement read out by a prosecutor.

Japan has one of the world's lowest crime rates. Most gun violence is
linked to gangs, which have vast interests in nightlife and other
underworld businesses.

The country has seen several attacks on politicians in recent years. In
2002, an ultra-nationalist stabbed to death Koki Ishii, an opposition
lawmaker known for his aggressive investigations of corruption.

In Nagasaki, Shiroo had grievances with the city authorities after his
vehicle was damaged at a construction site 5 years ago. He had reportedly
gone more than 30 times to a city office seeking up to 2.7 million yen
(26,150 dollars) in compensation.

(source: Agence France Presse)


Death penalty for Japan gangster

A gangster has been sentenced to death by a Japanese court for killing the
mayor of Nagasaki.

Tetsuya Shiroo, 60, shot Mayor Iccho Ito twice in the back as he
campaigned for re-election in April 2007.

Shiroo, a member of the country's largest crime syndicate, blamed the city
government for his financial problems, the court heard.

The murder shocked Japan, where gun crime is extremely rare and the
possession of hand guns is banned.

At the court in Nagasaki, Judge Yoshimichi Matsuo called the shooting
outrageous and heinous.

This was a crime that shook the democratic system from its root and was
equivalent to denying the electoral process, he said.

Iccho Ito was a pacifist who had served several terms as mayor

Prosecutors said Shiroo blamed the mayor for the local government's
refusal to grant him a loan and compensate him for a traffic accident.

He shot him outside Nagasaki station in April 2007 in a bid to prevent his
re-election, they said.

During the trial, Shiroo expressed remorse for the shooting and apologised
to Mr Ito's family.

Mr Ito had served 3 terms as Nagasaki mayor and was a well-known pacifist.

(source: BBC News)


Ethiopian Court Hands Death Sentence to Mengistu

Ethiopia's supreme court on Monday sentenced to death former Marxist ruler
Mengistu Haile Mariam, granting a prosecution appeal that argued a life
sentence he was given for genocide was unequal to his crimes.

But Mengistu, who has lived a life of comfortable exile in Zimbabwe since
he was driven from power in 1991, is unlikely to face punishment unless
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe loses a run-off election next month and
cedes power.

Considering the prosecution's appeal that a life sentence was not
commensurate to the crimes committed by the Mengistu regime, the court
decided to sentence him to death, the court said in its ruling.

The prosecution in July appealed a life term handed to Mengistu in January
2007, after he was found 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-05-21 Thread Rick Halperin

May 21


Cruz echoes opposition vs death penalty, cites 'dysfunctional' justice

Even if the death penalty were revived now, the country's dysfunctional
justice system accommodating criminals above the law will render it a
tool for injustice, a senior Catholic bishop said Wednesday.

Lingayen-Dagupan archbishop Oscar Cruz said maintained the Catholic
Church's position opposing the revival of the death penalty, saying its
imposition will be unfair because it will be used only to kill small fry
but not touch the big-time criminals.

As no government is the author of human life, no human life may be taken
by any government. Furthermore, just as no human law can bring about human
life, this may neither be taken away by any law of man, Cruz wrote in his
web log.

Finally, death penalty is the summit of injustice when a justice system
is dysfunctional. And this is the reality when certain dynasties, certain
families and many individuals live and act above the law of the land, when
the demands of justice are neutralized by the tenure of power, the
possession of wealth, he added.

Cruz, a vocal critic of Malacaang, reiterated it would be better if the
country first achieves a functional justice system, noting that the
Philippine justice system has become progressively dysfunctional such
that the high and the mighty are above the law.

In contrast, the poor and the helpless are the victims of law as justice
has become selective in its relevance and application, Cruz said.

That is why as a matter of course, those perpetrate and perpetuate huge
crude graft and uncouth corrupt practices in the national level, those who
engage in smuggling in staggering proportion, those who make enormous
money from the calamity of others such as that caused by natural
disasterall these are untouchable by law and its enforcers as they
specifically remain beyond the reach of justice, Cruz said.

The ongoing shouts for the re-imposition of death penalty in the land do
not have these large-scale assassins and murderers in mind. It appears
that on account of a long selective observance of the law and
discriminatory application of justice in the country, even a good number
of the general Filipino public could also have an already dysfunctional
understanding of justice. Death for those who shoot and kill some
individuals. But never mind those who tightly strangle and eventually kill
millions of Filipinos, he added.

Pro-life group: Death penalty not the solution

Resurrecting he death penalty to deter heinous crimes such as the bank
robbery-massacre and a predawn massacre in Laguna province is an easy but
wrong solution, a pro-life group said Wednesday.

The Coalition Against Death Penalty (CADP) said Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri's
approach to solving the crimes by reviving the death penalty was greatly

It merely gives the impression that measures are being taken so as to
eradicate crime and that criminality is finally solved. But until such
time that the root causes of criminality are aborted, criminality will
continue, said CADP spokesman Rodolfo Diamante, in a statement posted on
the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website Wednesday

Diamante is also executive secretary of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on
Prison Pastoral Care.

He said that instead of working to resurrect the death penalty that
President Arroyo repealed in 2006, Zubiri should be more sincere in
stopping crime.

If he believes on the sanctity of God-given human life then he should not
call on the State apparatus to take away human life even of those who have
erred, he said.

Diamante urged Zubiri to instead work on the passage of legislation
pursuing not only the incarceration but also the rehabilitation of
prisoners and restitution to the victims.

He should find another way of defending society that will obviate the
need for the death penalty, which only brings out the worst in us all, he

For his part, San Pablo, Laguna bishop Leo Drona said he regrets the two
Laguna incidents so much and felt ashamed that it happened in his diocese
despite their efforts to teach morality.

It's a deep shame, and of course, a regret that such huge crimes are
happening in our diocese. I think that's a sign that many are loosing the
sense of respect for life and human rights, he said.

Drona, however, claimed the Church never failed to teach morality and
preach to the faithful about the Gospel.

There are really factors that are already beyond our control. I don't see
that the Church lacked efforts about this, he said.

But the bishop said that because of what could be the country's most
murderous week in years, the Church will preach about respect for human
life even more.

I've already talked to my priests. I've talked to my catechists and
teachers of the diocesan schools to always talk about respect for life,
respect for the rights of others, Drona said.

(source for both: GMA News)

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news-----worldwide

2008-05-12 Thread Rick Halperin

May 12


Bali bomber on death row marries ex-wife by proxy

An Islamic militant on death row for the 2002 Bali bombings was married to
his ex-wife on Monday but he was not present at the wedding.

This is the strangest wedding I have ever attended. The groom is not
present, said Muhammad Hasan, the militant's former Koranic teacher who
gave a sermon at the ceremony that lasted for an hour.

Amrozi, dubbed the Smiling Bomber for his constant grin during his
trial, had wanted to hold the reunion ceremony at the island prison in
Central Java where he is being held, but the authorities rejected the

Instead, his half brother, Ali Fauzi, took the vows on his behalf in a
small village in East Java province.

The bride, Ria Rahmawati, who was wearing a black Muslim dress and veil,
declined to make any comment. She first married Amrozi 22 years ago and
the couple has a son. Amrozi is still married to another woman.

About 50 people attended the ceremony, during which traditional Javanese
soup rawon and plain water were served. A copy of the Koran served as a

Amrozi, his brother Mukhlas and Imam Samudra face death by firing squad
for their role in the 2 nightclub bombings that killed 202 people,
including foreign tourists and Indonesians.

The bombings and several other deadly attacks in recent years have been
blamed on the Southeast Asian militant Muslim group Jemaah Islamiah.

Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected the convicts' final appeals and
they have said they will not seek presidential clemency, making it likely
the executions will now go ahead.

Indonesia does not normally announce dates for executions.

In a statement read out by their lawyers last year, the Bali bombers said
their blood would become the light for the faithful ones and burning hell
fire for the infidels and hypocrites if they were executed.

(source: Reuters)


Iran's execution rate rising

Iran has hanged 5 men convicted of burning a young woman alive after
raping her, in a prison in the central city of Qom, the government
newspaper Iran reported on Monday.

The 5 men identified only as Morteza, 21, Hadi, 24, Javad, 24, Hossein, 19
and Mehdi, 24, were sent to the gallows after being found guilty of the
woman's abduction, rape and murder, the paper said.

The victim, who was identified only as Narges, was a newly wed, it added.

We, together with 8 friends, kidnapped and raped her... and then we
burned her with petrol while she was still alive to make it impossible to
identify her, the paper quoted the 2 main defendants in the case as
saying in a joint confession.

The 5 men were also found guilty of raping several boys, convictions for
which they were sentenced to be thrown off a cliff.

That punishment is prescribed by Iran's Islamic penal code for men raping
members of their own sex but there have been few reports of its use.

5 other men have also been convicted and sentenced to death over the
woman's murder but have lodged appeals.

The hangings bring to at least 95 the number of executions in Iran so far
in 2008, according to an AFP count.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International reported that in 2007 Iran
made more use of the death penalty than any other country apart from
China, executing 317 people during the year.

The total was a sharp increase on 2006, when 177 executions were carried
out, according to Amnesty, and came amid a police crackdown on crime.

Capital offences in Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, drug
trafficking and adultery.

Human rights groups have accused Iran of making excessive use of the death
penalty but Tehran insists it is an effective deterrent that is carried
out only after an exhaustive judicial process.

(source: Independent Online)


Rawlings Regrets 1979 Executions

Memories of the 1979 executions of 3 of Ghana's former heads of state and
some top military officers came alive again at the weekend in Abuja as the
ex-president of Ghana, Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings (rtd), said though the
killings were regrettable, there was no way his Armed Forces Revolutionary
Council (AFRC) junta could have avoided them.

Rawlings also said Nigeria under President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was capable
of bringing out the best not only in the country but also in Africa
because according to him, Yar' Adua is displaying an admirable level of

The ex-Ghanaian president, who spoke at a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
Forum, said the executions were very painful and regrettable, but there
was no other way out.

Ghana's AFRC headed then by Rawlings executed eight senior military
officers on June 16 and June 26, 1979 for alleged corruption and
embezzlement of public funds.

He said if the executions had not been carried out, the rank and file of
the Ghanaian Army would have slaughtered the officer corps.

Rawlings cited the example of a military formation in Takoradi where, he
said, the soldiers had rounded up some 200 officers and were 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-03-07 Thread Rick Halperin

Mar. 7


Iraq caught in new row over execution order

After the Presidency Council approved the death sentence of Ali Hussein Al
Majid however failing to endorse the execution of 2 former army commanders
sentenced to death with him in Al Anfal case, Al Majids execution has
faltered because of a new dispute between Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki
and the presidency council.

In this context, Al Maliki wants all 3 defendants to be executed at the
same time, while President Jalal Talabani and Vice President Tarek Al
Hashemi opposed the hanging of Sultan Hashem and Hussein Rashid Mohammed
arguing that they were military men who had simply been following orders.

For his part, US military spokesman Major-General Kevin Bergner said in a
news conference in Baghdad earlier that the government had not yet made a
request for the 3 defendants to be handed over. He confirmed that once
that does happen we will fulfill our responsibility.

It is to be mentioned that the Iraqi government had announced that it
refuses to take over Ali Hassan Al Majeed without Sultan Hashem and
Hussein Rashid.

The prime minister refuses to split the death sentences issues by the
Iraqi High Tribunal. He wants them to be carried out together. He does not
believe the presidency council has the right to commute the sentences or
change them, Cabinet spokesman Ali Al Dabbagh said.

On the other hand, a judicial decision was issued to lift off all
restrictions imposed on Brigadier General Wafiq Al Samirrai among which to
end freeze of his movable and immovable money for having no moral or
material evidence that prove the implication of Al Samirrai in 1991
incidents. The decision was issued by investigation judges chief in the
Supreme Criminal Court Judge Adnan Al Badri.

(source: Iraq News)


The Threat of Death Hangs Over Thousands

3 months after the U.N. General Assembly called on states which practice
capital punishment to adopt a moratorium on executions, several thousand
Nigerians continue to live in fear of the gallows, with activists accusing
the government of inertia -- and even of failing to carry out its past
promises to free the aged on death row.

I do not see Nigeria towing the U.N. line, said Demian Ugwu, head of
advocacy at the Civil Liberties Organisation, based in the financial
capital, Lagos.

Nigerians in general support the death penalty because of the high crime
rate. This is why when an armed robber is apprehended by members of the
public on the streets, he is given jungle justice, he told IPS, noting
that government might well use the excuse of public opinion to justify to
the international community its inaction over a formal moratorium.

There are 784 inmates held in tiny, dark and filthy cells on death row
in Nigeria, according to Amnesty International. But there are also
thousands of others at risk of being sentenced to death, it reports in
'NIGERIA: Prisoners' Rights Systematically Flouted', a 52-page study
issued last month.

3 out of 4 of these are suspected of armed robbery, a capital offence in
Nigeria; the remainder are behind bars awaiting trial for murder. They
include aged and mentally ill prisoners, as well as young mothers.

In May 2007, Nigeria announced that it would grant amnesty to all death
row inmates over 70, and those 60 or over who had been awaiting execution
for 10 years or more. However, Amnesty has no confirmation that any such
prisoners were released.

Human rights activists have also accused Nigeria of breaking its promise
to maintain an unofficial moratorium, saying it has conducted executions
in secret.

Former head of state Olusegun Obasanjo, who was succeeded by Umaru
Yar'Adua in May last year, promised never to carry out capital punishment
during his administration. He also pledged to introduce a death penalty
ban. Obasanjo was in office for 2 terms, from 1999 to 2007.

Ugwu said there were executions last year in Kano State, northern Nigeria,
and that certain death row inmates had also been executed two years ago in
Enugu State, in the south-east. Officials are reluctant to allow access
to information and say they do not kill any longer; but we are aware these
executions took place.

Last year, Amnesty International said it had uncovered evidence of at
least seven executions in the past two years, although more may have taken
place. The death warrants had been signed by Kano State Governor Malam
Ibrahim Shekarau, it noted.

Olawale Fapohunda, a leading anti-death penalty activist and managing
partner of the Legal Resources Consortium, a Lagos-based non-governmental
organisation, said he could not confirm the allegations of execution.
Although the Nigerian Supreme Court had affirmed the constitutionality of
the death penalty, state governors were following an unofficial moratorium
because they believe some of the convicted may not be guilty, he told

Fapohunda said that during a visit to Kano State last year, he found
certain inmates lacking access to legal 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-02-04 Thread Rick Halperin

Feb. 4


Hearing on death penalty today

LUCKNOW: After 7 postponements on the requests of the defence, the
criminal appeal and confirmation of the death sentence in Manjunath case
is slated for hearing on February 4 at the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High

On March 26, 2007, the then district sessions judge, Lakhimpur, SMA Abidi
had sentenced the prime accused in the case, Monu alias Pawan Kumar Mittal
to death while his 7 associates in the crime were sentenced to
imprisonment under different sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for a
period ranging between 6 months and 7 years. These 7 were identified as
Devesh Agnihotri, Sanjay Awasthi, Rakesh Anand, Shivkesh Giri, Rajesh
Verma, Harish Mishra and Vivek Sharma.

The accused later filed appeals in the high court. On the request of the
defence, the court, however, deferred seven previous hearings - the last
being on January 2, 2008, when the court listed February 04, 2008 as the
next date.

The Manjunath murder case had triggered off a nationwide movement of sorts
against corruption which eventually saw not only the then UP chief
minister Mulayam Singh Yadav but also Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
other national level leaders publicly announce their resolve to bring the
culprits to book. The state government too, took the case seriously and
deputed a team to supervise the investigations directly under the then
senior superintendent of Police (SSP) Lakhimpur, Rizwan Ahmed.

The police left no stone unturned to prepare a strong case against the
accused and the prosecution pursued the court proceedings in all
earnestness which eventually led the prime accused Monu alias Pawan Mittal
being sentenced to death. His remaining 7 associates were also found
guilty of charges levelled against them.

The court proceedings and the subsequent verdict against the accused
received widespread acknowledgement while the common man on the streets
once again reiterated his faith and trust in the judiciary.

Sales manager of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and an Indian Institute of
Management, Lucknow passout, Manjunath was looking after the quality
control segment of the IOC petrol pumps in Lakhimpur region when he was
brutally murdered on November 19, 2005. On November 20, Sitapur police had
intercepted 2 persons in a car who were carrying the bullet riddled body
of Manjunath. In the subsequent interrogation, they revealed that
Manjunath was shot dead at Mittal Automobiles in Lakhimpur district.
During the course of investigations, it was revealed that Manjunath had
apparently detected adulterated petrol being sold to public from Mittal
Automobiles and had sealed samples from the gas station on the day of his

For the fear of his license being cancelled, the gas station owner Monu
alias Pawan Mittal and his aides shot dead Manjunath at their petrol pump
itself. They then deputed 2 of their aides to dispose the body in a canal.
The body was about to be disposed when Sitapur police intercepted the car
carrying the body and subsequently the case was busted.

(source: Times of India)


Death Penalty Row Deepens

79 murders in 2007 and 9 already for January 2008. With these kinds of
figures in mind, some members of the public have become even more
convinced that the solution to the crime dilemma plaguing the nation is
capital punishment.

It's the same kind of thinking shared by many other Caribbean nationals.

On the flip side, however, stand advocates for an end to the death penalty
who continue to cling to their assertion that killing another human being
will not stave off violent crimes.

If you go out and look at the people on death row or who have been on
death row in The Bahamas, the majority, in fact I would be willing almost
to bet every one of them, are there because they acted in one of 2 ways:
it was either premeditated to the point where they decided that the risk
was worth it or it was what they call a crime of passion in which case the
person is not even thinking about consequences for his actions, said R.E.
Barnes, local representative for Amnesty International, the international
human rights watch group.

So it has been found over time by a number of scientifically
substantiated cases that the death poenalty really is not an effective
deterrent to the crime that it is the sentence for.

Proven or not, many locals and Caribbean nationals believe in the death
penalty  for whatever reason whether its simply a matter of carrying out
the law thats on the books or believing the adage of an eye for an eye.

The calls for hangings have been almost deafening in recent times; even
the president of the umbrella religious group, the Bahamas Christian
Council, Bishop John Humes, has called for a resumption of capital

But not every religious group is in favour of taking the life of a murder
convict. In response to the recent high rate of crime and violence, the
Methodist Church said it does not support the death 

[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide

2008-01-31 Thread Rick Halperin


Note: Please write on behalf of these persons even though you may not have
received the original UA when issued on November 9, 2006. Thanks!

31 January 2008

Further Information on UA 299/06 (MDE 23/015/2007, 17 April
2007) and follow-ups (MDE 23/005/2006, 23 November 2006; MDE
23/003/2006, 09 November 2006; MDE 23/003/2007, 26 January
2007; MDE 23/006/2007, 01 February 2007) - Fear of Imminent
Execution /Prison Conditions/Medical Concern

SAUDI ARABIAHadi Sa'eed Al-Muteef (m), Saudi Arabian national, aged 31
Suliamon Olyfemi (m), Nigerian national, aged about 28
Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa (f), Indonesian national
Ahmed al-Bahrani (m), Saudi Arabian national
An unknown number of others under sentence of death

There has been an alarming increase in the number of
executions in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of 2008. At
least 20 people have been executed for murder, armed
burglary and drug related offences during the last three
weeks. Those executed include three women. The prisoners
named above, and an unknown number of others, may be at risk
of imminent execution.

Suliamon Olyfemi, a Nigerian national, was reportedly
sentenced to death at a closed trial in May 2005 in
connection with the murder of a policeman in Jeddah in 2002.
He was one of 13 Nigerian men arrested in September 2002 in
connection with the murder. The twelve others were sentenced
to prison terms and corporal punishment (see UA 323/04, MDE
23/016/2004, 26 November 2004, and follow-ups). During his
trial, Suliamon Olyfemi had no access to legal
representation or consular assistance, and was reported to
have had no adequate translation.

According to the Saudi Arabian Human Rights Commission, the
death sentence against Suliamon Olyfemi has been upheld by
the Court of Cassation and ratified by the Supreme Judicial
Council. Amnesty International fears that Suliamon Olyfemi
could be executed at any time.

Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa, an Indonesian national and a
mother of two, has been detained in Medina Prison since
1999. She was arrested in connection with the murder of her
employer in September 1999. She reportedly suffers from a
mental illness and is said to have confessed to the
murder during police interrogation.

There is no further news about the other men named above.

Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of
offenses. Court proceedings fall far short of international
standards for fair trial.

Defendants are rarely allowed formal representation by a
lawyer, and in many cases are not informed of the progress
of legal proceedings against them. They may be convicted
solely on the basis of confessions obtained under duress or

RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send appeals to arrive as quickly as possible:
- expressing concern at the number of executions in Saudi Arabia;
- expressing concern that Suliamon Olyfemi, Siti Zainab Binti Duhri Rupa,
and many others may be facing imminent execution, and calling for their
executions to be halted immediately;
- appealing to the authorities to commute the death sentences against
Suliamon Olyfemi and all of all those on death row in Saudi Arabia as a
matter of urgency, with a view to the abolition of the death penalty;
- seeking clarification of the steps being taken to enable Suliamon
Olyfemi and others to exercise effectively the rights to judicial review
and to seek a pardon.
- urging that international standards for fair trials be observed.

King Abdullah Bin 'Abdul 'Aziz Al-Saud
The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques
Office of His Majesty The King
Royal Court
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax (Min. of the Interior): 011 966 1 403 1185
Salutation: Your Majesty

His Royal Highness Prince Naif bin 'Abdul 'Aziz Al-Saud
Minister of the Interior
Ministry of the Interior
P.O. Box 2933
Airport Road
Riyadh 11134
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax:   011 966 1 403 1185
Salutation: Your Royal Highness

His Royal Highness Prince Saud al-Faisal bin 'Abdul 'Aziz Al-Saud
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Nasseriya Street
Riyadh 11124
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Fax: 011 966 1 403 0645
Salutation: Your Royal Highness

Ambassador Adel A. Al-Jubeir
Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia
601 New Hampshire Ave. NW
Washington DC 20037
Fax: 1 202 944 3113
Email: info at saudiembassy.net

Check with the AIUSA Urgent Action office if sending appeals after 14
March 2008.

Tip of the Month:
Use shortcuts: Do whatever is necessary to make your
letter writing as quick and easy as possible. This way,
letters will not be put off and they can be sent out sooner.
Start by making a generic file for each type of concern;
paragraphs on torture, the death penalty, disappearances,
denial of medical care and so on, can be copied into your
working file and edited as needed.