[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Jul 6 12:55:45 CDT 2004
Europe pleads to Libya to stop execution
The parliamentary wing of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in
Europe (OSCE), a pan-European security body, urged Libya yesterday not to
execute 6 foreign medical workers convicted of infecting children with
A resolution before OSCE parliamentarians said confessions had been
extracted from the accused under torture by Libyan police and security
services, and that 2 of the interrogators had admitted that duress had
Bruce George, president of the parliamentary assembly of the 55-member
OSCE, said most people were convinced that the 6 - 5 Bulgarian nurses and
a Palestinian doctor - were wrongly convicted.
"I really hope that Colonel (Moamer) Kadhafi, the great leader, will step
in and prevent the executions because most people including the medical
profession say they are not guilty," he said in Scotland's capital
"It would set back all that the Libyans have been trying to do in the last
12 months" to rebuild links with the West if the executions went ahead,
said George, who also chairs the defence committee of Britain's House of
Commons or lower house of parliament.
The 6 accused had been charged with premeditated murder and intentional
infection of nearly 400 Libyan children with the AIDS virus through blood
The death sentences were handed down in May, 2 months after British Prime
Minister Tony Blair travelled to Libya to personally welcome Kadhafi back
into the international fold.
(source: Agence France Presse)
Karzai decrees execution of child traffickers
Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has signed a decree permitting the
death penalty for those convicted of child smuggling to use the victim's
body parts, a spokesman said Sunday.
The 8-article decree was signed Saturday before Karzai left for a brief
trip to the United States in response to growing concerns about the issue,
presidential spokesman Jawad Ludin told AFP.
All of the articles relate to the abduction of children and the decree
states that the judiciary must hold public hearings into any cases of
child kidnapping, trafficking or hostage taking. According to one of the
articles, if the kidnapper's crime results in the disabling or death of
the child through loss of body organs then the perpetrator will be given
the severest of possible punishments contained within the law, Ludin said.
"If the act leads to the death of the child kidnapped the crime will be
treated as premeditated murder," he said. The death penalty is allowable
under Afghanistan's legal systems but all executions must be approved
individually by the president.
Ludin said the new decree, which came into effect immediately, did not
indicate an increase in the number of incidents of child trafficking for
the use of body parts but was designed to close a gap in existing
legislation. "The state apparatus should be prepared to deal with the
issue for the confidence of the people," he said.
The issue of child trafficking is a growing concern in Afghanistan,
however there are no official figures on the number of people smuggled.
The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission, which is investigating the
issue, has said that it has had hundreds of reports of missing children
since the beginning of the year. UNICEF has said that the bulk of children
who are either abducted from or voluntarily leave their villages with
smugglers are probably used to provide cheap labour.
(source: Daily Times)
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