[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Nov 2 15:27:48 CST 2004
The Leader's speech about capital punishment
The Leader of the Revolution, Muammar al-Gathafi correlated between the
seriousness of abrogation of capital punishment on one hand , and
advancement and human civility on the other. In his speech Sunday with
heads and members of juridical institutions, university Law teaching
staff, post -graduate and final year students from the universities of
al-Fateh, Seven of April and al-Mergib, he ruled out that the seriousness
of abolishing of capital punishment should be a result of any political,
economic, or security pressures from outside.
"Any how, in order to be serious, abolishing capital punishment, should be
as a result of advancement and civility, not a result of pressures as now
pressures are exercised on Turkey in order to get accepted into the
European Union, to be exercised against us all in the Mediterranean, or
the third world in order to join Western society" he stressed.
"When a backward state abolishes capital punishment to appease others or
to gain benefits such as Turkey for example, such a state would practice
capital punishment in a worse manner, it would continue to neutralize its
opponents in other than the traditional methods, which are courts and
lawyers, and the situation would be by far worse, because such a state did
not abolish capital punishment as a result of advancement, civility, and
culture, or because such society has become so highly civilized, refined
and humanitarian so much so it started to feel indignation and despise
killings of human beings and capital punishment etc." the Leader
"But to abrogate capital punishment in order to have access to the EEC,
the EU, the Mediterranean, Barcelona, the UN, etc. or to get a loan, and
not to be subjected to coups, this is mere demonstration of courtesy and
say I have abrogated capital punishment. Therefore, this is not the fruit
of advancement, as such that this punishment becomes psychologically
unacceptable, because the country which abrogates capital punishment, has
no people killing one another with knives or guns," the Leader explained.
"How capital punishment would be abrogated at courts, while we leave the
same members of society kill each other in the streets with knives, guns,
batons, or even by cars when they drive in high speed" the Leader
"When a man becomes civilized, and has a degree of awareness and
advancement so much so that he controls the speed of his car and knows its
consequences, and that he would never purchase a knife to kill someone
else, nor a gun even for self-defense purpose, because he knew that the
other party is refined and civilized, and its not possible to use the
knife or a gun against him. In such a case, the abolishing of capital
punishment becomes a result of civility and not as a result of fear,
greed, swindle, or hypocrisy," the Leader stressed.
The Leader Muammar al-Gathafi underscored that "we who are keen to
abrogate capital punishment in its true meaning, which is to abrogate the
execution of a human being through both the judicial and the extrajudicial
channels." "The human being must be respected every where and his blood
must not be spilled out and that the killing of a human being by any means
is forbidden" the leader urged.
Speaking Sunday to heads and members of juridical institutions,
university's law teaching staff, post-graduate and final year law students
from the universities of al Fateh, Seven of April and al -Mergib, High
Studies Academy, and the Green Auditorium, the Leader underscored; "They
should stop wars, invasions, colonialism and we also should stop the same
thing from our side, including stopping of judicial executions through
courts." "All kinds of executions should stop; the execution of peoples as
well as individuals should stop. In courts individuals are executed and
peoples are executed extra judicially. Now, the Iraqi people are sentenced
to capital punishment, so are the Palestinian peoples, extra judicially
and in masses, without trial and without defense," he stressed.
"We are anxious to abrogate, capital punishment in its true meaning which
is to forbid the execution of the human being judicially and extra
judicially. We must start with the most important which is to stop the
execution of human beings extra judicially, stop mass executions, and
death squads which should stop carrying out executions. Death squads are
those called armies" he explained.
The Leader stressed that he asked the Basic People's Congresses in Libya
to abolish capital punishment but they disagreed.
"The basic peoples congresses, they disagreed, because they still
unconvinced with the measure. How capital punishment should be abolished,
when one gets to the street and got attacked by somebody with a knife, and
in order not to repeat such act by someone else, he must fear, and know
that if he attacked another person with a knife and killed him he would be
"The Libyan people were conscious, and said capital punishment, which
al-Gathafi wanted to get abrogated, should not be abolished, because he
[al-Gathafi] wanted to consider us a civilized country, and wanted to
boast before the European and America, the UN, Asia and Africa and others.
If Muammar wanted Libya to be a civilized state, that abrogates capital
punishment, and that his ideas are as such, we for our part contemplate
from a realistic perspective that capital punishment should not be
abrogated" the Leader explained.
"Ive heard what the Libyan people said in peoples congresses, and seminars
on the issue. In such a way was their response, and I was very satisfied
with the response. People told me do you think abolishing capital
punishment is done with just one stroke of a pen"
"They said our society, has not reached the stage, where capital
punishment can be abrogated, and that other parties should abolish capital
punishment, which could be applied against us in masses, and extra
judicially" he elaborated.
"these were the words of the Libyan people, since I repeatedly asked for
the abrogation of capital punishment, yet the Libyan people persist in
rejecting the abolishing of capital punishment, because they [Libyan
people] view that we have not reached such stage, and because the world
lies, while it urges for abolishing of capital punishment, it daily
produces atomic bombs, warplane carriers, chemical weapons, artilleries,
tanks, anthrax and other germs."
In his speech the leader correlated between the abrogation of weapons
manufacturing, and destruction of existing weapons on one hand and the
abolishing of capital punishment on the other.
"Every day you are sharpening the knife, and manufacturing the knife to
slaughter human beings, how come then you ask them to abolish capital
punishment, why not you abrogate the knife, abrogate the manufacturing of
the knife. Destroy all weapons so that there will be no longer any weapons
in order to reach a degree of mutual trust. In such away Libya would not
attack America, and America would not attack Libya. Iraq does not attack
Kuwait, and Kuwait does not attack Iraq, Pakistan does not attack India
and India does not attack China etc. Once we reach such a stage, and there
is actual confidence, and reached such an advanced level, and the whole
world reached such a degree, we will become convinced" the leader said.
"When we say in Africa for instance, there must be one African army. We
proposed such a thing to the African Union to abrogate armies. Some one
who does not think thoroughly he would say, how come you abolish my army,
won't my African neighboring state attack me. We would say even your
neighbor has no army as we asked you to disband your army, likewise your
neighbor was asked to disband its army. Do not worry, so long your
neighbors have no armies, there would be no army to attack you. Like wise,
once you are not executing me , and abrogating the intention of executing
me and execution measures against me, I would abrogate it against you, and
we would have mutual trust, then the entire capital punishment could be
abrogated." the leader illustrated.
The Leader urged that syllabuses of the faculty of laws in Libyan
universities, and all Libyan arguments at international fora should
include the assertion that the abrogation of capital punishment should not
be selective, and that human blood should be equated, and human soul is
protected with out discrimination between human beings, or making
distinction between the means through which execution is carried out.
"We should state in the syllabuses of faculties of laws in the Jamahiriya,
and in all our statements that abolishing capital punishment, should not
be subject to selectivity in terms of annihilating an individual. There is
no difference between a Libyan and an American, between Iranian and
Indian, Pakistani and a Chinese, or between an English and a German," he
"The human soul is the human soul, human blood is the same human blood,
the human being is the same human being, we should respect him and not to
spill his blood with weapons, missiles, gallows, bullets, electric shocks,
or suffocation gas. All these are means of executions. We must agree to
abrogate capital punishment, and destroy all means of executions", He
The Leader stressed that the Almighty proscribed slaying a human life save
in the course of justice. He stressed that such divine permission is with
the exception of 'in the course of justice', and not with injustice and
aggression, colonialism, tyranny, dictatorship, torture and persecution of
"It is not the right of those against whom injustice is committed to make
excessive killing in the course of justice, for it is only his right to
kill the killer, and not to further kill another one who is not the
killer. Because the Almighty proscribed slaying human life save in the
course of justice" he explained.
"Human beings are the ones who carry out bloodshed, although, the Almighty
Who we worship does not permit killing and forbids slaying of the human
soul save in the course of justice" he reiterated.
(source: Libyan Jamahiriya Broadcasting Corporation)
Justice reaches dead-end----Ex-POW testimony sheds new light on America's
concept of post-war justice as the notion of international law faces
In accusing 1,039 Japanese of war crimes at the Yokohama War Crimes
Tribunals, 123 of whom were sentenced to death, U.S. officials apparently
sought not to seek justice in a legal sense, but to establish the
principle of ultimate accountability and set a benchmark for the
punishment of future war criminals.
But that benchmark, and the evolution of international law since now seems
in jeopardy as a result of U.S. policy toward the International Criminal
Court -- a direct descendant of those 1st war crimes tribunals.
In sentencing war criminals to death, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, argued that
"the roles of war, and military law resulting as an essential corollary
therefrom, have always proved sufficiently flexible to accomplish justice
within strict limits of morality."
However, new eye-witness testimony from a former POW suggests that
"justice," in the legalistic sense was not served and that suspected war
criminals may have been executed, in part based on false or unreliable
The very 1st trial at the Yokohama War Crimes Tribunal on Dec. 18, 1945,
concerned Tatsuo Tsuchiya, a 28 former civilian guard at Mitsushima POW
camp located in Nagano, from which came 11 convicted war criminals.
Among the three charges of which Tsuchiya was found guilty, most notable
was that which blamed the former guard, nicknamed "Little Glass Eye" by
inmates at the camp, for the beating to death of American POW Private
Robert Gordon Teas.
But the trial was beset by problems.
Mark Gayn, a former Tokyo correspondent of The Chicago Sun who witnessed
the trial wrote in his book "Japan Diary":
"As evidence was unfolded, doubt vanished that this mild looking ex-farmer
was sadist, who delighted in inventing cruelties to be inflicted on the
prisoners in the camp in which he was a guard."
However, Gayn added: "We all felt embarrassed watching the prosecutors
handle the case.
"Their case was built on affidavits, some of which would not have passed
the scrutiny of a police reporter, let alone a court of justice.
"The affidavits argued with each other. We snickered, but we felt uneasy
The new testimony from ex-Mitsushima POW Raymond Kirch supports Gayn's
assertion that fair judicial process was far from being observed.
Kirch has revealed that Teas was not killed by violence, but by an
improper medical procedure performed by Dutch Sumatran doctor Nicholas Van
Kirch claimed he witnessed Teas die just after receiving an injection to
ease beri beri-related swelling.
While there were affidavits stating that Teas had been severely beaten by
Tsuchiya and others, none of them mention how he actually died, other than
to say he was beaten and died some days later at a hospital.
While the true significance of the trial was that those accused of
committing war crimes were being held accountable," 'Proven beyond
reasonable doubt' was not established among most of the verdicts," says
Grant McL. McLachlan, a New Zealand documentary maker who has conducted a
far-reaching investigated of the Yokohama War Crimes Trials and conducted
the interview with Raymond Kirch.
Since the prosecutor didn't have to bring witnesses back from the United
States, but could use these affidavits as authorized evidence, the defense
was unable to cross-examine any key witnesses.
The defense argued that the admission of affidavits as evidence at the
court, which had the power to impose death penalty, would breach the
United States Constitution and the Articles of War.
However, the objections were overruled by the U.S. military commission,
which argued that such protection could not be afforded to the accused as
a former belligerent.
As a result, Tsuchiya was sentenced to life-imprisonment on the charge
that the beatings had directly caused Teas' death. Four others named in
the affidavits who were also found responsible for the death were
sentenced to hang for that and other crimes.
Nonetheless, as Gayn remarked, "The purpose of the trials, I am told, is
less to punish the guilty than to give the Japanese people a lesson in the
futility of aggression."
Thus, it could, and has been argued, that MacArthur had more interest in
establishing "rules of war" for future international society than in
ensuring only the guilty were punished.
While acknowledging the legal flaws and unfair nature of the trial, "their
true significance was far greater," argues Toshiaki Manabe, a
Yokohama-based lawyer and co-author of "The Stars and Stripes At the
Court," which explores War Crimes Tribunals in Japan.
Manabe believes that the most important aspect of the trials was not the
rights and wrongs of so-called "victor's justice," but that it was an
attempt to establish an international justice system by standing accused
war criminals before an international court.
There is a direct line that can be drawn from the tribunals to the
reinforcement of the Geneva Conventions in 1949.
And later, in 1993, the U.N. Security Council established the 1st
international criminal tribunal since Nuremberg and Tokyo -- the
International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. The
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda followed it in 1994.
And in July 2002, when the International Criminal Court (ICC), a permanent
war-crimes tribunal based in the Hague, was established according to an
international treaty of 1998, the process begun in 1945 appeared to have
reached its logical and desired conclusion.
However, by consistently opposing the ICC in order to exclude its own
troops from accountability under a system of international law first
established by its own government, the United States is threatening to
unravel much, if not all of the progress of the last 60 years.
Military scandals such as Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay have forced the
U.S. to drop its requests at the U.N. for exemption for its nationals from
prosecution at the ICC, but it has managed to secure bilateral immunity
agreements with some 90 countries, ostensibly by threatening the
withdrawal of the U.S. economic and military aid.
And last July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a foreign aid bill
that included the approval of an amendment prohibiting Economic Support
fund assistance to any country that is a part of the ICC and has not yet
signed the immunity agreement.
If it can be argued that MacArthur's bending of the rules of international
law are justified because of the precedent they set and developments they
facilitated, can the same be said of current U.S. actions that weaken
accountability and reintroduce the notion of victor's justice with the
greater good sacrificed for political expediency?
During the second presidential debate against John Kerry, President George
W. Bush argued: "People love America. Sometimes they don't like the
decisions made by America, but I don't think you want a president who
tries to become popular and does the wrong thing. You don't want to join
the International Criminal Court just because it's popular in certain
capitals in Europe."
Bush's dig at European supporters of the International Criminal Court not
only does a disservice to those whose efforts have contributed to the
evolution of an international justice system. It also threatens the very
notion of international justice, a concept first developed by the U.S.
This concept was designed to discourage exactly the kind of global
adventurism that the American government now finds itself accused of in
those European capitals and elsewhere.
(source: The Japan Times)
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