[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Nov 3 14:29:42 CST 2004
Cabinet rejects death penalty for spurious drug makers
The Cabinet on Wednesday shot down the proposal mooted by the Health
Ministry seeking imposition of death penalty on manufacturers of spurious
The proposal was initially mooted as part of the amendments to the Drugs
and Cosmetics Act by the erstwhile National Democratic Alliance (NDA)
Highly placed Government sources said that while the Cabinet has cleared
the other amendments to the Act, the death penalty clause did not find
favour. The other amendments to the Act include making the offence a
cognisable one, imposing stiffer penalties on manufacturers of spurious
drugs and having special designated courts to hear such offences.
It is estimated that a large percentage of the world's spurious drugs are
produced in India and the market for fake drugs is estimated to be over Rs
4,000 crore or 20 per cent of the total drugs market. The Vajpayee-led
Government had decided on death penalty for spurious drug manufacturers
and introduced a Bill in Parliament. However, before the Bill could be
passed, the Parliament was dissolved.
The NDA Government had decided to introduce the death penalty clause based
on a report by an expert committee under Dr R.A. Mashelkar,
Director-General, Central Council of Scientific and Industrial Research
It had suggested that the penalty for sale and manufacture of spurious
drugs that causes grievous hurt or death be enhanced from life
imprisonment to death and a fine of Rs 1 lakh or three times the value of
drugs seized, whichever is more.
The report also incorporated other recommendation such as enhancing the
penalty for manufacture and sale of spurious drugs to be enhanced from 5
years to not less than 7 years and no bail be granted within the first 3
months of detention of an accused charged with offences related to the
manufacture and sale of spurious drugs, among others.
Some of the most common fake drugs circulating in the market are
antibiotics, drugs for tuberculosis, malaria and cough syrups. The crusade
against spurious drugs also comes at a time when the US Food and Drug
Administration (USFDA) has made bar coding of medicines mandatory. This is
being done to reduce medication errors.
(source: Hindu Business Line)
No More Execution or Flogging for Under 18 in Iran
Irans judiciary spokesman reported on a new bill sent to Majles (Irans
parliament) that once it becomes a law would make execution and flogging
of under 18 year olds illegal. This new development follows the execution
of a 16 year-old girl in Neka, a city in northern Iran. The execution of
the child, accused of engaging in illegal sexual relation, caused an
immense protest inside and outside Iran.
Dr. Shiva Dolat-Abadi, head of the Society for Protection of Childrens
Rights in Iran in an interview with Farda expressed her delight regarding
this legal development but said there are more to be done to provide legal
protection for children.
She said it is more than 10 years that their NGO together with other NGOs
with similar missions are trying to protect childrens rights. The
execution of a young girl mentioned above has shocked the public opinion
in Iran and caused immeasurable dismay among public, she added.
(source: Radio Farda)
Irish challenge Britain over WWI executions
The Irish government has formally challenged the legal and moral basis for
the trial and execution of 26 Irish soldiers by the British army during
World War I. The minister for foreign affairs, Dermot Ahern, last week
relayed the Irish government's findings to the British via the Irish
Embassy in London.
The report follows scrutiny by Irish officials of files dealing with the
court martial proceedings and subsequent executions.
The files were handed over by the British to the Irish government.
The Irish response indicates Dublin's view that the reasoning behind the
executions was deeply flawed.
"The files describe a military system of justice that ignored clear
evidence of medical afflictions and extenuating circumstances in favor of
the need of the upper ranks to impose an exemplary disciplinarian regime
on the rank and file in an effort to deter others from contemplating a
similar crime," Ahern said in a statement. "Executing a soldier in such
circumstances must be seen as clearly unjust, and not deserving of the
The renewed scrutiny of the executions during the 1914-18 conflict, known
for two decades afterward as the Great War, was spurred by the Irish
branch of an international campaign called Shot at Dawn.
Family members of the executed soldiers, military historians and
politicians in both Ireland and Britain have expressed similar views to
those of the Irish government.
The report was the 1st instance in which the courts-martial and execution
of the 26 Irish soldiers had been extensively evaluated, Ahern said. He
drew attention to what he viewed as "the apparent disparity" in the
treatment of Irish soldiers.
"For so many of those recruited in Ireland to be condemned to death
indicates a disciplinary approach markedly harsher than that faced by men
from other countries," he said. "In fact, the number of Irish soldiers
condemned to death by courts-martial during World War represents 8 percent
of the total number of condemnations, while the number of Irish troops
corresponds to only approximately 2 percent of the British army numbers at
Ahern is asking the British government to revisit the issue in a
humanitarian and compassionate manner.
"As we approach the 90th anniversary of the outbreak of the Great War, and
the world prepares to once again remember those who sacrificed so much
during those terrible years of trench warfare, a retrospective action by
the British government to redress the condemnation of those 'shot at dawn'
would be widely welcome," he said.
Dubliner Peter Mulvany, the man behind the Irish Shot at Dawn campaign,
said he was delighted with the Irish government's response to the British
"We will await with interest the response of the British government to the
challenge that the Irish government has laid down," he said.
Shot at Dawn has been collecting signatures on a petition that is to be
presented to the British government in a few days.
Mulvany said that the collection of signatures, outside Dublin's General
Post Office, would end on Nov. 11, the 86th anniversary of the armistice
that led to the end of World War I.
The British government had indicated a willingness to accept the
signatures and that he had been given the all clear to present them at the
prime minister's residence on Nov 13.
(source: Irish Echo)
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