[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Apr 18 10:41:45 CDT 2005
Support up for proposal to scrap death sentence
The proposal to reduce the death sentence to life imprisonment in cases
where a convict has not been executed 5 years after their verdict was
handed down has won support among lawyers and legal experts.
"I personally don't agree with the death sentence because everybody has
the right to live and that is a right that cannot be abrogated," lawyer
and human rights activist Hendardi told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
He said that the proposal, made by Supreme Court Chief Justice Bagir Manan
on Thursday, reflected progress in Indonesia's legal system.
Prevailing laws allow the execution of a criminal on death row to be
"To make people wait for so long before they are executed is to make them
suffer double their punishment," Hendardi said.
He said that most of the executions in Indonesia were of murderers or
people convicted of drug-related crimes.
Hendardi said there was no data showing the existence of the death
sentence deters people from committing crime.
Nevertheless, he said, the death sentence might be applicable in certain
cases, such as for embezzlers.
Meanwhile, legal expert with the University of Indonesia Topo Santoso said
that in fact an initiative to reduce the death sentence to life
imprisonment had been accommodated in the new national criminal code
currently being drafted by the government, which is expected to be
submitted to the House of Representatives for deliberation in the not too
"In the future, the death sentence should not be regarded as a primary
penalty, but rather exist to be used for certain cases only," Topo said.
Citing China as an example, he said the death sentence might be changed
into life imprisonment after a certain period of time.
"But we don't know how House members will respond to the draft," he said.
Using a classic argument against the death penalty, he said that imposing
the death sentence was risky.
"If new evidence surfaced, and in the meantime the death sentence had been
carried out, there would be no way for the mistake to be corrected," Topo
Topo said the death sentence might be applicable in cases of terrorism
that cause the deaths of many.
Commenting on the theory that the death sentence discourages criminals,
Topo said that experts were yet to agree on its deterrence effect.
(source: Jakarta Post)
Aussies face the death penalty in Bali
9 Australians arrested in a dramatic Bali heroin bust will face a firing
squad if convicted of trying to smuggle drugs out of Indonesia and into
Australia, the head of the island's police anti-drugs squad has said.
Australian consular officials said it was "by far" the largest number of
drug-related detentions of Australians ever in Indonesia.
The 9 - 8 men and 1 woman - were nabbed by Indonesian authorities on
Sunday night following an Australian Federal Police operation dating back
5 were arrested in the departure lounge of Bali airport while waiting for
a flight to Sydney, allegedly with bags of heroin strapped to their
bodies, Colonel Bambang Sugiarto told AAP.
Others, including an alleged drug ring boss, were caught at 2 hotels.
He said the case mirrored that of Gold Coast woman and alleged marijuana
trafficker Schapelle Corby, but was far more serious as it involved
category one drugs.
"It involves exporting or importing drugs. If found guilty, death
penalty," he said.
No charges have yet been laid.
Colonel Sugiarto said the police surveillance operation which led to the
arrests had been mounted on two hotels, the beachfront Hard Rock resort in
Kuta and the nearby Melasti Hotel in Tuban.
Following a week-long operation, police approached the five in the airport
departure lounge around 7pm on Sunday where they were relaxed and reading
newspapers waiting to board an Australian Airlines flight to Sydney.
They were asked to undergo a body search.
4 were allegedly found with 2kg packages of heroin strapped to their legs
with brown masking tape, while another had the drug stash taped across his
An Indonesian lawyer for the five caught at the airport, Rifan Mohammad,
said one of his clients had claimed not to have been carrying drugs.
An AFP spokesman said the four allegedly carrying the drugs included 2 men
from Brisbane, both aged 19, a 29-year-old man from Sydney and a
27-year-old woman from Sydney.
She said a 5th person - a 21-year-old man from Sydney - was also arrested
at the airport.
Soon after, 4 other men were taken into custody at a Bali hotel - a
27-year-old Brisbane man, and three men from Sydney aged 18, 20 and 24.
In Canberra, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said the arrests were made
in Indonesia - and not in Australia where there is no death penalty -
because that was where the alleged offences occurred.
Colonel Sugiarto said prior to the search one man claimed to have had a
broken leg, which accounted for a bulge in his clothing.
But after questioning all allegedly confessed they had been carrying the
drugs for their "boss".
Police then raided the Melasti Hotel and arrested another four people
found with sandwich-sized blocks of heroin. Traces of the drug were also
found in two suitcases, police alleged.
Colonel Sugiarto said the drugs had come from the notorious "Golden
Triangle" area in northern Thailand and Burma, and was being couriered
through Bali to Australia by the 9.
The boss of the smuggling gang was believed to be among those arrested at
the hotel and police believed other gang members may be still on the run
in Bali, he said.
Colonel Sugiarto said the gang had been acting "mysterious and suspicious"
all week, staying in their hotel rooms and instructing hotel staff not to
reveal their identities to anyone.
Police had not fingerprinted the drugs at the airport because the gang had
been caught "red-handed", he said.
He said all were Australians, but at least 3 had been of "Asian descent".
Police were still testing the drugs for strength.
Police allowed photographers and television cameras into a room where the
9 were being interrogated, but all covered their faces with bags or
Investigators also released a number of suitcases and backpacks they said
were not needed as evidence.
Indonesia has increasingly become not only a transit route, but also a
market for drug traffickers and courts across the country have passed a
dozen death sentences on foreigners found guilty of serious drug offences
in recent years.
At least 53 people are believed to be on death row. The arrests come amid
strains between Indonesia and Australia over the trial of Schapelle Corby,
who claims she was set up as an unwitting courier for 4.1 kg of marijuana.
Australian government minister have lobbied Indonesia to avert a death
sentence for the 27-year-old former beauty student.
Indonesia's chief foreign affairs spokesman Marty Natalegawa said the
latest drug bust in Bli would not threaten slowly improving diplomatic
"This is clearly an issue of drugs and drug smuggling. There is no doubt
that - Indonesians and Australians - we are all against that," he said.
He said it would have been unimaginable to allow the suspects to fly to
"... where an alleged offence is committed, that's where charges will be
brought," he said.
Mr Downer said he did not believe the arrests would have any bearing on
the case involving charges against Australian Schapelle Corby after she
was allegedly caught trying to smuggle 4.1kg of cannabis into Bali.
"There's no relationship between the alleged facts in this case and the
alleged facts in the Schapelle Corby case," he said.
Mr Downer said that although there were only allegations against the nine
Australians, it was timely to note the serious of attempting to traffic
"This is yet another ... clear message to all Australians that drug
trafficking is not only immoral, because of the consequences for the
people who consume the drugs, but it is also a profoundly serious criminal
"People who contemplate trafficking in drugs do face very, very severe
(source: The Age, Australia)
Alleged KFC bomber faces death sentence as terror trial starts
The alleged mastermind of a series of bombings -- including a strike on a
Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet -- that killed three people in Makassar,
South Sulawesi province, went on trial Monday and faces a possible death
penalty if convicted.
Under heavy guard, Muhammad Agung Hamid took the stand in the Makassar
District Court accused of planning attacks on a KFC and a car showroom in
the city on December 5, 2002.
Prosecutors took turns to read the 400-page indictment in which they
accused Hamid, who goes by several aliases, of terrorism. The 36-year-old
was charged under tough laws that carry a maximum death sentence.
They accused Hamid of having "planned or motivated others to engage in
acts of terrorism," and of illegal possession of firearms and explosives.
Hamid was on the run for almost 2 years before he was arrested in the
university city of Yogyakarta, in Central Java, last October.
A total of 17 other verdicts, ranging from acquittals to jail sentences of
up to 18 years, have been issued by the same court in Makassar over the
Police have said some of those involved in the Makassar bombings were
associated with militants involved in the blasts in Bali on October 12,
2002 that killed 202 people.
Investigators have blamed the Bali attack on Jemaah Islamiyah, an
Al-Qaeda-linked regional terror network.
The trial was adjourned for 1 week
(source: Agence France Presse)
Talabani opposed to Saddam death penalty
The newly-elected President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, has said he would
refuse to sign a death warrant for the former leader of the country,
In an interview with the BBC, Mr Talabani, a Kurdish lawyer and human
rights advocate, said he was a long-standing opponent of capital
punishment and could not condone sentencing the former Iraqi leader to
However, he acknowledged that he was likely to be outvoted by his
colleagues on the 3-man collective presidency who will make the final
decision on the former dictator's fate following his trial.
(source: RTE News)
Case SDN 180405
Incommunicado detention / Torture / Risk of death penalty
The International Secretariat of OMCT has received new information
concerning the following situation in Sudan.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by the Sudan
Organisation Against Torture (SOAT), a member of the OMCT network,
that on 22 February 2005, Mr. Mahmoud Abaker Osman, 38 years old, and
Mr. Diggo Abdel Jabbar, 45 years old, were arrested and tortured by
Sudanese armed forces on suspicion of joining the Sudan Liberation
According to the information received Mr. Mahmoud Abaker Osman and
Mr. Diggo Abdel Jabbar, both from the Zaghawa tribe in Sharoum
village, Nyala province, were initially taken by government armed
forces to a military camp in Sanya Afondu village, where they were
detained in a hole in the ground for 11 days. During this time, eight
soldiers, under the control of a senior ranking military official,
reportedly beat the men with sticks all over their bodies, with metal
sticks on head and legs, flogged them on the back and chest and burnt
their hands and feet.
On 4 March 2005, Mr. Mahmoud Abaker Osman and Mr. Diggo Abdel Jabbar
were transferred into the custody of the Military Intelligence in
Nyala, where they were detained incommunicado, and denied food for
five days. On 13 March, the two men were taken to Nyala Wasat
(central) police station and charged under Article 51 (Waging War
against the State) and Article 58 (Abetment to Mutiny) of the 1991
Sudanese Penal Code, which carry the death penalty.
On 19 March 2005, after five days in police custody, the two men were
transferred to Nyala prison where they remain in detention. According
to the information received, Mr. Mahmoud Abaker Osman and Mr. Diggo
Abdel Jabbar have suffered important injuries as a result of torture,
but although there are serious concerns for their health, they have
reportedly been denied access to medical treatment. The two men are
currently awaiting trial before the Specialised Criminal Court in
OMCT is gravely concerned for the physical and psychological
integrity of Mr. Mahmoud Abaker Osman and Mr. Diggo Abdel Jabbar and
stresses that it is strongly opposed to the death penalty as an
extreme form of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and a
violation of the right to life, as proclaimed in the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights
Please write to the authorities in Sudan urging them to:
i.=09guarantee the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mahmoud
Abaker Osman and Mr. Diggo Abdel Jabbar;
ii.=09immediately commute the death sentences;
iii.=09order the immediate release of Mr. Mahmoud Abaker Osman and Mr.
Diggo Abdel Jabbar in the absence of valid legal charges that are
consistent with international law and standards, or, if such charges
exist, bring them before an impartial and competent tribunal and
guarantee their procedural rights at all times;
iv.=09order a thorough and impartial investigation into these events
and in particular the alleged torture of Mr. Mahmoud Abaker Osman and
Mr. Diggo Abdel Jabbar, in order to identify those responsible, bring
them to trial and apply to them the civil, penal and/or
administrative sanctions provided by law;
v.=09guarantee that adequate medical care is provided to Mr. Mahmoud
Abdel Osman and Mr. Diggo Abdel Jabbar and that they be awarded
vi.=09guarantee the respect of human rights and the fundamental
freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and
international humanitarian law and human rights standards.
=B7=09His Excellency Lieutenant General Omar Hassan al-Bashir, President
of the Republic of Sudan, President' s Palace, PO Box 281, Khartoum,
Sudan. Fax: + 249 183 783223
=B7=09Mr. Ali Mohamed Osman Yassin, Minister of Justice and Attorney
General, Ministry of Justice, Khartoum, Sudan. Fax: + 249 183 788941
=B7=09Mr. Mustafa Osman Ismail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of
Foreign Affair, PO Box 873, Khartoum, Sudan. Fax: + 249 183 779383
=B7=09Dr. Abdelmuneim Osman Mohamed Taha, Advisory Council for Human
Rights, PO Box 302, Khartoum, Sudan. Fax: + 249 183 770883
=B7=09His Excellency Ambassador Mr. Mohamed Al- Hassan Ahmed Al-Haj,
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Sudan to the United Nations in
Geneva, PO Box 335, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland, Fax: +4122 731 26 56,
+41 22 716 19 70, E-mail: mission.sudan at ties.itu.int.
Please also write to the embassies of Sudan in your respective
Geneva, 18 April 2005
Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this
appeal in your reply.
Organisation Mondiale Contre la Torture (OMCT)
World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT)
Organizaci=F3n Mundial Contra la Tortura (OMCT)
8 rue du Vieux-Billard
Case postale 21
CH-1211 Geneve 8
Tel. : 0041 22 809 49 39
Fax : 0041 22 809 49 29
E-mail : omct at omct.org
More information about the DeathPenalty