[Deathpenalty]death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jun 22 12:45:16 CDT 2005
Philippine court sentences 7 militants to death
A Philippine court sentenced to death on Wednesday 7 suspected members of
the al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militant group for the kidnapping and
murder of farmers on the southern island of Basilan in 2001.
6 of the convicted men were present when the court in Basilan read
portions of the 60-page verdict sentencing the militants to die by lethal
injection. The court also ordered them to pay the families of their
victims 200,000 pesos ($3,600) each.
The other convicted man remains at large.
"I am happy we have applied the full force of the law," said state
prosecutor Ricardo Cabaron. "The agony of the victims' families was
Dozens of soldiers and policemen guarded the small courthouse on the
island, a stronghold of the small, radical Abu Sayyaf group blamed for a
string of kidnappings and murders of foreign and domestic tourists in the
"The accused and their families wept and embraced each other after the
court handed down the decision," Cris Puno, a Basilan provincial official,
Puno said the sentences on Wednesday stemmed from an Abu Sayyaf raid on a
farm near the town of Lamitan in August 2001.
The gunmen, disguised as soldiers, abducted a group of farm workers and
later beheaded nine of them.
Another hostage was shot dead while 2 other captives escaped unhurt.
The Abu Sayyaf has waged a bloody war in the country for a decade and has
been blamed for a string of deadly bombings on transport systems,
including the February 2004 ferry attack that killed about 100 people.
In April last year, a Manila court handed down death sentences against 17
Abu Sayyaf members for the abduction of 20 tourists from a resort in
Palawan in 2001.
The U.S. government has the Abu Sayyaf on its blacklist of terrorist
Film on capital punishment withdrawn from theatre
A film, which questions the West Bengal government's stand on the hanging
of rape and murder convict Dhananjoy Chatterjee, has been withdrawn from a
state-run theatre with its director alleging that this was done at the
behest of the Chief Minister.
The critically acclaimed film 'One Day from a Hangman's Life' directed by
four-time national award winner Joshy Joseph had been running at the
'Nandan' theatre since June 18 and was scheduled for screenings till June
Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee, an avid filmgoer who frequents
Nandan, on his visit last evening saw the posters of the film and is
reported to have taken exception to them as they questioned his
government's stand on the issue.
Later, Joseph and producers Drik India were reportedly summoned by Nandan
authorities and told that the film, which had already been screened six
times, was being withdrawn due to "under sales".
Joseph, however, said he did not buy the argument since the film hall had
nothing to do with sales and was only a platform to promote alternate
"We got a chance for freedom of expression for four days since the Chief
Minister was away. We thought the government was open to a debate on
capital punishment, but now it appears we were wrong," Joseph said.
(source: The Hindu)
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