[Deathpenalty]death penalty news---worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Nov 28 00:56:23 CST 2005
Canada Supports Global Abolition of the Death Penalty
As the United States prepares to execute its 1000th prisoner since 1977,
Foreign Affairs Minister Pierre Pettigrew and Minister of Justice Irwin
Cotler today announced Canada's accession to a UN treaty that confirms its
continued opposition to the death penalty. The treaty, the Second Optional
Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, is considered the most
significant international legal instrument relating specifically to the
"Becoming a party to the treaty is part of Canada's effort to send a clear
message on this important human rights issue," said Minister Pettigrew.
"Canada opposes the death penalty and we support the international trend
toward its abolition. We urge all states that retain the death penalty to
abolish it or to impose a moratorium on its use, and to become parties to
the Second Optional Protocol."
"Canada has been abolitionist in practice for decades - no one has been
executed in Canada since 1962," said Minister Cotler. "By acceding to the
UN treaty, we not only formalize our long-standing support for the
abolition of the death penalty, but take our place at the forefront of the
international struggle toward abolition."
The Second Optional Protocol requires that states abolish the death
penalty and not execute anyone within their jurisdiction. Canada voted in
favour of the treaty when it was adopted by the UN General Assembly on
December 29, 1989. It entered into force on July 11, 1991. There are now
56 states (including Canada) that are parties to the Second Optional
Protocol and another eight which have signed but not ratified.
Meanwhile, November 30th will in all likelihood mark the official 1000th
execution by the U.S. since a ten-year moratorium was liftd in 1977 with
the execution of Gary Gilmore. Forty-one year-old Robin Levitt is
scheduled to death by execution in the state of Virginia.
(source: Halifax Live)
World cities to declare against death penalty
Faith and humanitarian groups in more than 300 cities around the world
will be organizing events calling for the abolition of the death penalty
next Wednesday, 30 November 2005, reports Independent Catholic News.
The 'Cities for Life - Cities Against the Death Penalty' event celebrates
the anniversary of the 1st abolition of capital punishment by law in a
European state, the Great Duchy of Tuscany in 1786.
The initiative - now at its 4th year - is promoted by the Community of
Sant'Egidio and supported by the main international human rights
organizations, gathered in the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty
(including Amnesty International, Ensemble contre la Peine de Mort, and
International Penal Reform).
Rome, Brussels, Madrid, London, Ottawa, Mexico City, Berlin, Barcelona,
Florence, Venice, Buenos Aires, Austin, Dallas, Antwerpen, Vienna, Naples,
Paris, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Reggio Emilia, Bogot, Santiago de Chile are
among those cities taking part.
Many venues will illuminate their symbolic monuments - from the Colosseum
in Rome to the Plaza de Santa Ana in Madrid, from the Central Obelisque in
Buenos Aires to the Moneda Palace in Santiago - making a worldwide moral
alliance to ask for an end to all state executions.
Groups around the world will be holding vigils, prayer services and
demonstrations. In London, Amnesty International will be staging a sit-in
outside the Uzbekistan and Belarus embassies.
To coincide with the international action, a nun known for her tireless
campaigns against capital punishment, and the subject of a blockbuster
film, is to give the annual Tablet lecture on Monday. Sister Helen
Prejean's work was the subject of the award-winning film Dead Man Walking,
starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn.
(source: Ekklesia (UK) )
Alleged homosexuals face death penalty in Katsina
2 persons alleged to be homosexuals face the death penalty in Katsina if
convicted of sodomy by a Sharia Court. They will know their fate on
The court gave the death penalty notice on Wednesday after hearing the
final prosecution witness in the case.
Kabir Yusuf, 40, and Usman Sani, 18, were arrested on June 19 in a public
toilet near the court in Katsina metropolis.
Police claim they confessed to having had sex together, a crime punishable
by being stoned to death.
Both of them have denied the charge and asked to be allowed to swear an
oath on the Koran that they did not commit sodomy.
On its part, the prosecution has been unable to produce a witness to prove
they were engaged in any sexual act.
The accused will know their fate on December 6 when the court will decide
whether to pass judgment based on the evidence before it or to uphold the
plea by the accused to be allowed to swear an oath.
Islamic Sharia law was reintroduced in Katsina State in August 2001,
making it one of a 12 mainly Muslim northern states to re-adopt the code
since Nigeria's return to civilian rule in 1999.
Under the interpretation of Muslim legal texts now in force, sexual
offences such as adultery, rape and homosexuality are punishable by death.
But while more than a dozen people have been convicted under these laws,
no one has yet been stoned to death and the law remains controversial.
(source: Daily Independent)
More information about the DeathPenalty