[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Mar 22 00:43:43 EST 2006
Chad says 100 military coup plot suspects arrested
Chad's government has arrested 100 military officers and soldiers
implicated in a failed assassination plot against President Idriss Deby
last week, the security minister said on Monday.
Routouang Yoma Golom also ruled out peace negotiations with Chadian rebels
and army deserters who are threatening to launch an offensive from the
east of the landlocked oil producer to try to topple Deby as he prepares
for a May 3 presidential election.
The Chadian leader, whose 16-year rule has been weakened by a spate of
high-level military desertions in recent months, rushed home from an
African summit a week ago to foil what officials said was a plot to shoot
down his plane.
"There are around 100 members of the military implicated in this coup who
have been arrested. They will be brought to trial," Golom told reporters,
without identifying the suspects or explaining their involvement in the
He added a military court would sentence them over the next 1 or 2 months.
Deby, himself a former army commander who seized power in a 1990 revolt he
led from eastern Chad, reshuffled his military top brass and replaced his
personal guard late last year as security fears increased.
He has repeatedly accused neighbour Sudan of backing efforts to overthrow
him, a charge denied by Khartoum. Conflict in Sudan's western Darfur
region has also spilled over into Chad.
Golom said that since the government announced the failed coup plot last
week, Deby had been visiting military barracks to ensure the loyalty of
"The situation is totally under control and calm has returned. The head of
state has personally gone several times to military camps .... to restore
order," the minister said.
Since last September, several waves of Chadian military officers have
deserted with soldiers and equipment to join anti-Deby rebels in the east.
At least one rebel group has given the president a public ultimatum to
either start negotiations on democratic change or face overthrow.
NO TO NEGOTIATIONS
"Negotiating with coup plotters is out of the question," Golom said.
"If there's someone who you've forgiven two, three times already and he
wants to kill you, you're not going to carry on forgiving him. I don't
seen any opportunity for negotiations."
Last week's announcement of a coup plot came weeks before a presidential
election which is widely expected to extend the rule of 53-year-old Deby.
Golom insisted there had been a plan to kill Deby, rejecting charges by
one rebel leader that this had just been an invention by the government to
cover up another embarrassing wave of high-level military desertions.
The minister said the arrested plotters "had coordinated with those who
are rebelling (against Deby) from inside Sudan to allow them into Chadian
"The plan was to strike in N'Djamena and when N'Djamena falls, the way is
open and there'll be less resistance for them to penetrate into Chad and
reach N'Djamena," he added.
Analysts fear the threat posed to Deby by the rebels, who appear to be
able to operate from Darfur, risked increasing the conflict already
spilling over from that Sudanese territory, where ethnic and political
violence has killed thousands.
Those deserting Deby have included members of his own Zaghawa ethnic
group, some of whom blame him for not doing enough to help fellow Zaghawa
kinsmen in Darfur who have been attacked by Sudanese government-backed
Malaysias law minister supports calls to abolish death penalty
In Kuala Lumpur, a Malaysian Cabinet minister in charge of law said he
supports calls for abolishing Malaysias death penalty, which is largely
used against drug traffickers, a news report said on Tuesday.
"For me, a life is a life. No one has the right to take someone else's
life, even if that person has taken another life," Nazri Aziz, minister in
charge of law in the Prime Ministers Department, was quoted as saying by
the New Straits Times newspaper.
Nazri was responding to an announcement over the weekend by the Malaysian
Bar Council that it would campaign for abolishment of the death penalty.
"I welcome this proposal. This is definitely something which should be
looked into," Nazri was quoted as saying.
Nazri and his spokesmen could not immediately be reached for comment.
The Malaysian Bar Council said the death penalty is barbaric, inhumane and
an insufficient deterrent for crime.
Malaysia is one of 76 countries which still impose the death penalty. It
is mandatory for murder, certain firearms offenses and for trafficking in
heroin, cocaine, opium and marijuana, and for offenses against the king.
Possession of drugs is presumed to be trafficking.
The death penalty, which is administered by hanging, can also be imposed
at the discretion of a judge for kidnapping, associating with people
carrying arms or explosives and waging war against the ruler.
Since 1970, Malaysia has hanged 359 people, 40 of them in the last 10
years. Most were convicted of drug trafficking. There are 159 prisoners on
The Malaysian Bar Council has also called for an immediate moratorium on
all death sentences pending amendments to the law.
But Nazri said that was not possible.
"The death sentence has been part of our laws for a long time. It goes
with the fabric of the whole system. After discussions are held, hopefully
the attorney general will advise the government," he said.
(source: Khaleej Times)
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