[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Apr 7 21:54:53 UTC 2007
Death penalty protest march.
A protest march against the death penalty in all countries has been
organised for Easter day Sunday 8 April in Rome. It will start at the
Campidoglio at 10.00 and end at St Peter's.
The march has been organised by anti-capital punishment activists, the
Radical party, Catholic lay groups and Romes city council.
Justice minister Clemente Mastella, defence minister Arturo Parisi, labour
minister Cesare Damiano, public works minister Antonio Di Pietro and Rome
mayor Walter Veltroni will be participating.
Organisers are pressing for a United Nations (UN) moratorium on the death
penalty. Italys prime minister, Romano Prodi, has reconfirmed his
commitment to lobby the UN for a moratorium. Italy has previously
presented such proposals at the UN general assembly in both 1994 and 1995.
Protestors will go past the Quirinale (the seat of the president of the
republic), the chamber of deputies and the senate, before reaching St
Peters square for 12.00 to attend the pope's Easter Angelus prayers. The
Colosseum will also be illuminated from Saturday at midnight for this
Saudi killer beheaded near holy city of Mecca
A Saudi man convicted of murder was executed by the sword near Islam's
holiest city of Mecca, the interior ministry said Saturday.
Hatem Ben Mohammed al-Mostadi was condemned to death by beheading for
shooting dead Massud bin Ali al-Jahni, said a ministry statement carried
by the official SPA news agency.
The execution brings to 29 the number of death sentences carried out by
the Saudi authorities so far this year.
In 2006 at least 37 people were executed, while 83 were put to death in
2005 and 35 the year before, according to AFP tallies based on official
Executions are usually carried out in public by decapitation in
ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia, which applies a strict form of sharia, or
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking can all carry
the death penalty.
Human Rights Watch, the New York-based human rights watchdog, has called
on Saudi Arabia to halt all executions.
(source: Agence France Presse)
PAKISTAN----juvenile faces death penalty
Accused of blasphemy, an 11 year old boy risks the death penalty
Among those "guilty of blasphemy" is 11 year old Daniel and the Punjab
police are searching the entire province for him. The group of five is
accused of disrespecting Mohammad and of having desecrated pieces of paper
bearing the prophets name.
One of the 5, Salamat Masih, has been arrested while other 4 are at large.
The will all be tried under article 295 C of Pakistans Penal Code, the
infamous blasphemy law, which provide life imprisonment and death sentence
respectively for situations such as these.
Fr Bonnie Mendes a priest of Toba Tek Singh told AsiaNews that "the
Christians had done nothing. It is a totally fabricated case against
innocent Christians." Fr bonnie further added that "the situation in the
area is tense and people are scared although local police claim the
situation is under control." Shahbaz Bhatti, chairman All Pakistan
Minorities Alliance had strongly condemned the blasphemy charges against 5
Christians. He urged the government to provide full protection to
Christians in TTS and demanded for a judicial inquiry of the incident.
Talking to Asis he said "there is only one solution to stop the misuse of
this law and that is total repeal of the law. Procedural changes are just
paper work and bring no relief to poor people who are still being trapped
by extremists just because of this law." Fr Mendes explained that it all
boils down to a quarrel between families. Local Muslims were offended by
the behaviour of the 5 Christians and during a procession agreed to report
them. Not content, they also tried to attack the 5 during a march. The 5
saved themselves by running away, but one of the Christians present Ratan
Masih, disabled did not succeed in fleeing far and was savagely beaten.
He is now in hospital.
The day after Salamat Masih's arrest, local Christians began a campaign
asking the authorities to intervene. Moreover, they explain there have
been substantial procedural errors made during the, course of
investigations: the police has not even investigated the accusations made
against the Christians; they simply arrested them on the hearsay of the
The government has promised full collaboration and has sent some police to
patron the Christian schools and Churches in the area, to avoid extremist
reprisals. The delegation then met with some influential Muslim leaders,
explaining their situation to them.
Currently, however, the Christian community of Toba Tek Singh is living in
fear. Salamat's family fears for his life, for he risks being attacked by
yellow inmates while in prison. Family members avoid leaving their homes,
given that the accusations of blasphemy could also be used against them.
Despite this the local community is preparing for Easter celebrations
which they hope they will be able to conduct without further violence.
ICC Note : Muslims use blasphemy accusation in personal dispute with
Christian family to get them thrown into jail.
(source: Journal Chrtien)
Pilgrims mark Holy Week in Rome -- The Pope led a service at Rome's
In Rome tens of thousands of foreign pilgrims are attending Holy Week
On Easter Sunday morning Pope Benedict will be giving his traditional
blessing and message, Urbi et Orbi, to the city of Rome and to the world.
On Friday night, the white-robed Pope led rites at the Colosseum, the
ancient Roman amphitheatre.
The ceremonies commemorate the suffering and death by crucifixion of Jesus
Thousands of pilgrims, each carrying a flickering candle, prayed with him
as a procession of church dignitaries and ordinary believers wound its way
through the 2,000-year-old ruins.
Pilgrims lined the route to the Roman amphitheatre
On Saturday night, the Pope will celebrate Easter midnight Mass in St
As the mass begins, the huge darkened building will be suddenly flooded
with light symbolising the resurrection of Christ.
And on Easter Sunday morning Pope Benedict, who celebrates his 80th
birthday in a few days' time, will deliver his traditional Easter blessing
and message to the city of Rome and to the world.
Thousands of people are planning also to march through the centre of Rome
on Sunday morning in support of international moves to abolish the death
penalty in the diminishing number of countries which still carry out
(source: BBC News)
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