[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jan 25 05:35:36 UTC 2007
Activists protest against Nigerian's hanging
Activists outraged by the impending hanging of a 21-year-old Nigerian man
for drug trafficking planned a hunger strike in protest against the
execution, they said on Wednesday.
Chee Siok Chin and lawyer M Ravi, both Singaporeans, said their
demonstration will start at 7am Thursday at the city-state's Speakers
Corner, move to the grounds outside Changi Prison 12 hours later and
continue until the execution of Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi at Changi Prison
before dawn on Friday.
Maintaining Toichi is "an innocent man," the two issued a statement urging
others to join them in bringing attention to "this barbaric cold-blooded
Tochi was arrested at Singapore's Changi Airport in November 2004 carrying
727 grams of heroin. The death penalty is mandatory in the city-state for
anyone caught with more than 15 grams of the drug, and Tochi's appeal for
clemency to President SR Nathan failed last year.
'Obasanjo urged Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to stop the hanging'
The heroin was estimated to be worth 1,5-million Singapore dollars (about
The hunger strike was announced after Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo
urged Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to stop the hanging.
In Obasanjo's letter to Lee on Tuesday, he mentioned the excellent
relations between the two countries.
"It is for the reason of obtaining your kind pardon and clemency for the
convicted Nigerian that I ... earnestly urge you to reconsider the
conviction ... and to commute the death sentence to imprisonment,"
Human rights group Amnesty International noted in its appeal for clemency
that the High Court judge who convicted Tochi said the Nigerian may not
have realised the substance he was carrying was heroin.
"If we remain silent, are we not accomplices of this horrible execution?"
Chee said. "Some of us are moved to act when we see injustice at its
Outside demonstrations of any kind in Singapore are prohibited without a
police permit. However, people are allowed to talk without amplification
equipment at Singapore's version of London's famed Speakers Corner.
The city-state does not announce the date of executions. A letter from the
Prisons Department informed Tochi's family of the date and said they would
be allowed extra visits in the three days before the hanging.
Appeals from governments and human rights groups have failed to evoke
Australian Nguyen Tuong Van, 25, was hanged on December 2, 2005 for
carrying nearly 400 grammes of heroin despite pleas by Prime Minister John
Howard, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and Pope Benedict XVI.
The execution ignited an uproar in Australia.
Amnesty claims Singapore has the highest rate of executions per capita in
The city-state maintains it cannot grant clemency to foreigners when
Singaporeans are executed for the same crimes.
(source: South African Press Agency)
TOWARDS A UNIVERSAL MORATORIUM
With passage of the United Nations Moratorium on Executions likely in the
current General Assembly, we are on the verge of obtaining a major victory
for humanity which the Non-violent and Transnational Radical Party and
Hands Off Cain have been seeking for 14 years, writes Elisabetta
Zamparutti, curator of the annual report of Hands Off Cain, ''The Death
Penalty in the World", and a leader of the Radical Party.
After the execution of Saddam Hussein and through the moratorium campaign,
Hands Off Cain and the Radical Party have succeeded in making everyone
understand, even in the Arab world and beginning with the Cain of our
time, the urgency of preventing a widening cycle of violence and war, in
Iraq and elsewhere, which would have disastrous consequences.
It was non-violent actions that were responsible for convincing the public
of the urgency a measure like the UN moratorium and so accelerated the
historic process of abolitionism.
The startling drama and horror of the death penalty in the world today is
to be found largely in the 98 percent of the world's 5000 years executions
that are carried in totalitarian and repressive countries. It is because
of the nameless and forgotten victims of the death penalty in these
countries that a universal moratorium is so very important.
Athens mayor on abolition of death penalty
Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis has made a proposal to the mayors of
European cities, who appeal for the abolition of the death penalty, to
gather in Rome or, if possible, in Athens to discuss this sensitive and
serious issue at length.
The proposal was made to Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, who had the
initiative for the gathering of signatures and, apart from the Athens
Mayor, the document has been signed by the mayors of Paris, Brussels,
Amsterdam, Luxembourg, Vienna, Florence and Ljubljana.
After the gathering of signatures from more mayors of European cities, the
document will be submitted to the European Council and the European
Parliament and will be published in the press.
The appeal against the death penalty says, among other things, that "we
mayors of European cities, faced with continuing executions in many cities
in the world on a daily basis, make an urgent appeal for an end to this
flagrant violation of human dignity. The death penalty does not reduce
crimes. We believe that justice has no need for it."
(source: Athens News Agency)
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