[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Jul 2 15:28:43 CDT 2007
Unprecedented trial against feared religious police opens in Saudi Arabia
4 men, including 3 members of Saudi Arabia's religious police, went on
trial Sunday for their alleged involvement in the death of a man in
detention - an unprecedented case against a powerful force long resented
for intimidating people.
The religious police enforce the kingdom's strict Islamic lifestyle,
patrolling public places to ensure women are covered, the sexes don't
mingle, shops close five times a day for Muslim prayers and men go to the
mosque and worship.
The man's family is demanding the death penalty for those found guilty of
the death their relative, Ahmed al-Bulaiwi, a retired border patrol guard
in his early 50s. Al-Bulaiwi died in custody shortly after his June 1
arrest for being alone with a woman who was not a relative - an act
considered an offense in the kingdom.
Audah al-Bulaiwi, who is representing the family in court, said 3 judges
presided over the 1st hearing in the case in the northern city of Tabuk.
He said the defendants - 3 members of the religious police and a 4th
believed to be from the regular police - were present in the courtroom.
"We are demanding execution for those found guilty," he said.
Saudi Arabia follows a strict interpretation of Islam under which those
convicted of murder, drug trafficking, rape and armed robbery are executed
in public with a sword.
A new hearing has been set for Tuesday, said Audah al-Bulaiwi. The trial
was supposed to begin on June 23, but a judge postponed it to Sunday
because the documents the al-Bulaiwi family had presented were incomplete.
Al-Bulaiwi's death - and the case of a second man who died in custody -
are a setback for the Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and the
Prevention of Vice, which employs the religious police. The cases have
provoked a wave of condemnation and calls for the regulation of this
In the al-Bulaiwi case, commission members arrested the man after they
observed the woman, believed to be in her 50s, getting into his car near
an amusement park, according to accounts published by the local media.
Under the kingdom's rules, a woman cannot drive, and can only go out in
public with her father, brother, son or husband.
An investigation showed that al-Bulaiwi, who supplemented his pension by
working as a driver, was asked by the family of the woman to drive her
home, according to press reports.
An official medical report cleared the commission members, saying
al-Bulaiwi died of natural causes. The defendants are being tried under
the private rights of crime victims or their dependents.
Another commission member has been arrested in the case of Sulaiman
al-Huraisi, 28, who died last month while in custody of the religious
police. The force had raided his house in Riyadh because they suspected he
had alcohol - illegal in Saudi Arabia. It was not clear whether he would
Maher al-Hazimi, legal consultant for the al-Huraisi family, told Al-Watan
newspaper that the cause of al-Huraisi's death was "severe" beating that
fractured his skull and detached his right eye.
He said tests did not show any kind of drugs in al-Huraisi's system,
according to the paper.
In a third case, a Saudi woman has filed a lawsuit against the commission,
claiming she was mistreated by two commission members in 2003 because she
was not dressed conservatively. A hearing is set for Monday.
Many Saudis say they support the idea of having the commission because its
mandate is based on several verses in the Quran. But they also say it
should be regulated because the free rein it has long enjoyed has led to
some of its members overstepping their duties.
(source: Associated Press)
Ex-judge not allowed to see death row inmate
Norimichi Kumamoto, a former judge at the Shizuoka District Court, looks
dejected outside the Tokyo Detention House on July 2 after he was denied
permission to visit a man he had sentenced to death for the 1966 murder of
a family of 4 even though he believes the man was innocent. Kumamoto, 69,
who presided over the trial of Iwao Hakamada, 71, went public in March and
said he convicted the man as he was unable to persuade the 2 other judges
in the trial of the defendant's innocence. (source: Kyodo News)
Bill to restore death penalty filed at House
The 1st working day of the 14th Congress yesterday saw the filing of
nearly 600 measures, including one seeking the restoration of the death
Returning Nueva Ecija Rep. Eduardo Nonato Joson is seeking the restoration
of the death penalty, at least for convicted killers-for-hire and law
enforcers found guilty of involvement in "salvaging" or extra-judicial
A member of the 8th Congress which passed the law imposing the death
penalty on so-called heinous crimes, Joson filed 2 measures seeking the
reimposition of the death sentence for those involved in extra-judicial
Filing his measures in Filipino with accompanying English translations,
Joson said people who have made murder a profession should pay for their
crimes with their life.
Joson filed the "Anti- Hired Killing Law" and the "Anti-Salvaging Law" at
a time when killings and abductions of politicians, journalists and
political dissenters continue to hog the headlines.
He said many acts of salvaging were executed by hired killers and lawmen,
military and police officers.
"Hired killers proliferate and hired killing is the new cottage industry,"
According to Joson, victims of professional murderers range "from media
practitioners, criminals to politicians and leftist elements of our
"The sanctity of human life, like the sanctity of our democratic
institutions must be defended and protected, otherwise, anarchy and the
concomitant law of the jungle or rule of the gun will prevail," he said.
Under Josons measure, a hired killer is defined as any person, who , for
any consideration, kills another for or at the behest of any other person.
In justifying the need to re-impose the death sentence for salvaging,
Joson said that a law enforcer or agent of the government who reneges on
his basic duty to protect the life and liberty of a citizen and instead
does the opposite, deserves lethal injection.
A former governor of Nueva Ecija, Joson said recent events in which law
enforcers and military men were being tagged as killers of citizens,
especially critics of the government, have indicated grave violations of
the rule of law and reason.
"The state must now come in to guard the guardians. The state must impose
sanctions on its agents who violate the duty to protect," he said.
Under the "Anti-Salvaging Law," salvaging is defined as the killing of a
person by any public officer, person in authority or agent of a person in
(source: Manilla Bulletin)
10 Ugandans Face Death in China Over Narcotics
10 Ugandans held on charges of illicit drug trafficking in China will soon
be lined up for public execution as punishment, a government minister has
said. James Kinobe, the state minister for youth who has just returned
from China, said some 10 Ugandans were duped into illicit drug smuggling
by a network of gangs to act as carriers of heroin pills to China.
The minister said as illicit drug traffickers continue to develop
ingenious concealment and transportation schemes to stay ahead of the
authorities, some desperate Ugandan youth have been caught in the process.
Under the current Chinese law, possession of defined quantities of illicit
drugs attracts a death sentence. 5 kilos of cannabis resin, one kilo of
heroin or 50 grams of cocaine can result in the death penalty being
"The suspects, who are aged between 18 and 23, including one woman, were
found with heroin amounting to over 1.5kg each, far beyond the limit. This
automatically spells a death sentence," Mr Kinobe said.
While speaking on a local FM radio in Kampala on Thursday, Mr Kinobe
revealed that if the 10, Ugandans are found guilty, they will be executed.
The minister, however, said there are diplomatic efforts by the 2
governments to try and save the lives of the suspects.
It is not clear whether they were using diplomatic passports as has been
the practice with most Ugandan drug traffickers. This week, a minister in
The Tooro kingdom goes on trial in London over narcotics trafficking.
"It's very sad that our people will soon be killed in China for drug
trafficking. Most of these people are youth who wanted to make cheap
money. They were arrested recently and are now still in jail waiting for
trial," Mr Kinobe said.
The revelation comes after the latest report from the UN Office on Drugs
and Crime listed the seizure of 12,000kg of cannabis resin in Uganda among
2005's 30 biggest catches worldwide. The report says Uganda, in 13th
position, is among seven African countries listed in a ranking topped by
Spain, Pakistan and Morocco, according to UNODC's 2007 World Drug Report
released last week.
A source told Daily Monitor over the weekend that the Ugandan government,
through Amnesty International, is desperately calling on the Chinese
government to halt these executions pending diplomatic negotiations.
The government has decided to conceal particulars [names and families] of
the suspects until all negotiations have been concluded.
"We know all their names but as the government, we shall have to wait.
We're handling the matter with the Chinese government and further details
will be communicated at a later stage," a source said.
Mr Kinobe described drug traffickers as bold risk takers who work with
family members, or form alliances with friends or other social contacts
whom they come to trust.
But when Daily Monitor contacted Moses Sakira, thehead of Interpol
yesterday, he said he has been away. "I have just returned from Arusha.
But I will have to cross-check before I comment on the matter," Mr Sakira
But Mr Kinobe said before the arrest, suspects were made to ingest cocaine
and heroin pills by their accomplices. He said they were arrested
one-by-one and that the number is growing.
"These people train our youth and convince them that they are well
prepared and would not get caught. They [drug gangs] train them by getting
them to swallow things like grapes. These youth swallow drugs without
chewing. When the time comes, they carry the drugs in their stomachs," the
"The anti-drug authorities in China subjected those [10 Ugandans] to a
therapeutic blood tests after they were given a certain fluid to drink
which forced all other pills out of their bodies," Mr Kinobe said.
Executing drug traffickers in China is a simple matter and more than 50
people were executed on drug-related charges in just eight of China's 23
provinces in the single week leading up to Anti-Drugs Day in China last
year. But Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases
without exception as a violation of the right to life and the ultimate
form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.
The United Nations has never given any endorsement to the use of the death
penalty for drug-related offences, and the UN has called on China to end
the use of the death penalty for drug trafficking.
Phillip Idro, the former Ugandan ambassador to China, said if there are
any Ugandans being held, they are being used by international drug gangs.
"It's not easy for a Ugandan to go to China unless he or she has a helping
hand from an international drug network," Mr Idro said.
Said Mr Kinobe: "These gangs promise millions to our desperate and
unemployed youth to engage in such illicit activities. The youth should
desist from drugs because they will be killed."
New statistics from China's Drug Control Bureau show that more than
165,000 drug-traffickers have been arrested and are currently in jail.
Efforts to get a comment from the Chinese embassy in Kampala were futile
as all telephone contacts were switched off yesterday.
(source: The (Kampala) Monitor)
Family appeals for death penalty for Chinese mine boss convicted for death
The family of a reporter killed while investigating China's corrupt coal
industry says the life sentence given to the mine boss who ordered thugs
to attack the journalist is too lenient, and appealed Monday for the death
The beating death of Lan Chengzhang was the highest-profile case of
violence against journalists in recent years, and highlighted the
lawlessness at the country's dangerous and poorly regulated coal mines,
where an average of 13 miners die every day.
In the appeal papers filed to the top provincial and national prosecutors
offices Monday, lawyer Xu Zhanqin sought the death penalty for Hou
Zhenrun, the head of a small unlicensed mine outside the northern city of
Xu maintained the life sentence Hou received on Friday for the January
beating death was light compared to similar cases.
Unconfirmed reports said Lan, a newly hired reporter for the Beijing-based
China Trade News, may have been trying to collect money from Hou in return
for not writing about his business.
However, Xu said Monday that the court ruling found Lan was not involved
in extortion. Neither the lawyer nor the court would provide the
Associated Press a copy of the judgment to confirm that.
The lawyer also sought the death penalty for the 5 men sentenced to jail
terms of five to 15 years for beating Lan.
(source: Associated Press)
Indian army trooper gets death penalty
In occupied Kashmir, a Summary Court Martial of Indian Army has sentenced
a trooper to death for gunning down his Company Commander in Rajouri
district last year, in the 2nd conviction for fratricidal killings in less
than a week.
The SCM convicted Naik Ravi Kumar for killing his Company Commander of 34
- Rashtriya Rifles in Rajouri district in September last year. The martial
court convicted the NCO last week.
Ravi after a verbal duel with his Company Commander turned his AK assault
rifle on him. A Signalman was recently held guilty for killing 2 Hawaldars
and a Lance Naik with his service carbine in October last year.
(source: Kashmir Media Service)
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