[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Sat Nov 24 20:52:07 CST 2007
Capital punishment not for juveniles
THE death sentence will not be imposed on juvenile offenders to comply
with the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), of which Malaysia is
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat
Abdul Jalil said the Child Act 2001 would be reviewed to plug shortcomings
involving juvenile criminal cases and to ensure the country adheres to the
CRC, which Malaysia ratified in 1995.
She added that among the amendments were repealing the punishment of
caning for juvenile criminals, inserting an order requiring juveniles to
attend community-service programmes and inserting a clause providing for
immediate protection and care in specific cases.
"The juvenile must be held at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong
and be given guidance," she told Datuk Ronald Kiandee (BN-Beluran).
Earlier, Shahrizat told Datuk Seri Tiong King Sing (BN-Bintulu) that the
case of an 18-year-old boy who was convicted of murdering his tuition
teacher's daughter, in which the Federal Court upheld the High Court order
that he be held at the pleasure of the King, showed that Section 97(2) of
the Child Act did not contravene the Federal Constitution.
(source: The Star)
Tory government may be condemning innocents to death with new policy:
The Harper government could wind up allowing innocent people to be sent to
their deaths with its new hands-off policy on Canadians who face execution
abroad, say federal Liberals.
The government has recently announced it will no longer seek clemency for
Canadians convicted of capital crimes in democratic countries that are
deemed to have provided a fair trial.
But Irwin Cotler, a former justice minister and Liberal human rights
critic, argued Friday that no country's justice system is infallible.
"The minister of justice is no doubt aware that wrongful convictions
occur," Cotler told the House of Commons.
Canada itself has a long list of people who've been wrongfully convicted
of murder, including David Milgaard, Donald Marshall, James Driskell, Guy
Paul Morin and William Mullins-Johnson. But at least in Canada, which
abolished the death penalty in 1976, they lived long enough to eventually
"There is no appeal from capital punishment," Cotler said.
Justice Minister Rob Nicholson sidestepped the point and repeated the
government's position that it will no longer automatically intervene to
save Canadians on death row if they've been "tried in a democracy that
adheres to the rule of law." He reiterated that the government will apply
the policy on a case-by-case basis.
Cotler said the policy means the government has anointed itself "arbiter
of who gets executed." And he questioned whether Nicholson is "willing to
accept that the government's determination in a specific case could send
an innocent person to death."
Halifax Liberal MP Geoff Regan piled on, suggesting that Nicholson is
"enamoured" with the justice system in the United States, where Albertan
Ronald Smith currently sits on death row in a Montana prison for fatally
shooting two men in the back of the head.
Regan asserted that "20 innocent people" and "at least 30 mentally
challenged people" have been executed in the U.S.
He later said he was citing information compiled by the National Coalition
to Abolish the Death Penalty, which has identified 23 instances in the
last century in which a person with "an extraordinarily strong case of
innocence" was executed in the U.S.
The coalition also says at least 44 mentally challenged people have been
executed since 1976, although another American group puts the number at
Nicholson mocked Liberal Leader Stephane Dion for urging Montana's
governor to commute Smith's death sentence.
"Was there any discussion about writing a letter to the victims of crime
over there (on the Liberal benches)? ... I am proud to serve with a group
of people who are quite worried about the innocent victims of crime."
When the new policy was initially announced a few weeks ago, the
government said that it would not necessarily intervene to save someone
convicted of a capital crime in a democratic country with the rule of law.
In the last few days, however, the government has appeared to limit the
application of the policy to those, like Smith, who've committed multiple
Again Friday, Nicholson said that "an individual who gets convicted of
multiple murders or a mass murderer, can no longer count on the Canadian
government to necessarily intervene."
Regan said it appears the policy is being developed "on the fly."
"I guess the question is, so if Ronald Smith had only killed one person
instead of two, would they help him then?" Regan said in an interview.
Cotler said the new policy flies in the face of Canadian law and the
Supreme Court of Canada, which has ruled - in a multiple murder case, no
less - that the death penalty constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.
(source: The Canadian Press)
International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH)----DITSHWANELO The
Botswana Centre for Human Rights
PRESS RELEASE ---- Urgent call to stop all death sentences and executions
The Botswana Centre for Human Rights wish to express their deep concern
over the recent death sentence passed on Mr. Kedisaletse Tsobane who was
found guilty of murdering his child. This sentence again raises the
question of the willingness of the authorities of Botswana to create laws
which are in accordance with international human rights standards and put
an end to this inhuman practice1.
On 19th November 2007, the High Court sentenced Kedisaletse Tsobane to
death in Gaborone, Botswana.
Kedisaletse Tsobane confessed to having murdered his daughter 2 years ago.
Murder is a crime for which the penalty is death in accordance with the
Whatever the crime committed, this sentence is not acceptable since it
violates the right to life and is generally pronounced after unfair
trials, which means that innocents may be executed. In addition, the
deterrent effect of death penalty has never been proven.
FIDH and DITSHWANELO The Botswana Centre for Human Rights also condemn
the recent hanging of death row inmate Sepeni Thubisane Popo, who was
found guilty of a murder committed in 2004, a sentence which brought to 39
the number of executions held in Botswana since independence from Britain
With this new execution, Botswana goes against the general trend worldwide
towards the abolition of capital punishment. FIDH recalls the adoption, on
16 November 2007, by the Third Committee of the United Nations General
Assembly, of a resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death
penalty worldwide, with a view to abolishing the death penalty. This
resolution was adopted by a wide majority of States, from all regions of
FIDH and DITSHWANELO The Botswana Centre for Human Rights once again
express their opposition to the death penalty under any circumstances and
anywhere. They recall that the death penalty contradicts the fundamental
principle of human dignity proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights and that its abolition is the goal of many international
human rights instruments.
(source: African Press Organization)
Islamic Society, Human Rights, and the Death Penalty: Capital Punishment
The abolition of capital punishment is one of the largest human rights
issues being tackled on todays global political scene. Morocco shows an
example of how a deeply religious country attempts to make strides in
human rights while honoring religious teachings.
Historically nearly all societies have used the death penalty in some
measure. Today almost all of Europe, most of Latin America, and countries
such as Australia, New Zealand, and Canada have abolished the death
penalty from their law and practice. However, some countries such as the
US, Guatemala, and much of Asia and Africa retain it. There are 69
countries that still apply the death penalty and about 30 others that
still have it in their law.
In theory, Morocco retains the death penalty for ordinary and military
crimes; however, the death penalty has not been carried out since 1993.
Article 16 of the Moroccan penal code allows capital punishment for
murder, torture, armed robbery, arson, treason, desertion or an attempt on
the king's life.
The last execution was carried out in 1993 on the police commissioner head
of general intelligence, Mohammed Tabet. He was executed for using his
position to rape hundreds of women and young girls.
More recently, there was a man sentenced to death for stabbing a foreign
couple in their home in Rabat. On June 18th, 2007, a Moroccan appeals
court upheld the death sentence. There are currently 131 people on death
row, including 7 women. However, the death penalty is still the
constitutional prerogative of the king, and King Mohammed VI has not yet
signed a death warrant since he became king in 1999.
In Morocco, it is customary to mark national and religious holidays with a
royal pardon of prisoners. In November 2005, King Mohammed VI granted
royal pardon and reduced sentences to 10,000 prisoners to mark Moroccos
50th anniversary of independence. More recently, the king pardoned 9,000
prisoners to mark the birth of his daughter (February 28, 2007). Many
inmates on death row have seen their death sentences reduced to life
sentences through such royal pardons.
In today's political landscape, terrorism is considered to be the biggest
obstacle to abolishing capital punishment in Morocco all together. In May
2003, the Moroccan parliament passed a new anti-terrorist law, which made
ordinary crimes eligible for the death penalty if they are considered
terrorist crimes. By August 2005, over 2,000 people had been accused of
crimes related to terrorism. 903 of these were given prison sentences,
while 17 were sentenced to death.
In 2003, a civil entity representing 4 associations, Coalition Nationale
pour L'Abolition de la Peine de Mort au Maroc (CNAPM), was created to work
towards the abolition of capital punishment in Morocco. The capital
punishment debate, started by Le Front des Forces Democratiques (FFD), has
led to the establishment of a commission of jurists to review the Moroccan
criminal code regarding capital punishment. According to Mohamed Bouzabaa,
Moroccan Justice Minister, the review is in an advanced stage and it looks
like the debate among Moroccan jurists is increasingly oriented towards
abolition. In October 2006, it was announced that a bill for the abolition
of capital punishment would be presented to parliament for a vote in
Spring 2007. Bouchra Khiari, deputy of the party leading the project to
end capital punishment, the FFD, says that the bill is ready and has been
submitted to the general secretariat of the government.
For: The project to end capital punishment is being led by Le Front des
Forces Democratiques (FFD). Support is coming from parties such as l'Union
Socialiste des Forces Populaires (USFP) and Le Parti du Progres et du
Socialisme (PPS). Malika Oulialy, member of the PPS, states that the
abolition of capital punishment concerns the process of democratization of
the country. She believes that it is important for a society to respect
the right to life. Ahmed Kouza, member of Amnesty International Morocco,
argues that capital punishment has no place in todays Morocco as it
"leaves no opportunities for correction and re-integration for inmates
Against: Resistance to the bill for the abolition of capital punishment is
expected from Le Parti de la Justice et du Developpement (PJD). They are
the only government recognized Islamic Party, and they claim that the
death penalty is consistent with Sharia law. Islamist groups claim that
Sharia Law dictates the death penalty in crimes such as murder and
Islam and Capital Punishment
In Support of Abolition:
Muslim proponents in favor of abolition hold that God has made life
sacred, and therefore the abolition of capital punishment does not
contradict the teachings of Islam. Oulialy, of the PPS, says that, "Islam
has prohibited killing. Therefore, there is no contradiction between Islam
and a human rights culture." Quranic support for the position: "No one can
die except by God's permission, the terms being fixed as by writing"
In Support of Capital Punishment:
Many scholars of the Quran believe that it indicates the allowance for
capital punishment. The main support for this position is: "Take not life,
which God has made sacred, except by way of justice and law. Thus does He
command you, so that you may learn wisdom" (6:151). Another indication
that the Quaran supports the use of capital punishment is: "And we
prescribe for them therein the life for a life, the eye for the eye, the
nose for the nose, the ear for the ear, the tooth for the tooth, and for
wounds of retaliation. But whosoever forgives it (in the way of charity),
it shall be expiation for him. Whosoever judges not by that which God has
revealed, such as wrongdoers" (5:45).
Crimes Punishable by Capital Punishment:
According to Islamic law, there is an allowance for the death penalty in
cases of intentional murder and Fasad fil ardh ("spreading mischief in the
land"). This is based on: "If anyone kills a person unless it be for
murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he killed
all people. And if anyone saves life, it would be as if he saved the life
of all people" (5:32). "Spreading mischief in the land" is generally
understood to include crimes such as treason, apostacy, terrorism, piracy,
rape, adultery, and homosexual behavior. The Quran does give a chance for
the victims family to pardon the perpetrator and forgiveness in
(source: The Travel Source----About The Travel Source: The Travel Source
is a travel agency based in Fes, Morocco. The Travel Source specializes in
Morocco tours and holidays and provides clients with cultural,
educational, adventure, desert, and golf tours.
ONE of the key Bali Bombers has issued a chilling warning from his death
row prison cell, warning Australia "will be down next year".
Imam Samudra and 2 of his cohorts on death row for their role in the 2002
bombings were yesterday defiant, unapologetic and welcoming of their
forthcoming executions as they were visited in their island jail by some
of their family members.
Samudra, the so-called field commander of the Bali bombers, took the
opportunity to hold a "press conference" to correct what he said was
He had never said he was sorry about the bombing, he was only sorry that
Muslims died, he said.
"I regret that there are Muslim people (who died) and Allah akbar if there
are kaffir people (unbelievers) who died," he said.
As the 2 hour visit ended, Samudra beckoned The Daily Telegraph over and
issued his warning: "Australia will be down, next year Australia will be
Mukhlas, aka Ali Ghufron, gave a copy of his final will and testament to
his wife and six children during the family visit yesterday.
During the visit Amrozi, the so-called "smiling assassin", was smiling and
laughing, kissing and cuddling his brother's young children and telling
them that when he was executed as a martyr his family would be blessed.
"There will be a benefit if I die ... my children will get the blessing,
my family will get the blessing and they will be happy," he said.
All 3 men, who played leading roles in the Kuta nightclub attacks that
killed 200 people, including 88 Australians, say they welcome execution.
They have now lost their final appeal against the death penalty - a
judicial review . But their lawyers say they are now working on another
Executions Not Leading to Reconciliation
The executions of former regime officials are creating greater division,
rather than reconciliation, among Iraqis.
Special courts formed by the American occupation authorities in Iraq are
issuing death sentences -- like that carried out on former Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein, on 30 December 2006 -- on what many Iraqis are
interpreting as a political basis.
"Executing Saddam cost Iraqis a lot of hatred and more division between
the sects, " Walid Al-Ubaidi, post-graduate law student at Baghdad
University told IPS.
"Now they [U.S.-backed Iraqi Government] are executing the Ex-Minister of
Defense, Sultan Hashim Ahmed, who was very well known for being a
professional general who led the Iraqi army against Iran," Al-Ubaidi said,
stressing that, "This man represents a symbol for the Iraqi army that
On 24 June 2007 the Iraqi High Tribunal found Ahmed guilty of presiding
over the killing of thousands of Kurds during the Anfal campaign in the
Several legal delays, and more recently a delay for a religious holiday,
have postponed the execution.
A clerk in the court where Ahmed and a number of his generals were
sentenced spoke with IPS on condition of anonymity. He asked to be
referred to as Hassan.
"We were surprised by the sentence," Hassan told IPS in Baghdad, "This
general was no more than a government official who carried out orders with
notable skill and proficiency."
"What makes us better than any of those we called dictators and war
criminals?" Hassan asked.
"These generals were the ones who defeated Iran in the war and so [Iraqi
Prime Minister Nouri] Al-Maliki and his American masters want to punish
them in order to please the Iranian Ayatollahs," former Iraqi army colonel
Saad Abbas told IPS in Baghdad.
Anger against the U.S. occupation for the sentences has also been aroused
because of the promise for asylum the general was given before he
surrendered to U.S. military forces.
"They promised him asylum and that was why he surrendered to them in
peace," a relative of the general, speaking on condition of anonymity,
"They even asked him to take a post in the new system, but he refused, and
maybe that is why they sold him to his enemies," the relative said.
An Iraqi resistance fighter spoke with IPS on condition of strict
"We are not happy for this mans execution, but we believe it was his fault
to trust the Americans," he said. "He should have known, as a general who
negotiated with them more than once, how bad they were. Moreover, he
should have joined the resistance against occupation rather than surrender
to his dirty enemies."
"This man and his colleagues represent the army that terrified those Arab
tyrants in an Arab neighboring country," Thuraya Shamil, an engineer from
Baghdad Municipality told IPS.
"They cannot forget the day that they ran out of their palaces like rats,"
Others view the situation differently, but still agree that the generals
do not deserve to be sentenced to death.
"At the moment we are looking for solutions to the dilemma of internal
divisions, comes these sentences to widen the gaps between sects and
groups," Malik Nazar, a member of the Iraqi Dialogue Front that has nine
MPs in the Iraqi Parliament, told IPS.
"We must stop sacrificing our men for the sake of sending messages of
compassion to Iran and others who have feuds with our heroic army men,"
"They are killing any Sunni Arab who might one day lead Iraqis, or at
least a group of Iraqis, when this dirty occupation leaves the country,"
Ali Salman, a teacher in Baghdad, told IPS, "As long as Iranians and Kurds
are our real rulers, all our good men will always be targeted."
SA needs to get tough on criminals: Zuma----Zuma says more needs to be
done to fight crime in SA
ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma says South Africa has to get tougher on
criminals if it wants to deal with crime effectively. He says there is too
much emphasis placed on the rights of criminals as opposed to those of the
Zuma also said the country has not exhausted every effort to deal with
crime. He was addressing an anti-crime summit being held at the Imperial
Primary School hall in Beacon Valley, Mitchells Plain.
Zuma also said crime remained a national challenge and that people should
unite as a nation to fight it. When asked whether he could persuade the
ANC to bring back the death penalty, Zuma said it is a Constitutional
Court decision and not up to the ANC.
The Independent Democrats (ID) leader Patricia de Lille was also at the
summit. De Lille says South Africa needs a comprehensive long term
solution to deal with the crime crisis.
De Lille says the reason government plans to fight crime often fail is
because other stakeholders are not involved.
(source: SABC News)
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