[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Nov 30 17:00:25 CST 2007
Vietnam sentences 12 more heroin traffickers to death
A court in Vietnam sentenced 12 people to death and 8 others to life
imprisonment Friday, in a drug trafficking case involving 70 kilograms of
heroin. The People's Court of Vietnam's northwestern province of Quang
Ninh handed down the sentences after a five-day trial, said Nguyen Xuan
Thanh, chief of the provincial anti-narcotics police.
The defendants "bought heroin from northwestern provinces bordering on
Laos, and then sold it in many provinces in Vietnam, as well as in China,"
Thanh said. "The heroin trafficking situation in the province is still
The ring operated from 2003 until May of 2006, when it was broken up by
Besides the 12 sentenced to death and the eight to life in prison, the
court sentenced 8 more members of the ring to between 15 and 30 years, and
1 to 1.5 years. Thanh said 15 more members of the ring remained at large.
The case was unrelated to another major narcotics trial that ended
Thursday with a Hanoi court sentencing 11 people to die for smuggling over
400 kilos of heroin.
The verdicts brought to 94 the number of death sentences handed down by
Vietnamese courts this year, including 64 for drug crimes.
Trafficking 600 grams or more of heroin is punishable by death in Vietnam.
Bali bombers demand sequential execution
Bali bombing convicts Amrozi, Imam Samudra and Ali Gufron have asked that
they be executed according to their turn as drafted by the government.
"Why should they be executed before other death row inmates? All convicts
whose death sentences were issued before them should be executed first.
Otherwise, they will be treated discriminatively," lawyer Mahendradatta,
representing the three, said as quoted by detik.com Thursday.
He said that he had sent a letter to the Attorney General's Office to
demand sequential executions, but denied that it was only to play for
Mahendradatta said the attorney general could not execute his clients upon
pressure from foreign countries nor based on the crimes his clients had
(source: Jakarta Post)
Calls in Sudan for execution of Briton
Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in
a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted
of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear
The protesters streamed out of mosques after Friday sermons, as pickup
trucks with loudspeakers blared messages against Gillian Gibbons, the
teacher who was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in prison and deportation.
She avoided the more serious punishment of 40 lashes.
They massed in central Martyrs Square outside the presidential palace,
where hundreds of riot police were deployed. They did not try to stop the
rally, which lasted about an hour.
"Shame, shame on the U.K.," protesters chanted.
They called for Gibbons' execution, saying, "No tolerance: Execution," and
"Kill her, kill her by firing squad."
The women's prison where Gibbons is being held is far from the square.
Several hundred protesters, not openly carrying weapons, marched about a
mile away to Unity High School, where Gibbons worked. They chanted slogans
outside the school, which is closed and under heavy security, then marched
toward the nearby British Embassy. They were stopped by security forces
two blocks away from the embassy.
The protest arose despite vows by Sudanese security officials the day
before, during Gibbons' trial, that threatened demonstrations after Friday
prayers would not take place. Some of the protesters carried green banners
with the name of the Society for Support of the Prophet Muhammad, a
previously unknown group.
Many protesters carried clubs, knives and axes but not automatic weapons,
which some have brandished at past government-condoned demonstrations.
That suggested Friday's rally was not organized by the government.
A Muslim cleric at Khartoum's main Martyrs Mosque denounced Gibbons during
one sermon, saying she intentionally insulted Islam. He did not call for
"Imprisoning this lady does not satisfy the thirst of Muslims in Sudan.
But we welcome imprisonment and expulsion," the cleric, Abdul-Jalil Nazeer
al-Karouri, a well-known hard-liner, told worshippers.
"This an arrogant woman who came to our country, cashing her salary in
dollars, teaching our children hatred of our Prophet Muhammad," he said.
Britain, meanwhile, pursued diplomatic moves to free Gibbons. Prime
Minister Gordon Brown spoke with a member of her family to convey his
regret, his spokeswoman said.
"He set out his concern and the fact that we were doing all we could to
secure her release," spokeswoman Emily Hands told reporters.
Most Britons expressed shock at the verdict by a court in Khartoum,
alongside hope it would not raise tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims
"One of the good things is the U.K. Muslims who've condemned the charge as
completely out of proportion," said Paul Wishart, 37, a student in London.
"In the past, people have been a bit upset when different atrocities have
happened and there hasn't been much voice in the U.K. Islamic population,
whereas with this, they've quickly condemned it."
Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain,
accused the Sudanese authorities of "gross overreaction."
"This case should have required only simple common sense to resolve. It is
unfortunate that the Sudanese authorities were found wanting in this most
basic of qualities," he said.
The Muslim Public Affairs Committee, a political advocacy group, said the
prosecution was "abominable and defies common sense."
The Federation of Student Islamic Societies, which represents 90,000
Muslim students in Britain and Ireland, called on Sudan's government to
free Gibbons, saying she had not meant to cause offense.
"We are deeply concerned that the verdict to jail a schoolteacher due to
what's likely to be an innocent mistake is gravely disproportionate," said
the group's president, Ali Alhadithi.
The Ramadhan Foundation, a Muslim youth organization, said Sudanese
President Omar al-Bashir should pardon the teacher.
"The Ramadhan Foundation is disappointed and horrified by the conviction
of Gillian Gibbons in Sudan," said spokesman Mohammed Shafiq.
Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, spiritual leader of the world's
77 million Anglicans, said Gibbons' prosecution and conviction was "an
absurdly disproportionate response to what is at worst a cultural faux
Foreign Secretary David Miliband summoned the Sudanese ambassador late
Thursday to express Britain's disappointment with the verdict. The Foreign
Office said Britain would continue diplomatic efforts to achieve "a swift
resolution" to the crisis.
Gibbons was arrested Sunday after another staff member at the school
complained that she had allowed her 7-year-old students to name a teddy
bear Muhammad. Giving the name of the Muslim prophet to an animal or a toy
could be considered insulting.
The case put Sudan's government in an embarrassing position facing the
anger of Britain on one side and potential trouble from powerful Islamic
hard-liners on the other. Many saw the 15-day sentence as an attempt to
appease both sides.
In The Times, columnist Bronwen Maddox said the verdict was "something of
a fudge ... designed to give a nod to British reproof but also to appease
Britain's response applying diplomatic pressure while extolling ties with
Sudan and affirming respect for Islam had produced mixed results, British
In an editorial, The Daily Telegraph said Miliband "has tiptoed around the
case, avoiding a threat to cut aid and asserting that respect for Islam
runs deep in Britain. Given that much of the government's financial
support goes to the wretched refugees in Darfur and neighboring Chad, Mr.
Miliband's caution is understandable."
Now, however, the newspaper said, Britain should recall its ambassador in
Khartoum and impose sanctions on the Sudanese regime.
(source: Associated Press)
Anti-Death Penalty Day today
Countries throughout the world are marking Anti-Death Penalty Day today.
In Belgrade, a round table entitled Death Penalty, Never Again has been
organized by the Center for Peace and Democratic Development to mark the
According to reports, the meeting will be attended by senior officials
from state institutions, the judiciary, the church, as well as
international and non-governmental organizations.
European Anti-Death Penalty Day is celebrated on October 10, and took
place during Serbias presidency of the Council of Europe (CoE).
The death penalty has not been carried out in any CoE member-state since
1997. Russia is the only member not to have abolished the death penalty,
though it is applied there only very rarely.
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