[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Oct 9 16:38:35 CDT 2007
Russian teenager could face death penalty in Lebanon
18-year-old Sergey Vysotsky is 1 of 4 Russian citizens who could be put to
death in Lebanon if found guilty of terrorist offences. The teenager is
under arrest in the capital Beirut. The other three Russians remain at
large. All 4 are thought to be part of the radical Palestinian movement
Lebanese authorities met Russian diplomats in Beirut to confirm the
charges against the 4 Russian citizens. All are suspected of terrorist
activities. The men could face the death penalty if found guilty.
However, Geidar Dzhemal, the Chairman of Russia's Islamic Committee says
it's likely the 4 Russians will be sent home.
"We have information that they will not be sent to Guantanamo or sent to
any other Lebanese prison. They are Russian citizens and will be returned
home, to Russia. Whether it will be followed by a court trial or what sort
of court is still a question to be agreed. It shall be decided between
the legal agencies of the 2 countries," he said.
Teenager wanted to study in Lebanon
The teenager Sergey Vysotsky, 18, claims he came to Lebanon at the
beginning of the year with the intention of going to university in
Tripoli, in the north of the country. He says the college had no place for
him when he arrived. He says he then became friendly with a group of
youths from a nearby Palestinian refugee camp. That's the reason, he says,
he was in the area of the battlefield when he was arrested in early
The Press-Attache of the Russian Embassy in Lebanon, Vladimir Cherepanov,
told Russia Today that the Head of the Consular Department visited
Vysotsky in prison. He saw the conditions he is being kept in and said
they were acceptable. He also confirmed that embassy staff will be present
when police question the youth.
"Vysotksy has said he has no complaints about being kept in custody. He
appears quite healthy. He was not tortured during the preliminary
investigation and it is apparent from the way he looks. He confirms that
he was detained in early September in the battle area. From October 11
interrogations will begin with the preliminary investigation, during which
our consul will be present as agreed with the Lebanese side," Mr
Sergey Vysotsky is said to be co-operating with officers, but has
consistently denied the accusations against him. He says he was no way
involved in the killing of Lebanese military and police personnel.
On Thursday he will appear before a Lebanese judge for the 1st time, which
will be his 1st official interrogation. The Russian Embassy has requested
that a representative be present. They will also provide a translator.
Under Lebanese law Vysotsky must be provided with a lawyer, free of
charge, once his trial begins. But before that the Russian Embassy will be
providing him with one, including at the 1st session to take place on
The Embassy says it's satisfied with the close co-operation between the
Russian and the Lebanese authorities.
Surprise at Russian involvement
There has been surprise in Lebanon that some of the militants of the
radical Palestinian movement Fatah Al-Islam could come from Russia. The 4
Russian citizens are the 1st non-Arab nationals to have been charged with
such serious crimes in Lebanon.
"Russians among them? What are you talking about?" wondered Oksana Naser,
a Dagestani woman living in Nahr al-Bared refugee camp. "I heard only
about 1 from Chechnya. And from Dagestan? I am hearing it, first time,
from you," she told RT's correspondent.
Oksana herself comes from Dagestan, a republic in the South of Russia. But
unlike the 4 charged Russian nationals, 1 of whom allegedly comes from her
hometown, she was an innocent bystander to the violence that wrecked her
home and destroyed her private gynaecological practice in the Nahr
al-Bared camp 4 months ago.
Together with thousands of others, shes found temporary shelter nearby.
"I used to see these men from Fatah Al-Islam in our camp. Some of their
wives were my patients. Many of them were pregnant. I had a chance to talk
to them," Oksana recalls.
Here at the Naser family, the despair is overwhelming.
"I want to go back to Russia, I want to work there if I can," Dr Ali Naser
The family has lost everything. They live now on borrowed money and
Dr. Raed El-Haj, who was born in Nahr al-Bared, has also found temporary
shelter nearby. He is 1 of 50 doctors from the camp who studied in Russia.
He remembers seeing one of the men patrolling the streets.
"He was just in military uniform, like soldiers were, and was carrying a
Kalashnikov machine gun. But not all of them were dressed like soldiers. I
knew he was Russian because I studied in Russia for 12 years. I can tell
from the face if a man is Russian in the same way that he can tell I am
Arab. Many of them were undercover. Their real power became known only
after the war started," Dr. Raed El-Haj said.
"We'd have sent the Russians home"
The war was between the Lebanese army and Islamist militants belonging to
an Al-Qaeda offshoot Fatah al Islam. The residents of the northern
Lebanese Palestinian camp became its victims.
Now, waiting to return, they keep themselves well-armed.
Abdelary Arkanbader, the leader of the Democratic Front for the Liberation
of Palestine, said they were surprised in the beginning to find there were
Russians fighting with Fatah Al-Islam.
"But now we know that there are a handful of Russians involved and in my
opinion, they probably come from Chechnya. They arrived here from Iraq. I
wish we'd known before the fighting started that there were Russians, we
would've taken them to the Russian Embassy because we have good relations
with Russia and we would have let them go home," Abdelary Arkanbader
Late last week, 98 suspected Fatah al-Islam militants were buried in a
mass grave. None were identified. Mr Abdelary says it is possible some of
the missing Russians could be among them.
Man gets death penalty, daughter only eyewitness
Vadodara, October 8 A Vadodara court sentenced one man to death on Monday
in a triple murder case, in which the sole eyewitness was the convict's
8-year-old daughter. In 2004, the man had hacked his wife and infant
daughter to death with an axe and then thrown his son into a pond after
alleging that his wife was involved in an illicit affair. The eldest
daughter managed to escape the slaughter after hiding behind a television
set. The court ruled that the offence was serious enough and inhuman to
warrant a death penalty.
Vadodara Sessions Judge, J N Brahmbhatt, on Friday sentenced Suresh
Rathoria to death, for the murder of his wife, Manjula (28), his 1
1/2-year-old daughter, Sanga and 3-year-old son Mehul on the night of
September 7, 2004. The only survivor of the massacre was his 8-year-old
daughter, Meena who was also the sole eyewitness. She testified against
her father. The public prosecutor, D R Haribhakti said that the court
first ascertained that Meena could be examined as a witness and only then
allowed her testimony against her father.
Haribhakti stated, "After finding Rathoria guilty, the judge served the
sentence after taking into consideration the seriousness of the offence
and the manner in which it was committed and that it was an inhuman act."
On September 7, 2004, Rathoria, a resident of Hanuman Tekri on Dabhoi Road
and a daily wage labourer, had an argument with his wife and accused her
of having an illicit relationship. Rathoria also alleged that his 2nd
daughter and son were not his own, but that of her beau's. According to
Haribhakti, the argument turned violent and Rathoria then attacked his
wife with an axe. "Rathoria also believed that his children were not his
own so he killed his infant daughter with the axe as well. He then took
his son to a nearby pond and threw him in it, killing him as well," said
Meena managed to escape the massacre after hiding behind the television
set. Haribhakti said that after watching Rathoria throw his son into the
pond, Meena fled to her grandfather's house nearby. Her grandfather then
took her to the police station where they filed a complaint.
(source: Express India)
EU reiterates opposition against death penalty
The European Union (EU) Tuesday reiterated its position against the death
penalty "under all circumstances."
"The European Union is unreservedly opposed to the use of capital
punishment under all circumstances and has consistently called for the
worldwide abolition of this punishment," said European Commission
President Jose Manuel Barroso in a statement.
The statement was issued in the context of an international conference on
the death penalty in Lisbon.
"The death penalty is against human dignity. We want to give visibility to
the efforts of the many non-governmental organizations and individuals who
strive, day after day, towards the abolition of the death penalty," added
The EU has become the lead institutional actor in the world against the
death penalty. In June, the bloc tabled a resolution at the U.N. General
Assembly proposing a worldwide moratorium on executions.
The commission, the executive body of the EU, has funded around 30
anti-death penalty projects worldwide since 1994, with an overall budget
of about 15 million euros (21 million U.S. dollars).
A total of 133 countries have abolished the death penalty in practice or
Europe celebrates Day Against Death Penalty
European Day Against Death Penalty will go ahead as planned, condemning
only the capital punishment, despite Poland's efforts to open discussion
also on other right to life issues, such as abortion and euthanasia.
The European Day Against Death Penalty will go ahead on October 10th as
planned, despite Poland's widely-commented opposition to it at the
European Union level. The Council of Europe passed a declaration to that
effect and expressed hope that the celebrations will soon be followed by
the European Union.
Poland does not back off from its opposition to the initiative,
reiterating however that it has no intention of supporting the death
penalty, especially as it has been abolished in all EU states.
But the main Polish argument remains that other right to life violations,
such as abortion and euthanasia must not be swept under the rug, when
opening a discussion on life issues. Poland has called for establishing a
European Day for the Protection of Life. Krzysztof Bosak, Polish member of
the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe:
'If we are to discuss life issues, let us be honest and not hypocritical.
It is not death penalty, but abortion and euthanasia that kills millions
of innocent European citizens every year. This is a real problem that
should be highlighted.'
The Polish stand has stirred up fury in the western media, which accused
the Polish government of electioneering and refusing to accept "European
values". Krzysztof Bosak again:
'As for values, it is not Poland who should be ashamed but abortion and
euthanasia supporters who pretend to be pro-life when it comes to death
The bad reception of Poland's stand by some western European circles is a
result of misunderstanding and lack of proper discussion on cultural and
social issues, says Warsaw Business Journal columnist Konrad Kiedrzynski:
'The whole row shows different approaches to the question of life and
death: death penalty, abortion, euthanasia. Because what Poland offered
instead was a day in support of life. Separate EU countries need to speak
about it openly. Poland's message was pretty badly received partly because
it was quite unclear and partly because the European Union still could
show more will to understand the cultural differences. A proper discussion
on these issues is necessary, especially that prolonging conflict could
harm significantly our political and economic situation.'
Meanwhile, a citizen's e-mail campaign has been initiated by a major
Catholic weekly 'Gosc Niedzielny' together with the social committee for
marriage, family and life at the Polish episcopate, condemning the
Tribunal in Strasburg's verdict on the Tysiac v. Poland wrongful birth
case, which obliges the Polish state to pay damages to a mother for not
providing her access to abortion.
The Tribunal has recently upheld the verdict, on grounds of the mother's
alleged "right to privacy", and the Polish Prime Minister said he would no
longer question it, but Polish lawyers working on the case still disagree:
'Under the Polish law, there is no such thing as a right to abortion.
There are several exemptions to the general prohibition of abortion. Under
those exemptions, abortion is not criminalized, but they do not constitute
any "right to abortion".'
The family committee at the Polish Episcopate together with 'Gosc
Niedzielny', Poland's largest Catholic weekly with a readership of about
150 thousand, are convinced that the ruling is against the Polish law,
which protects the rights of prenatal children. 'Gosc Niedzielny' is
encouraging Polish citizens to express their voice on this on a European
level. Jacek Dziedzina of Gosc Niedzielny says the campaign has met with a
lot of interest and growing involvement:
'Polish people don't want the Tribunal to put some ideological agenda
before the law. We just want to encourage our readers and all Polish
citizens to send protests to the European Court of Human Rights in
Strasbourg and to the president of Poland. This campaign is based on a
very democratic principle. Citizens express their opinions, their
opposition to a verdict which they feel is highly unfair and against basic
human rights. They want to oppose the ultimate form of discrimination
against a person - killing this person before birth. This campaign is a
call for a debate on the fundamental human right to life in Europe.'
With such a strong citizen's involvement in the debate on life issues, it
seems that the row over the Day against Death Penalty is not Poland's last
clash with what some see as "European values."
(source: Nowe Media, Polskie Radio S.A. Wszelkie prawa zastrzezon)
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