[Deathpenalty] death penalty news------worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Oct 26 11:11:42 CDT 2007
PALME PRIZE WINNERS AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY: 26/10/2007 (MaximsNews
In 1987 the Olof Palme Memorial Fund established the Olof Palme Prize, an
annual prize awarded for an outstanding achievement in the spirit of Olof
In October 2004 the Foundation took the initiative to gather its Palme
Prize Winners in an appeal against the death penalty. 3 years has passed
since and the issue still remains a serious human right concern around the
We therefore fully support the present initiative made by the Council of
Europe's Goodwill Ambassador, Ms Bianca Jagger to call for an end of
capital punishment and for all the European countries which have not yet
done so to ratify Protocol No. 13.
Every person is more than the worst thing they have ever done and hence,
the death penalty is the ultimate denial of an individuals human rights.
The time has come for a global abolishment.
FOR THE OLOF PALME MEMORIAL FUND
Pierre Schori, Chairman
Contact information: The Olof Palme Memorial Fund, Phone: 46 8 677 57 90
E-mail: palmefonden at palmecenter.se, Website: www.palmefonden.se
APPEAL OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS PALME PRIZE WINNERS CALLING FOR
AN END TO THE DEATH PENALTY
In the year 2003 there were at least 1 146 known executions in 28
countries, 84 % of which took place in the United States, China, Iran and
Vietnam. The death penalty remains a serious human rights issue around the
world. We believe that the gratuitous killing of individuals as a form of
punishment is a basic violation of human rights and must be abolished.
Over a thousand people continue to be executed by firing squad, lethal
injection, hanging, beheading, and stoning each year and we now call on
world leaders to suspend executions worldwide and retreat from capital
The death penalty is frequently imposed without regard for fairness, due
process, or international law. Napoleon Beazley, T.J, Jones, and Toronto
Patterson were 17 year-old juveniles at the time of the offense for which
they were convicted. In 2002 they were executed in the United States
despite the almost universal prohibition against the execution of
juveniles. In 2003, another juvenile offender, Scott Hain, was executed in
the U.S. Since 1973, 227 juvenile death sentences have been imposed in the
United States in clear violation of international law.
In China , one senior legislator estimated that the actual number of
executions carried out there are much higher and may be as many as 10,000
We believe that each person is more than the worse thing theyve ever done.
Consequently, every human being has a basic right to life that must be
protected. The death penalty is the ultimate denial of human rights. It
corrupts human dignity and the right to life as proclaimed in the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Capital punishment is the ultimate
form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It is disproportionately
imposed on the poor, the indigent and racial minorities.
We the undersigned believe that the time has come for the death penalty to
be abolished. We call on all nations to stop executions as a 1st step
towards worldwide abolition of capital punishment. In an era when the
threat of war, terrorism and global conflict makes the protection of human
rights critical, the time has come for the death penalty to be eliminated
from the list of human rights problems which must be addressed and
Wei Jingsheng Human rights and democracy activist, China .
Javier Prez de Cullar Former UN General Secretary , Peru .
Kurdo Baksi Writer and Journalist, Sweden
Bjrn Fries National Drug Policy Coordinator, Sweden
Salima Ghezali Writer and journalist, Algeria
Hans Blix Chairman of the Commission on Weapons of Mass Destruction and
former Chief weapons inspector in Iraq , Sweden
Hanan Ashrawi Former Palestinian minister
Anahit Bayandour Activist of peace and human rights, Armenia
Fazle Hasan Abed Chairperson Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee
Cyril Ramaphosa Chairman Millenium Consolidated Investment, South Africa
Bryan Stevenson Executive Director Equal Justice Initiative of Alabama ,
Monsieur Dominique SOPO Executive Director SOS Racisme, France
Vaclav Havel Writer and Dramatist, former President of the Czech Republic
Labels: Olof Palme Memorial Fund, Call to End the Death Penalty, Amb.
Pierre Schori Chairman, United Nations, U.N.
Iran Executes 5 More Drug Traders, Australian Faces Ultimate Sanction Over
Half Ounce of Hash in Bali
Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian countries continue to set the pace when
it comes to executing drug offenders. Iran appears to be on an especially
torrid pace, but this week Indonesian prosecutors were the most
In Bali, 50-year-old Australian businessman Barry Hess could face the
death penalty after prosecutors there decided to charge him with drug
trafficking upon his being caught with 14 grams of hashish and 2.7 grams
of marijuana in his home. It is only one of the offenses prosecutors have
charged him with; the most lenient, being an unregistered drug addict,
carries a 6-month jail sentence. Prosecutors will present their case, then
tell judges what charge and penalty they think is most appropriate. The
judges, however, are not bound by those recommendations.
Meanwhile, the international death penalty abolitionist group Hands Off
Cain reported that authorities in Birjand in northeast Iran had tried and
executed 5 men for trafficking in opium and opiates. They had been caught
traveling from Zahedan with nearly 3,000 pounds of opium, 120 pounds of
morphine, and 16 pounds of heroin. The men were put to death after
"official formalities," the correspondent noted.
The International Coalition Against the Death Penalty reports that Iran
has executed 265 people so far this year, well ahead of the 140 executed
all of last year. It is unknown how many of them were drug law offenders.
(source: Drug War Chronicle)
Brother of med student executed
The brother of an Auckland University medical student has been executed in
Hadi Ali Suliaman al-Yami, brother of student Meshel Ali Suliaman, was
sentenced to death for helping to free a friend jailed for drug
trafficking. His sentence was reportedly changed from 10 years in prison
to the death penalty in the past few days.
The execution is despite a last minute plea from Prime Minister to the
Saudi Arabian embassy in Australia to stop the beheading.
A spokeswoman for Clark says Amnesty International drew the issue to the
Prime Minister's attention late on Wednesday.
The New Zealand government is opposed to the death penalty and Clark made
the personal appeal on those grounds.
Screaming for death to killers
IN THE FACE of rising crime and the completion of a new and bigger prison
here in Barbados, the advocates of capital punishment for murder are
queuing to sing their familiar "hang-them-quickly" chorus. They have
convinced themselves that the death penalty is an appropriate solution for
dealing with such killers.
Across our Caribbean Community, and without a singular exception, there
are governments, political parties and some social interest groups that
persist in behaving as if the death penalty is indeed a deterrent to
murder, but with NO empirical evidence to support such a claim.
Confronted with the escalating murders and criminal rampage rocking the
foundation of too many of our CARICOM societies, parliamentary parties
often compete to shout support for hanging all who end up on death rows of
often overcrowded prisons.
The death penalty lobby takes the moral high ground in screaming for
judicial killing by whatever means and behaves as if others are
unmindful of such callous, fatally reckless criminal moments of man's
inhumanity to man. Truth is that murder is a crime that remains most
repulsive to all civilised human beings.
However, having convicted killers swing, with judicial approval, from the
gallows or murdering them with fatal injections, has NOT proven to be an
effective remedy in curbing murder rates; nor in easing the pain of
societies traumatised by the epidemic of criminal violence as is
currently being experienced in some CARICOM states.
In its latest assessment, Amnesty International has noted that more than
half of the 192 member countries of the United Nations have abolished the
death penalty in law or practice. Some others have under review the
necessity for retaining a practice rejected as barbaric.
Regional human rights groups and advocates opposed to capital punishment
had joined on October 10 in observing the 10th anniversary of World Day
Against The Death Penalty.
The opportunity was taken to reflect on the reality that 45 years after
the dawn of political independence in this region, our CARICOM states
continue to retain the death penalty for murder. Yet NO government has ANY
significant progress report to offer in battling the epidemic of murder
and serious crime.
India's Mahatma Gandhi and America's Martin Luther King, 2 of the world's
best known icons of non-violence and advocates of respect for human
dignity, went to their graves as victims of assassination having
vigorously decried the death penalty as barbaric.
Gandhi's memorable exhortation against the death penalty that "an eye for
an eye makes the whole world blind" remains a stimulant for opposition to
capital punishment, as King's constant rejection of it as a weapon of
"violence and degradation" against human kind.
Alas, for the crusaders of the death penalty, the commendable stand of
both Gandhi and King is irrelevant. Pity is that we have heads of
government, attorneys-general and plenty members of the legal fraternity
and law enforcement agencies who, though not vocal, share the sentiment of
the "hang-them-quickly" lobby.
(source: The Nation News)
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