[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon Sep 10 16:56:32 CDT 2007
New party wants death penalty
The newly-formed National Peoples Party wants to bring back the death
penalty, and seeks tougher action on drugs.
These are 2 of the points in its draft statement of principles, released
Party leader David Sasman said the document would have to be discussed at
a party congress before a final set could be drawn up.
The draft said the NPP wanted mandatory death sentences for crimes against
the state, murder, rape, drug trafficking and molestation.
It said it would introduce an "effective management system" for safer
neighbourhoods, and would participate in "the destruction of shebeens,
drug outlets and gangsterism".
Judge paves way for executions
The executions of three former officials in Saddam Hussein's regime can be
carried out without presidential decrees because of the scale of their
crimes, a judge said Monday.
The statement by Munir Hadad, a judge and spokesman for the Iraqi High
Tribunal, appeared to pave the way for the hanging in the next few weeks
of the 3 men despite objections by President Jalal Talabani and the Sunni
vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi.
Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai was sentenced to death along
with Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majidwidely known as "Chemical Ali"and
Hussein Rashid Mohammed, former deputy operations director of the Iraqi
armed forces. All three were convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes
against humanity for their roles in the massacre of thousands of Kurds 2
Questions were raised last week over the legality of the decision as
Talabani said he would not sign off on it. Al-Hashemi and members of
al-Tai's tribe and family warned his death could incite sectarian violence
at a time when the government is working for national reconciliation.
Talabani, a Kurdish leader whose revolt against Saddam led to the
crackdown for which the three were convicted, said he had reservations
against hanging former Iraqi army officers who were acting under threat of
death from Saddam if they disobeyed.
He spoke warmly of al-Tai, saying he "had contacts" with the Kurds during
Saddam's regime and "we were urging him to work against the government."
"So how can I now vote for his execution? I will never ever do that,"
Talabani said Friday.
He also raised the legal point that the execution order was never cleared
with the presidency council, which includes himself and the 2 vice
presidents, one a Shiite and the other a Sunni.
The constitution says the 3 must sign off on death sentences, but Iraqi
legal experts are divided over whether that rule applies to the special
court trying former regime figures for horrific crimes.
Hadad, the spokesman for the tribunal overseeing the trials, said the
constitution and the court's law are clear that the death sentences cannot
be commuted and the punishments must be carried out within 30 days.
"It does not need a presidential decree," he said at a news conference.
Article 71 in Iraq's constitution states that a special amnesty against
the death sentence can be granted except for those charged with
international crimes, terrorism and financial and administrative
"Genocide and crimes against humanity are considered international
crimes," Hadad said.
However, prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi said a government advisory
committee, the State Shura Council, had ruled that the presidency council
must agree to an execution. Al-Hashemi said he had no doubt that the
council must agree to the hanging, and he called for a stay of execution
unless Talabani and the others approve.
(source: Associated Press)
SAUDI ARABIA/ SRI LANKA:
Sri Lanka deathrow teen in Saudi dreams of freedom
A Sri Lankan teenager Rizana Nafeek who is on death row is being treated
well by her jailors and was hoping an appeal of her sentence will succeed,
media reports said.
"Rizana was so confident that she told me to bring some good clothes to
wear when she comes out of jail," Arab News quoted social worker Kifaya
Ifthikar, who visited her in jail, as saying.
"She also wanted a Tamil translation of the Holy Qur'an, which I gave the
woman jailor to hand to her."
Rizana, who was employed as a housemaid in Saudi Arabia, was condemned to
death after a baby died while in her care. The Asian Human Rights
Commission has already put up money for her appeal.
In prison, Rizana was in normal clothes and said that she spends her time
reciting the Qur'an, praying and watching television, Arab News said.
Kifaya said Rizana said that her jailors, who are all women, look after
"The place is fully air-conditioned and there is a TV for Rizana to pass
her time," Kifaya said, adding that she was given 60 riyals a month to buy
toiletries some of which she was saving to take home.
Rizana was anxious to see her brother and sister, Kifaya had said.
The Saudi Human Rights Commission has assigned an officer to look after
Rizana's case and Arab News said it would also try to negotiate with the
parents of the infant who is alleged to have been killed by Rizana.
Attempts by Sri Lankan officials to meet the father of the dead infant had
so far failed.
Sri Lankan Ambassador A.M.J. Sadiq had met chairman of the Human Rights
Commission Turki Al-Sudairi prior to his final departure to Colombo
seeking his intervention in Rizana's case.
4 Sri Lankans were earlier beheaded and put on public display despite
repeated appeals for clemency. One prisoner who was earlier told he was
sentenced to a 15-year prison term was also beheaded with the others.
Sometimes prisoners are kept on death row for years, before suddenly being
taken and beheaded.
(source: Lanka Business online)
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