[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Feb 19 23:12:43 CST 2008
my next postings to this list will be on Thursday, March 6
Lebanon seeks death penalty for Islamist militia chief
Lebanon's chief prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for the fugitive
Palestinian leader of an Islamist militia over a twin bus bombing a year
ago that killed 3 people, his office said on Tuesday.
Prosecutor Said Mirza has accused Shaker al-Abssi, head of the Fatah
al-Islam group which fought a 15-week battle against the army in a
Palestinian refugee camp last year, of "incitement to murder," over the
He is seeking the same penalty for another three Syrian members of the
Al-Qaeda inspired Fatah al-Islam who are accused of carrying out the
February 13, 2007 attack in the mountain village of Ain Alak.
The Syrians behind bars in the case, for which a trial date has yet to be
announced, were named as Mustafa Siou, Kamal Farid Nassan and Yasser
The charge sheet accuses Siou of having planted the explosives on one of
the buses, while fellow assailant Omar Hajji had bombed the other vehicle
and been killed in fighting in Nahr al-Bared camp later the same year.
Nassan and Shukeiri allegedly helped Siou transport the bomb.
Siou has allegedly confessed that the bus attack was carried out as "a
message to the anti-Syrian majority" in the Lebanese parliament that is
locked in a power struggle with the opposition, backed by Iran and Syria.
He has also said that Abssi planned to place a bomb at a Shiite religious
meeting place used by Hezbollah or near the offices of the Phalangists, a
Christian party, as part of a plot to stir sectarian strife.
Lebanon's top anti-terror agent, Captain Wissam Eid, who was assassinated
in Beirut on January 25 along with 4 other people, played a key role in
unmasking the bus bombers, according to the charge sheet.
The chief prosecutor said the killing could have been revenge for his
investigation, which relied on telephone call intercepts.
The bus attack came as Lebanon was preparing to mark the anniversary of
the murder of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri, whose death in a 2005
Beirut car bombing triggered the country's worst crisis since the
1975-1990 civil war.
Since then Lebanon has been hit by a wave of attacks against prominent
anti-Syrian figures and is currently battling with a political crisis that
has left the country without a president since November.
Abssi's militia fought with Lebanese troops in the northern refugee camp
of Nahr al-Bared in a battle which left more than 400 people dead before
the fighting ended in September.
The 3 Syrians detained are also accused of having helped smuggle Fatah
al-Islam fighters into the camp.
In addition to being hunted by Lebanese troops, Abssi is wanted by both
Syria and Jordan for radical activities including the 2002 assassination
of a US diplomat in Amman.
Abssi's fate has been shrouded in mystery since the end of the Nahr
al-Bared fighting. His wife had said Abssi had been killed in the camp
fighting but DNA tests on the body determined it was not him.
(source: Agence France Presse)
Bishop Edghill's statement on the death penalty is too sweeping
In the Kaieteur News of February 17, in a report on the calls for the
death penalty to be strictly enforced, it is reported that Bishop Juan
Edghill stated that the death penalty was "not in conflict with our
beliefs, and all of our religious teachings speak of punishment for such
It is not the first time that Bishop Edghill has made sweeping statements
about faith in Guyana, and it is regrettable that Hindu people especially
would seek to have others speak for them. The issue of the death penalty
in modern times is always up for debate, since its existence has not
proved to deter murder in the states, which actively implement it.
The Hindu religion allows for discussion and debate about issues such as
the death penalty. For many Hindus who are vegetarian because of respect
for life, the issue of ahimsa applies when thinking about the death
penalty. While references to killing convicts would exist in the writings,
even the controversial Manusmrti states that as the human race evolves,
the laws would change.
Any person wishing to speak on behalf of the Hindu religion should know
that there are diverse beliefs, this article from Hinduism Today provides
a good reference http://www.
(source: Letter to the Editor, Stabroek News)
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