[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Mon May 12 10:09:58 CDT 2008
Bali bomber on death row marries ex-wife by proxy
An Islamic militant on death row for the 2002 Bali bombings was married to
his ex-wife on Monday but he was not present at the wedding.
"This is the strangest wedding I have ever attended. The groom is not
present," said Muhammad Hasan, the militant's former Koranic teacher who
gave a sermon at the ceremony that lasted for an hour.
Amrozi, dubbed the "Smiling Bomber" for his constant grin during his
trial, had wanted to hold the reunion ceremony at the island prison in
Central Java where he is being held, but the authorities rejected the
Instead, his half brother, Ali Fauzi, took the vows on his behalf in a
small village in East Java province.
The bride, Ria Rahmawati, who was wearing a black Muslim dress and veil,
declined to make any comment. She first married Amrozi 22 years ago and
the couple has a son. Amrozi is still married to another woman.
About 50 people attended the ceremony, during which traditional Javanese
soup rawon and plain water were served. A copy of the Koran served as a
Amrozi, his brother Mukhlas and Imam Samudra face death by firing squad
for their role in the 2 nightclub bombings that killed 202 people,
including foreign tourists and Indonesians.
The bombings and several other deadly attacks in recent years have been
blamed on the Southeast Asian militant Muslim group Jemaah Islamiah.
Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected the convicts' final appeals and
they have said they will not seek presidential clemency, making it likely
the executions will now go ahead.
Indonesia does not normally announce dates for executions.
In a statement read out by their lawyers last year, the Bali bombers said
their blood would "become the light for the faithful ones and burning hell
fire for the infidels and hypocrites" if they were executed.
Iran's execution rate rising
Iran has hanged 5 men convicted of burning a young woman alive after
raping her, in a prison in the central city of Qom, the government
newspaper Iran reported on Monday.
The 5 men identified only as Morteza, 21, Hadi, 24, Javad, 24, Hossein, 19
and Mehdi, 24, were sent to the gallows after being found guilty of the
woman's abduction, rape and murder, the paper said.
The victim, who was identified only as Narges, was a newly wed, it added.
"We, together with 8 friends, kidnapped and raped her... and then we
burned her with petrol while she was still alive to make it impossible to
identify her," the paper quoted the 2 main defendants in the case as
saying in a joint confession.
The 5 men were also found guilty of raping several boys, convictions for
which they were sentenced to be thrown off a cliff.
That punishment is prescribed by Iran's Islamic penal code for men raping
members of their own sex but there have been few reports of its use.
5 other men have also been convicted and sentenced to death over the
woman's murder but have lodged appeals.
The hangings bring to at least 95 the number of executions in Iran so far
in 2008, according to an AFP count.
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International reported that in 2007 Iran
made more use of the death penalty than any other country apart from
China, executing 317 people during the year.
The total was a sharp increase on 2006, when 177 executions were carried
out, according to Amnesty, and came amid a police crackdown on crime.
Capital offences in Iran include murder, rape, armed robbery, drug
trafficking and adultery.
Human rights groups have accused Iran of making excessive use of the death
penalty but Tehran insists it is an effective deterrent that is carried
out only after an exhaustive judicial process.
(source: Independent Online)
Rawlings Regrets 1979 Executions
Memories of the 1979 executions of 3 of Ghana's former heads of state and
some top military officers came alive again at the weekend in Abuja as the
ex-president of Ghana, Flight Lt. Jerry Rawlings (rtd), said though the
killings were regrettable, there was no way his Armed Forces Revolutionary
Council (AFRC) junta could have avoided them.
Rawlings also said Nigeria under President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was capable
of bringing out the best not only in the country but also in Africa
because according to him, Yar' Adua "is displaying an admirable level of
The ex-Ghanaian president, who spoke at a News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
Forum, said the executions were "very painful and regrettable, but there
was no other way out."
Ghana's AFRC headed then by Rawlings executed eight senior military
officers on June 16 and June 26, 1979 for alleged corruption and
embezzlement of public funds.
He said if the executions had not been carried out, the rank and file of
the Ghanaian Army would have slaughtered the officer corps.
Rawlings cited the example of a military formation in Takoradi where, he
said, the soldiers had rounded up some 200 officers and were taking them
through their final prayers before execution before he intervened.
"We were able to address that but another 6 were executed 10 days later.
It was another sad moment. I attempted to prevent it and sent an officer
but the firing squad shot the officers before their commander could give
the order," he said.
Rawlings said the initial idea was to execute only former head of state,
Gen. I. K. Acheampong and Gen. Utuka who was the head of the border guards
to assuage the feelings of Ghanaians.
He said: "We had no choice than to sacrifice only 2 originally. But you
must understand our country was in a state of rage then, not different
from what Russia was when it had its revolution."
Rawlings admitted that he became a hostage to the situation, explaining "I
was a partial hostage to that situation. I had no force. The authority
that I enjoyed was my moral authority with the people. Their action (the
execution of the senior officers by the boys) was to curtail the anger of
Rawlings also urged the Nigerian government not to be neutral in
happenings on Africa's political scene, saying Nigeria under President
Yar' Adua was capable of bringing out the best not only in the country but
also in Africa.
He said: "Your president, in spite of situations, is displaying an
admirable level of integrity. I appeal to Nigerians and your government to
keep an eye on what is happening in Africa."
He said that Nigeria as the giant of Africa should be responsible to other
African countries by checkmating them to avoid a crisis situation on the
He advised Yar' Adua to leave behind an enduring legacy by using his
presidency to bring out the best in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
"You do not have to send troops or soldiers with ammunition to any
country, your words can make great impact, especially now that political
morality is returning to your country" he said.
He blamed Britain and the U.S. for the escalating crisis in Africa, saying
"The crisis in Africa is a consequence of the damage the world has
suffered during the leadership of Britain's Tony Blair and America's
He said the crisis in the continent came as no surprise to him.
Specifically, he said the invasion of Iraq by U.S. and Britain in 2003 had
undermined "international political morality and the judicial
consciousness of the public. 7 years ago in an interactive session with
former heads of states of the world, my constant song was the damage the
world had suffered under Blair and Bush.
"I told them (the former heads of states) that soon we would see the
consequences in about 3 and 5 year's time, particularly in Africa. Today I
have been proved right," he said.
In denouncing the approach to the war on Iraq, Rawlings said: "Blair and
Bush were in a haste to demonstrate the power of the new world order and
the manner they went about it undermined fundamental ethical values."
Rawlings also denounced the trial outside Africa of former Liberian
president Charles Taylor on war crimes at the International Criminal Court
at the Hague.
"I would have wished, my black dignity would have been preserved, if
Taylor was being tried on the black continent and not in the white man's
land," he said.
Rawlings also did not rule out external influence in the trial of Taylor.
Rawlings was twice Ghana's head of state and was the 1st president of the
Fourth Republic of the country.
He first appeared on the Ghanaian political scene on May 15, 1979 when he
led a group of junior officers in the Ghana Air Force in an unsuccessful
coup d'tat that resulted in his arrest and imprisonment. He was court
martialled in public and sentenced to death.
But Rawlings won the love of the rank and file of the Ghanaian military
and the public due to his bravery at the court martial.<> Before he could
be executed, another group of junior officers within the Ghana Army
overthrew the then military government of Gen. Fred Akuffor on June 4,
The coupists released Rawlings from prison and installed him as head of
the new government - the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council.
On life after retirement, Rawlings said it had been a mixed grill.
"On the one side, it's been hell; on the other hand, one could say that I
have been caught in between," he said.
(source: This Day)
Death sentence of 6th Mumbai blast convict suspended
The Supreme Court on Monday temporarily suspended the Capital punishment
awarded to a convict for killing 88 people during the 1993 serial bombings
A bench of Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan stayed the death sentence of
Abdul Ghani Turk following his petition challenging his conviction and
The bench, which included Justice RV Raveendran and Justice MK Sharma,
issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Turk was sentenced to death for parking an RDX-filled jeep near Century
Bazaar in Mumbai and triggering a blast had killed 88 people and injured
159. The series of terror attacks March 12, 1993 had claimed a total of
257 lives in the metro.
The bench also issued notice to the CBI on a petition by another convict
Shaikh Ali Shaikh Umar, condemned to life term for his conspiratorial
Shaikh was also imposed a fine of Rs 150,000 for his various roles in the
conspiracy, including loading various vehicles with explosives, arranging
the landing of arms at various points along the Mumbai coast and roping in
other accused in the case.
Turk is the 6th convict on the death row who has challenged his conviction
and has got his sentence stayed.
The higher court suspends the death sentence as a routine while admitting
a convict's appeal against the conviction.
The apex court had stayed April 7 the death sentences of 2 convicts,
Mohammed Mushtaq Moosa Tarani and Asgar Yusuf Mukadam.
Tarani was sentenced to death for planting an RDX-loaded scooter in Shaikh
Memon Street that did not explode. He had also planted a bomb in Hotel
Centaur, though there were no casualties in the explosion.
Mukadam was sentenced to death for planting a RDX-filled Maruti van at
Plaza cinema in Mumbai. The explosion had killed 10 people and injured 36.
The apex court had stayed April 4 the death sentence of Zakir Hussain Noor
Mohammed Sheikh, condemned to the gallows for throwing a powerful bomb in
Mahim's Fisher colony.
The blast triggered by Sheikh had killed 3 people and injured 6 others.
The apex court had suspended Jan 28 the death penalty of fugitive
underworld don Tiger Memon's accountant brother Yakub Memon, who too was
condemned to the gallows for his role in the terror attack.
Yakub Memon had been awarded the death penalty for hatching the
conspiracy, funding the terror attack and supplying weapons for it.
Yet another convict, who has got the reprieve from the apex court on his
Capital punishment is Mohammed Shoaib Ghansar. The apex court suspended
his sentence Feb 21.
Ghansar had been sentenced for parking a scooter filled with explosives
opposite the Bombay Stock Exchange and triggering the blast. It killed 17
people and maimed 57.
Besides Yakub Memon, Ghansar, Sheikh, Turk, Tarani and Mukadam, the 6
others, who are on death row, include Pervez Sheikh, Shahnawaz Qureshi,
Iqbal Yusuf Shaikh, Feroz Malik, Abdul Khan and Farooq Pawle.
(source: Hindustan Times)
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