[Deathpenalty] [SPAM] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Nov 7 23:49:39 CST 2008
Saudi executed for starting deadly jail fire
A Saudi man was beheaded by the sword on Friday after he was convicted of
deliberately starting a prison fire which killed 69 inmates in September
2003, the interior ministry said.
Saad bin Fhaid al-Sebaiei was executed in Riyadh after he was found guilty
of starting the blaze at Al-Hair jail on the southern edge of the Saudi
capital, where he was held at the time, the ministry said in a statement
carried by the official SPA news agency.
In April 2004, the head of Riyadh prisons was fired and several other
officials were suspended for dereliction of duty in the deadly incident in
Saudi Arabia's largest prison, which housed about 3,500 inmates.
The interior ministry said at the time that an inquiry committee
established that the fire was started deliberately by Sebaiei, who set a
blanket ablaze as prisoners were assembling for noon prayers.
Friday's beheading brings to 86 the number of executions announced by
Saudi Arabia this year.
Last year, a record 153 people were executed in the oil-rich Gulf kingdom,
which applies a strict version of sharia or Islamic law. This figure
compared with 37 in 2006 and the previous record number of 113 executions
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International said in a report last month
that executions were surging in Saudi Arabia and that the principal
victims were poor migrant labourers and Saudis without connections.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking can all carry
the death penalty in the ultra-conservative country, where executions are
usually carried out in public.
(source: Agence France-Presse)
Canadian closer to beheading in Saudi Arabia
A Canadian sitting on death row in Saudi Arabia appears to be closer than
ever to being executed.
A Saudi appeals court has turned down an appeal from Mohamed Kohail, 23,
who earlier this year was convicted for his role in a fatal schoolyard
beating, The Globe and Mail reported Friday.
In March, Kohail was convicted for his part in the beating death of youth
worker Munzer Al-Haraki at Jeddah's Edugates International School on Jan.
The conviction carries a sentence of public beheading, which Kohail could
face in the near future.
Dubai-based reporter Sonia Verma told CTV Newsnet that Kohail must have
the decision overturned by the Supreme Judicial Council or ask King
Abdullah for clemency in order to avoid being executed.
But she said neither outcome is very likely.
"The Supreme Court has to essentially approve the appeals court decision,"
Verma told CTV Newsnet in a phone interview on Friday.
"Most decisions are simply approved, it's a matter of rubber-stamping. And
then the decision goes up to the King. So, that's the process."
She said the best bet for Kohail's survival was likely for the Canadian
government to make a direct appeal to King Abdullah.
Lisa Monette, a spokeswoman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and
International Trade, said Ottawa could not confirm that a ruling had been
handed down by the appeals court in Saudi Arabia.
"Our latest information is that the Court of Cassation (appeals court) has
not yet delivered a verdict on the most recent appeal," she said.
Monette said Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon "has been briefed on
the case" and it is his intention "to speak to his Saudi counterpart in
the very near future to reiterate our concerns."
She said the government is doing everything it can to help Kohail and his
teenaged brother, Sultan, who has also been convicted for his part in the
fatal schoolyard beating.
Mahmoud Al-Ken, who is acting as spokesman for the Kohail family, said he,
too, expects both the King and the Supreme Judicial Council will uphold
the decision against Mohamed Kohail.
"All legal procedures have been exhausted," he told CTV.ca over the phone
Al-Ken said he spoke to Kohail's parents by phone on Thursday evening.
"They don't know actually what to do," he said. "Their only hope now is
He said they are urging the Canadian government to pull all the strings
that it can to save Kohail's life.
But it is not only Mohamed Kohail who could be executed.
In April, Sultan Kohail was convicted for his part in the same fatal
beating -- but being a youth, he received a lighter sentence than his
His sentence was to receive 200 lashes and spend a year in jail. However,
a court later decided he should be tried as an adult.
According to The Globe, the younger Kohail will be re-tried next week. If
convicted, he, too, could face a penalty of death.
Both brothers immigrated to Canada with their family in 2000.
The Kohail family lived in Montreal until 2006, when they returned to
Jeddah after a family member became ill.
(source: CTV News)
HRCP disappointed on Death penalty for 'cyber-crimes': Asma Jahangir
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed dismay over
the government of Pakistan prescribing the death penalty for those
involved in 'cyber-crimes'.
In a statement issued on Friday, the Commission said: "The Prime Minister
has, on numerous occasions, promised to discourage the imposition of
capital punishment and execution of death penalty convicts. The HRCP
wishes to remind the government that under customary international human
rights law, the death penalty is accepted only in very rare circumstances
-- including the most extreme nature of crime carried out with the use of
lethal weapons. The human rights guarantees and safeguards against the
imposition of the death penalty are numerous. The international community
is moving towards the abolition of the death penalty and for sound
reasons. The HRCP apprehends that the ordinance on cyber-terrorism
promulgated on Thursday will be seen as an oppressive law unless the
punishments are proportionate to the crime and do not involve the death
penalty. The present legal system in Pakistan does not guarantee due
process and therefore the imposition of the death would only add to the
miscarriage of justice suffered by thousands of people executed by the
State. The HRCP urges the government to immediately exclude the death
penalty from the list of punishments prescribed under the Prevention of
Electronic Crimes Ordinance."
(source: Pakistan Christian Post)
18 Nigerians on death row apply for case review
18 Nigerians sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Indonesia have
opted for the review of their cases, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN )
A NAN Correspondent, who was in Jakarta , quotes sources at the Nigerian
embassy as saying that the convicts lawyers had already filed the appeals
with the prosecutor.
"They opted for the review of their cases instead of seeking for clemency
for fear of being denied the clemency by the authority.
"The Indonesian President hardly grants clemency for drug convicts. Once
he turns down pleas for clemency on behalf of convicts twice execution is
imminent and automatic,'' the source said.
He explained by filing for a review of their cases, "they can still
prolong the finality of their conviction thus still buy some time,'' the
The source said the embassy provided appropriate consular services to
ensure lawyers plead their cases.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Ambassador to Indonesia, Alhaji Ibrahim Mai-Sule,
said he was optimistic on the outcome of the visit of the Special Envoy to
President Umaru Yar'Adua, Chief Ojo Maduekwe to seek for clemnecy for the
He said the meetings were fruitful and the Indonesian authority assured
the envoy that the request would be given adequate attention.
Mai-sule also said that already there was the 2 countries have initated
some measures to curb illicit drug trafficking and reduce the number of
Nigerians in Indonesian jails.
This, he said, included Draft Agreement between NDLEA and the Indonesian
Drug Authority, Prison Transfer Agreement and Concluding Mutual Legal
(source: Daily Triumph)
Justice and the death penalty
THERE will be few regrets when the death sentence is finally carried out
on the Bali bombers. In fact, you can expect rejoicing in many quarters.
Eighty-eight Australians were among the 202 people who lost their lives in
the explosions the bombers set off 6 years ago and the sneering, arrogant
attitudes of the terrorists since their guilty verdicts have only hardened
people's attitude against them.
The Bali bombing constituted a benchmark in the shift of Australian
attitudes towards capital punishment. Before the bombs ripped apart
Paddy's Bar and the Sari Club, 38 % of Australians favoured the death
penalty. It is now 53 %.
We are a nation where every state and territory has legislated against the
death penalty. The last person executed in Australia was Ronald Ryan in
Melbourne in 1967. The Commonwealth Death Penalty Abolition Act 1973
officially ended capital punishment and in 1975 under Rupert Hamer,
Victoria became the final state to legislate to abolish the death penalty.
Internationally, Australia is a signatory to resolutions seeking the end
of the death penalty.
But we do not always follow the principles espoused in the words of those
Internationally, our resolve has weakened and, if we are going to be
honest, there has been overt political pragmatism at play.
In the past 20 years, 4 Australians have been executed overseas, the most
recent being Melbourne man Van Tuong Nguyen who was hanged in Singapore's
Changi Prison in December three years ago.
Our leaders are sending the world conflicting messages. In 2003, then
prime minister John Howard said he would welcome the death penalty for
Osama Bin Laden and later that year said he personally didn't support the
death penalty but he wouldn't request the Indonesian Government to commute
the Bali bombers' death sentence.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd last month said the Bali bombers were murderers
who "deserve the justice that they will get''.
Former foreign minister Alexander Downer and present Labor Foreign
Minister Stephen Smith have both said the death sentence is up to
At the same time Australia has urged Indonesia to spare 3 convicted
Australian drug smugglers, Scott Rush, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Australia is in danger of adopting selective approaches to capital
punishment based on a "them and us'' mentality.
Perhaps the final word should belong to Brian Deegan, the former
magistrate whose son was one of the terrorists' victims.
"I am not barracking for the murderers of my son. I wouldn't spit on them
if they were on fire. However, I would prefer to see a true and proper
lawful punishment that fits more with civilised society. And that will not
occur if they are put to death.''
(source: Editorial, Geelong Advertiser)
Graves dug for Bali bombers awaiting execution
3 convicted bombers are scheduled to be executed by firing squad
One grave for man in same cemetery where father was buried
Hundreds of members of hardline Muslim groups plan protest
Not many people know when the men convicted of killing 202 people in a
bombing on the Indonesian island of Bali will be executed, but there's
evidence that 2 executions are imminent.
People shout slogan Friday at a protest held in Jakarta supporting the
That evidence is in the village of Tenggulun, in Indonesia's East Java
Here men have dug one grave for 2 of 3 men convicted in the 2002 bombings
-- Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and his brother Mukhlas, who is also known as Ali
They are widely known by their 1st names -- Amrozi and Mukhlas. Another
man, Imam Samudra, has also been sentenced to die for the bombings.
In this village, preparations are underway for the burial of the brothers
in the same cemetery where their father is buried.
The stone and concrete tombs and headstones are dotted beneath flowering
trees. A few fields away, a helicopter landing pad has been marked out
amid tapioca fields. The bodies are due to be flown in from Nusa Kampangan
prison after the executions and once the necessary paperwork has been
The 3 bombers are scheduled to be executed by firing squad at that prison,
but authorities will not say when.
Hundreds of members of hardline Muslim groups have arrived in this
village. Some threaten revenge and say others will take the place of
Amrozi and Mukhlas.
The deadly bombing ripped through 2 popular nightclubs in Kuta, on the
Indonesian resort island of Bali, in October 2002.
The blasts killed 202 people -- many of them young Australians -- and
injured more than 300. Dozens of victims were burned beyond recognition or
blown to pieces by the massive blasts.
Amrozi's and Mukhlas' brother, Ja'far Shodeq, told CNN he still believes
his siblings are innocent. He claimed Amrozi was in Tenggulun the night of
the attack watching football, despite Amrozi's admission to CNN that he
bought the explosive ingredients and the van used in the attack.
The men showed neither fear nor remorse in recent interviews with CNN.
They had asked to be beheaded, saying it was the Islamic way of execution,
but authorities plan to execute them by firing squad.
A lawyer for the men said he has sent a letter to the president of
Indonesia but would not say what the letter said.
Silence from our leaders is not good enough
WHERE are our leaders? What is happening? In the next day or 2, 3 men are
going to be executed by our nearest neighbor, Indonesia.
The men deserve severe punishment. But why are Australian leaders,
Federal, State, religious and community, being so quiet? Not one voice is
speaking up, saying the men should not be executed.
It is too late to speak up after the executions. We are not weak. We are
not aggressive. We are friends with Indonesia. We have principles and
ideals and should speak up. If principles are worth anything, lets defend
them even though its hard.
Our leaders are not at liberty to stay silent and pretend that these
executions are ok. With other Australian lawyers, I have clients in Asia
on death row.
We know that the Asian media and politicians demand consistency from us.
If we ignore these executions which obviously affect us as a nation, while
later demanding the right to save Australians, we lose legitimacy.
I have read every name at the Bali memorial. I feel deeply for those
victims. Every time I go to the prison in Bali, and I was there last week,
I think of my family and hope they dont suffer such losses.
But killing 3 more people to avenge those already killed does not honour
those names carved in granite. It adds nothing. To dignify their names, we
should call for humane but severe punishment a life in prison, without
access to journalists, removed from society. That is always enough
I walked away from Van Nguyen's execution knowing that it was an exercise
in futility - that dreadful sense of a person being destroyed, the
destruction planned for, practiced over and over, pointless. To see his
mother, his brother, their friends at the minute of their loved one
hanging is to realize that pre planned killing is fundamentally backward.
Making people suffer is not what we as a nation are about, even if they
deserve it. The suffering of victims does not go away, no one is brought
back. We just have another corpse. Resorting to premeditated ritualized
killing, and pretending vengeance or disgust or hatred or contempt is
justice, is in truth failure.
Our leaders, State and Federal, and religious, oppose the death penalty.
Well, let them say so when its hard, like this Bali bombers case. The
region is watching. At law, our country has signed up to international
covenants and protocols opposing the death penalty and calling for its
Last December at the United Nations, Australia strongly opposed the death
penalty calling for an international moratorium. Last week on Melbourne
radio the Prime Minister confirmed his personal and party's long standing
universal opposition to the death penalty.
If an Australian was about to be executed in Asia, these policy positions
would be proudly proclaimed, and relied upon as a strategy to save his or
her life. We do not expect our political and community leaders to jump up
and down at every execution everywhere. But the execution of the Bali
bombers, like many other executions including of Australians, calls for
more than silence. As neighbours and victims and people affected, we have
rights and duties. As investigators who helped catch the criminals, we
have a say. It will be too late to speak out once the prisoners are shot.
(source: Julian McMahon is a barrister. He has represented numerous people
on death row, including Van Nguyen in Singapore, George Forbes and others
in Sudan, and works with a number of Melbourne barristers defending Myuran
Sukumaran and Andrew Chan from the Bali 9----Melbourne Herald SUn)
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