[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide----IRAN, SAUDI ARABIA, ZANZIBAR
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Oct 16 16:47:53 CDT 2008
Iran hangs a murderer
Iran has hanged a convicted murderer in a prison in the western town of
Doroud in Lorestan province, Kayhan newspaper reported on Thursday.
The man sent to the gallows on Wednesday was only identified by initials
of M.Gh. He had been found guilty of murdering a woman and her daughter
after robbing their home.
The latest hanging brings to at least 190 the number of executions in Iran
this year, according to an AFP count.
Amnesty International says Iran carried out more death sentences in 2007
than any other country apart from China, executing 317 people.
Capital offences in the Islamic republic include murder, rape, armed
robbery, drug trafficking and adultery.
(source: Agence France-Presse)
Saudi beheaded for murder
A Saudi was beheaded by the sword on Thursday for murdering an Indian man,
the interior ministry said.
Fatin bin Fallaj al-Shibani al-Otaybi was found guilty of stabbing the
victim to death and stealing his belongings, the ministry said in a
statement carried by SPA state news agency.
The execution brings to 78 the number announced by Saudi Arabia this year.
On Tuesday, Amnesty International charged that poor migrants were bearing
the brunt of a surge in executions in the ultra-conservative kingdom.
The human rights watchdog complained that the Saudi government "continues
to execute people at an average of more than 2 a week."
Last year, a record 153 people were executed in the Gulf kingdom, which
applies a strict version of sharia, or Islamic law. This figure compared
with 37 in 2006 and the previous record of 113 in 2000.
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)
For Saudi human rights association death penalty is lawful----Group
spokesman criticises a report by Amnesty International, which says that
capital punishment is unfairly imposed; defends rules, stressing that
Sharia is the law of the land. Last year 158 people were killed this way.
The death penalty in the kingdom is not carried out until after "an
exhaustive examination of the relevant" evidence with "enough guarantees
for the defendant" and especially in accordance with Sharia or Islamic
Law, Zuhayr al-Harithi, the Saudi Human Rights Association spokesman, said
in response to criticism from Amnesty International which in its annual
report slammed "the process in which the death penalty is taken and
implemented [because it] is harsh, secret, and largely unfair."
The London-based human rights association said that Saudi Arabia is
"executing convicted persons at an average of more than 2 a week and that
around 1/2 of them are foreigners from poor countries."
The number of executions carried out last year rose to 158 up from 36 in
the previous year.
For Al-Harithi international organisations are unable to understand that
"each country has its own penal system and judicial rulings which should
Saudi Arabia applies the rules of Sharia law which imposes the death
penalty in cases of murder, sexual violence, drug trafficking and
But for Al-Harithi the death penalty in the kingdom is not carried out
until after an "exhaustive examination of the relevant" evidence is
conducted by 13 judges before it is endorsed by "the highest authority in
the kingdom, the king."
The judicial system in Saudi Arabia also allows victims' families to
pardon convicted killers, saving their lives.
(source: Asia News)
Pemba debate on death penalty unearths much about flaws in the law
Snags in the proposal to erase the death penalty have prompted a heated
debate among legal experts and `wananchi` in Zanzibar with some proposing
abolition while others opting for the law to stay.
The debate held in Pemba Island on Tuesday followed revelation that more
than 5,000 death convicts were still languishing in jail as their death
sentences were yet to be approved by the President of Zanzibar.
During the open discussion, the coordinator who is also the person
in-charge of a Legal Assistance Centre in Zanzibar with its headquarters
in Chake Chake Pemba, Ismaili Is-haka Sharifu, said that experience has
shown that both the Union and Zanzibar presidents were reluctant to sign
documents to allow the executions saying the implementation of the
sentences should be scrapped altogether.
"Since independence official records in Zanzibar show that the death
penalty had been implemented to 82 convicts and this only happened during
the first 2 phase governments under the presidency of the late Abeid Amani
Karume and Alhaj Aboud Jumbe.
Thereafter no more death sentences were sanctioned. It is time to discuss
its relevance," Sharif told participants to the workshop.
He clarified on the nature of crimes leading to death sentences if
committed and found guilty. These include treason, deliberate murder and
others as stipulated in Act No. 6 of 2004, adding without clarification
that its implementation met some legal contradictions as well.
The coordinator suggested that since Tanzania indirectly discouraged the
death penalty, the government should issue official statement to join the
international community in opposing it.
The proposal immediately attracted the support of South Pemba Regional
Crime Officer, Azizi Juma Muhamed, who said despite the fact that the
police, the judiciary and other crime investigation departments in the
country were well equipped; hesitation in endorsing death sentences by the
president had nothing to do with the authenticity of evidence presented in
court. "Therefore, let this law be reviewed," he concluded.
Other participants went further to say that perhaps the death sentence was
not convenient under multi-party system of leadership fearing that in case
it happens in future that the president in power was in conflict with the
opposition party members he might decide to issue death sentences to his
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