[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Oct 29 18:46:37 CDT 2008
Palestinian human rights group urges Abbas to stay PA execution
The Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) called on
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday to stay a death sentence
for four men convicted of raping and murdering a young girl in Gaza City.
The death penalty - which is practiced in the Palestinian Authority as in
most Arab countries - is "an obvious violation of all norms and
international conventions on human rights," the center said in a
The death penalty violates the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the 1984
Convention Against Torture, PCHR said.
According to the statement, received by Ma'an, Abbas' sign-off on the
execution would amount to "cruel and inhuman judgment." The group called
on the president to call off the sentence.
The center noted that its insistence that the planned execution not be
carried out "should not be interpreted as tolerance for those convicted of
such serious crimes."
However, it added, "there must be another punishment besides execution,"
the statement said.
(source: Ma'An News)
Executions proceeding at fast pace
Tuesday's execution of 2 death row inmates brought the number of
executions this year to 15, marking the fastest pace of executions since
1975, when 17 condemned prisoners were executed.
The interval between the previous execution and ones carried out Tuesday,
the 5th set this year, was only about 6 weeks, marking a faster pace of
executions compared with the interval of 2 months between executions
during the term of Kunio Hatoyama--currently internal affairs and
communications minister--who served as justice minister between September
2007 and August this year.
The period between the death sentence being finalized and it being carried
out was about 2 years for Michitoshi Kuma, 70, and 1 year and 10 months
for Masahiro Takashio, 55, who were executed Tuesday.
This is far shorter than the waiting period of 8 years that was the
average in the decade up to last year.
26 death row inmates have been ordered executed by justice ministers since
2006--10 by Jinen Nagase, 13 by Hatoyama and three by Okiharu Yasuoka,
whose term of office lasted for slightly less than 2 months.
When the current justice minister, Eisuke Mori, assumed the post in late
September, he said he would take over his predecessors' stance of not
hesitating to sign an execution order. Mori did as he pledged when he
signed orders to execute the 2 death row inmates Tuesday.
Conventionally, executions have been avoided while the Diet is in session
to prevent Diet business being disrupted by questioning of the justice
minister on the advisability of certain executions. But executions carried
out during a Diet session ceased to be a rarity in recent years. The
latest came during an extraordinary Diet session.
There was a view that it would be difficult to conduct an execution right
before the dissolution of the House of Representatives for a snap general
election, a senior Justice Ministry official said. But given uncertain
prospects of when the lower house will be dissolved due to the global
financial storm, the ministry is believed to have given priority to
conducting executions steadily, observers said.
(source: Daily Yomiuri)
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