[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Jan 2 10:09:12 CST 2009
Chishti demands death penalty for ex-generals
President Ex- Servicemen Society and chairman Tameer-e-Pakistan Party, Gen
(R) Faiz Ali Chishti has demanded trial of all those retired army generals
including Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf, who staged coup against the elected
government on October12, 1999.
In an interview with The Nation and Nawa-i-Waqt on Wednesday, Gen Chishti
said that the then army generals which include: Gen (R) Pervez Musharraf,
Lt Gen (R), Saeedul Zafar, Lt Gen (R) Aziz Ahmad Khan, Lt Gen (R) Mahmood
and Lt Gen (R) Usmani, refused to accept the appointment orders of Lt Gen
Ziauddin Butt as army chief and dismissal of Gen Pervez Musharraf by then
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and thus committed rebellion against the
elected set up.
He said Gen Musharraf, who was no more army chief after appointment of Gen
Ziauddin incited his subordinates to remove Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in
defiance of the Constitution. Gen Chishti demanded judicial trial of these
generals, saying that the punishment prescribed for the act of committing
rebellion was death. Pervez Musharraf should also be held accountable for
declaring emergency on November 3, 2007, as he could not issue such order
being a paid servant of Pakistan, he observed, and added that no assembly
has granted him indemnity for his unconstitutional acts.
Replying to a question about bringing improvement in the institution of
army and extermination of terrorism, the retired general said that
Pakistan army needed re-organisation. He suggested setting up of national
service comprising retired army men and civilians to give back up support
to the army in war times.
He also stressed the need for imparting compulsory army training to female
and male students. The law of 3-year tenure for the army chief should be
implemented in letter and spirit, he further said. He said government
should take necessary measures to end all causes of terrorism, whereas
traditional watch and ward system should be introduced to overcome the
Giving solution to multiple crises facing the country, he said that
introduction of Islamic system of justice, agriculture reforms and uniform
education system would go a long way in reforming the society as a whole.
He stressed upon the PPP, which stood for supremacy of Constitution, to
ensure that office of President of Pakistan and four provincial governors
New law in Russia ends jury trials for 'crimes against state'----President
Dmitry Medvedev signs the controversial measure with little publicity. A
pending Putin-backed law widens the definition of treason. Government
critics fear the stage is set for a crackdown.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev paused in the last, quiet hours of a
dying year to sign into law a controversial bill that eliminates jury
trials for "crimes against the state," a move that lawyers and human
rights groups fear will be the start of a dangerous exertion of Kremlin
control over government critics.
The law does away with jury trials for a variety of offenses, leaving
people accused of treason, revolt, sabotage, espionage or terrorism at the
mercy of three judges rather than a panel of peers. Critics say the law is
dangerous because judges in Russia are vulnerable to manipulation and
intimidation by the government.
A parallel piece of legislation, pushed by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
and still awaiting discussion in parliament, seeks to expand the legal
definition of treason to such a degree that observers fear that anybody
who criticizes the government could be rounded up by police -- and,
because of the law signed Wednesday, tried without a jury.
Human rights groups and lawyers have warned that the changes to Russia's
criminal code, largely undiscussed in the state media, would allow the
government to crack down on any whispers of dissent. The changes also seek
a stronger hand for the FSB, the modern incarnation of the Soviet KGB, by
giving the state wider latitude in cases that fall under intelligence
agency rather than police jurisdiction. Some critics point to the days of
dictator Josef Stalin as a comparable legal structure.
"It's a preparation for terror, although not the grand terror of the
1930s," said Andrei Illarionov, a fellow at Washington's Cato Institute
and a former economic advisor to Putin. "They are much smarter now. They
are preparing some kind of selective terror against those who are
courageous enough to speak up."
The purpose, many observers agree, is not only to give the government
greater tools in cracking down, but also to send out tremors of fear.
"Not that they necessarily will go ahead and do it, but they are
threatening us very, very seriously that they can do it and are ready to
do it," said Lev Ponomaryov, leader of the For Human Rights movement.
"They want to have the legitimate possibility to call all opposition
people enemies of the state."
Medvedev's last-minute signing had all the trademarks of a pre-holiday
news dump engineered to generate the least possible media coverage. New
Year's Eve is the biggest holiday of the year in Russia, and even those
watching the news were distracted by the failing negotiations over
shipments of Russian gas to Ukraine. The law was announced by a single
sentence on Interfax.
Human rights and civil society groups have banded together to speak out
against the move toward a broader definition of treason, which will be
debated in a parliament dominated by Putin's United Russia party.
The government has framed the jury law as an anti-terrorism measure, but
legal experts say its implications are broader and more ominous --
especially if the treason changes go through.
A chilling effect had begun to creep into the legal system even before the
bill was signed into law, critics said. Svetlana Gannushkina, a human
rights lawyer and chairwoman of Russia's Civic Assistance committee, gave
the example of a man from the Dagestan region who is represented by her
organization. A jury found him not guilty of sabotage more than a year
ago, and Russia's Supreme Court backed the verdict, rejecting an appeal by
prosecutors. The man was cleared -- until a few weeks ago.
"And now what's happening? When this campaign to change the law began, the
prosecutor's office immediately filed a new appeal," Gannushkina said.
"And this time, the Supreme Court cancels the decision of the trial and
the verdict of the jury, and the whole process starts all over again."
"They call it 'managing the signals,' " she said. "You don't even need to
pass a decision anymore, you just need to send the signals."
In the last week, there had been a faint hope among human rights
organizations that Medvedev might refuse to sign the bill. The Russian
president is a lawyer who was once seen as more moderate than Putin. He
campaigned on promises to uphold the rule of law in the country.
"I'm convinced that Medvedev himself understands quite well that if he
signs the law on jury trials, he crosses out his own legal career,"
Ponomaryov said in an interview hours before the bill became law.
"Finally, without any questions or suspicions, he becomes an outright
shadow of Mr. Putin."
(source: Los Angeles Times)
Kamiti death-row inmates moved
Several death row inmates at Kamiti Prison have been transferred to other
prisons to break cartels that operate there.
The prisoners were moved on Wednesday night following an earlier incident
in which at least 10 prison warders and 3 condemned inmates were injured
in a violent confrontation.
Some of the warders at the prison could also be moved after being linked
to the cartels.
They are accused of supplying prohibited goods to the criminals.
"Condemned prisoners are never visited and its automatic they get banned
items from warders themselves," said an officer.
Seven lorries were used to ferry the inmates to Nyeri and Kisumu, prison
authorities there confirmed.
Sources said the authorities want to separate the criminals as part of
their strategy to break their network. Commissioner of Prisons Isaiah
Osugo said the transfers were necessary.
"Cartels fight back and that is why we are trying to separate them," he
The Wednesday confrontation was occasioned by a move by prisons
authorities to search for banned items held by inmates. The confrontation
went on for almost 2 hours with some of the officers who were guarding
outside firing in the air.
After the attack, the officers cordoned off the facility's perimeter walls
and fired live bullets in the air to clear adjacent roads, as curious
civilians surged to witness the chaos.
The prisons authorities destroyed more than 1,500 mobile phones and other
banned goods that had been seized in past operations.
The operation was prompted by the Christmas Eve incident in which 2
inmates died after consuming a concoction they had brewed using smuggled
spirit, turpentine and paint thinner.
The death row prisoners died after allegedly drinking cocktails sneaked
into the cells.
Sources told The Standard that, on Christmas Eve, warders allowed
prisoners to receive foodstuff from friends and relatives, which they
mixed with chemicals smuggled from prison industries to brew the deadly
The prison's head of Public Relations Dickson Mwakazi said prisoners are
never allowed to receive foodstuff from outsiders.
(source: The Standard)
Last-minute Pardon for Saudi Death-row InmateHabib Shaikh
The New Year really rang in new life for a person sentenced to death.
A Saudi man who was sentenced to death for murder was pardoned at the last
minute by his victims mother.
The man, Hisham, was forgiven just before his execution at a crowded
execution square in Taif. The victim's mother came forward at the last
minute and announced putting her hand on Hisham's head that she had
forgiven him. The pardon was achieved through the efforts by the
The Reconciliation Committee is a nation-wide organisation with branches
across the kingdom. The committee, which has a small office in Taif,
convinced the mother to forgive the killer. It has successfully secured
pardons for a number of death-row prisoners and helped settle inter-family
and tribal disputes through persistent efforts.
Meanwhile, the General Court of Makkah sentenced a 24-year-old Saudi man
to execution on Tuesday for killing his father and brother 3 years ago.
The Arabic daily Al Watan reported on Wednesday that the man was
unemployed and was having continuous conflicts with his family, which
ended up with him killing his father.
According to the report, the man killed his father after an argument about
going to Friday prayer, which the father believed would help his son
improve his behaviour and get a job.
The argument ended with the youth stabbing his father with a kitchen
knife. He also fatally wounded his brother who rushed in to help the
The man was originally sentenced to 3 years in prison and flogging on
account of his psychological condition. This sentence was appealed,
resulting in an increase to five years in prison and flogging. But after
observations of the man's behaviour in prison, his case was reviewed by
the Makkah General Court, which then sentenced him to death.
(source: Khaleej Times)
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