[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Wed Oct 26 19:37:11 CDT 2011
Egyptians unhappy with lenient sentence for Khaled Said's killers
The 2 policemen who beat Khaled Said to death and planted evidence on his body,
helping fuel Egypt's revolution, each received 7-year sentences for
A lenient prison sentence for the killers of a man whose death helped spark
Egypt’s revolution has outraged Egyptians, who had hoped their uprising would
wipe out the corruption and injustice symbolized by the case.
An Alexandria judge Wednesday found 2 policemen guilty of beating Khaled Said
to death, said a lawyer in the case, and sentenced them to 7 years in prison,
the maximum sentence for manslaughter. The judge’s failure to bring harsher
charges against the policemen left Egyptians bitter and disillusioned after
hopes were raised recently that the case would be treated justly.
Egyptian activists, already embittered by a long string of disappointments and
increasing repression by Egypt’s military, took the news badly. But while
activists have become increasingly isolated from much of the population, which
does not seem to share their virulent opposition to the military, Wednesday’s
news united Egyptians in anger.
Egypt erases history: 5 places where the Mubarak name will be removed
“They should have been given the death sentence,” says Hassan Ahmed, a doorman
who lives in Cairo’s downtown district and does not care for politics or
activism. “This is not the justice we demanded in [Cairo's Tahrir Square]. Did
we make a revolution, or not?”
Hafez Abu Saeda, a lawyer for Mr. Said’s family, said the family has authorized
him to appeal to Egypt’s attorney general to overturn the verdict and sentence.
The policemen should be charged with torturing Said to death, he says, which
carries a sentence of 25 years imprisonment to the death penalty. Such charges
are required by Egypt’s commitment to international conventions against
torture, he said.
“I hope that the attorney general will accept my argument,” Mr. Saeda said. “I
will do my best, and my memo will be based on Egypt's ratification of the
international Convention Against Torture.”
The 2 policemen dragged Said out of an Internet café in Alexandria on June 6,
2010, and according to witnesses, brutally beat him to death on the street. He
had posted a video online that purported to show police splitting the spoils of
a drug bust. Police said he died when he choked on a packet of marijuana, but
photos of his mangled and bloody body soon began circulating on Facebook.
The photos provoked a groundswell of fury against widespread police brutality,
torture, and injustice in Egypt. A Facebook page created soon after his death,
called “We are All Khaled Said,” attracted huge numbers, and organized
thousands to protest the coverup of Said’s death. It was the administrators of
that page who called for a day of protest against the regime of former
President Hosni Mubarak on Jan. 25. That protest turned into an 18-day popular
uprising that swept Mubarak from power.
Before the revolution, the policemen in the case faced lesser charges, and the
official forensic report submitted for the trial said Said choked to death on a
marijuana packet. But in June the judge ordered a new report, and evidence was
presented in September that the package was put into his mouth after his death,
raising hope the charges would be elevated as well.
(source: Christian Science Monitor)
Judge: Some killers may never die
MANY CONDEMNED CRIMINALS on death row in Barbados and the rest of the Caribbean
may never face the death penalty, according to Justice Diego Garcia Sayan,
president of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
He thinks the likely stay on future executions may result from binding
conventions which countries have signed that place conditions and restrictions
on carrying out punishment in certain circumstances.
“What is happpening in the Caribbean in the last years is that without the
major amendment in constitutions and national law, the death penalty is not
fully implemented because of conventions that [result in] people staying on
death row for years or months [and] because there is a climate in which the
current in the world is to diminish the death penalty as the magic response to
Sayan pointed out that more than half the countries in the world have
suppressed or don’t apply the death penalty anymore because it has not been
proven to be a deterrent to crime.
The top judge spoke to the MIDWEEK NATION after presiding over a recent
historic sitting of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Barbados.
He acknowledged there was “this thirst for reprisals by the public” when
heinous crimes were committed. But he insisted that “the rule of law should
“In Mexico, a country in which more than 50 000 people have been killed in the
last 3 years, in the last 2 months the Supreme Court has decided that the rule
of law should prevail and that the decisions of the inter-American court must
be applied by all Mexican judges so they are not following the polls, they are
following the principles governing democratic rule,” Sayan said.
He made it clear that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights was not above
sovereign constitutions. However, he explained that inasmuch as Barbados and
other countries had signed the American Convention on Human Rights which
established a set of human rights principles, as signatories such countries
were bound by terms of the convention.
He was also adamant that the inter-American court was not in “competition or
opposition with national constitutions” and insisted it was not intended to
undermine supreme courts or the Caribbean Court of Justice. Instead, he said,
the court he heads was concerned with “due process and respect for “judicial
guarantees” under the conventions to which Barbados and others in the Caribbean
had been signatories.
“We do not interfere in the interpretation of the constitution of the law. Our
law is the American Convention on Human Rights that establishes a set of human
rights principles, and a very important principle which says that a country as
part of this treaty must adapt its legislation reliably to the provisions of
the American convention,” he said.
Sayan stressed that countries still had the right to impose the death penalty
but he said “the procedures must be followed and applied only for the most
“What the court has in its jurisprudence, in a way systematically said, [is
that] in cases not only for Barbados but for other countries, this mandatory
death sentence is not consistent with the American convention because it does
not give the judge the ability to decide. He or she must dictate the death
penalty. There is no possibility to interpret the law.”
The major concern, however, was the prolonged length of time people remained on
He observed that while it had been used systematically in areas where crime was
increasing, it had been proven that the death penalty did not work.
Sayan conceded there was some scepticism and reluctance to accept the
inter-American court in the region, as had been the case in Latin America 20
“I have been looking forward to this visit for the last two years because to be
frank, it is an area of the Americas [with] which the court has not [had]
frequent or strong connections because we have very few cases.
“Not a majority of the Caribbean countries have accepted the jurisdiction of
the court,” Sayan said.
He felt the public hearing in Barbados was important “to demonstrate to the
public what is the court, how does it work”.
(source: Nation News)
Ugandan Parliament Revisits Kill-The-Gays Bill
Uganda's Parliament Uganda's Parliament will revisit a bill that sent
shockwaves around the world, proposing jailing and possibly executing gay
Parliament Speaker Rebecca Kadaga said a committee will weigh whether to bring
the bill to a full vote, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. The
Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced by Ugandan lawmaker David Bahati in
October 2009. The bill could mandate the death penalty or life in prison for
people who are identified as gay, or caught engaging in homosexual acts.
Earlier this year, at the end of the previous legislative session, Parliament
decided not to give a final vote on the legislation after international outcry
was directed at the African nation. Both U.S. Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton and U.K. Foreign Secretary Willliam Hague condemned the bill, and more
than 1,681,000 people around the world signed a petition urging the Parliament
to let the bill die. (source: The Advocate)
Japanese nurse sentenced to death by hanging in Malaysia for drug trafficking
A Malaysian court has sentenced a Japanese nurse to death by hanging for drug
The High Court in central Selangor state found 37-year-old Mariko Takeuchi
guilty of transporting 7.7 pounds (3.5 kilograms) of methamphetamine in a
suitcase when she flew from Dubai into the Kuala Lumpur International Airport
on Oct. 30, 2009.
Takeuchi is the 1st Japanese convicted of drug trafficking in Malaysia. A
conviction carries a mandatory death penalty.
Takeuchi’s lawyer Mohamad Rafik Rahem said Tuesday they will appeal the
The court rejected Takeuchi’s claim that she had not known about the drugs and
was carrying the suitcase as a favor for an Iranian acquaintance.
Mohamad Rafik said Takeuchi was “very sad and disappointed.”
(source: Associated Press)
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