[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Sat Apr 28 13:46:24 CDT 2012
Saudi silent over woman’s arrest
The authorities in Saudi Arabia are yet to provide details over the arrest of a
Sri Lankan woman on charges that she had dabbled in witch craft, a senior
official with the External Affairs Ministry (EAM) said today.
Director Publicity at the EAM Mr. Sarath Dissanayake said the Lankan Mission in
Riyadh had been instructed to follow up the matter at the earliest because if
the woman is convicted she faces the death penalty.
"For their part the Saudi authorities have so far failed to bring the matter to
the notice of the Sri Lankan Mission and this is a cause to worry", Mr.
The woman was arrested earlier this month after a Saudi couple complained to
the authorities that her daughter acted in an abnormal manner when ever the
Lankan woman was nearby and she was subsequently arrested.
Apart from that which appeared in the media there are no other details of the
arrest and the follow-up action taken by the Saudi authorities, he added.
Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, with no known written criminal code and judges’
make their decisions from interpretations of the Islamic Shariah Law.
Young woman activist Yara Shammas facing possible death sentence
As United Nations observers try to carry out their mission with considerable
difficulty, Reporters Without Borders would like to draw attention to the Assad
regime’s many violations of freedom of information, which include jailing those
who have the courage to inform us about the situation in Syria.
“We call for the immediate release of all the professional journalists, citizen
journalists and netizens jailed by the regime,” Reporters Without Borders said.
“The Syrian authorities have undertaken to carry out Kofi Annan’s peace plan,
which envisages the release of all prisoners of conscience. It is high time the
authorities kept their promises.”
Reporters Without Borders is particularly concerned about the fate of Yara
Michel Shammas, 21, who was arrested with 11 other activists in a café in the
old part of Damascus on 7 March and was transferred to a prison in Homs. 9 new
charges were brought against her on 22 April, including one under article 298
of the criminal code which carries the death penalty.
Article 298 says: “A life sentence of forced labour will be passed on anyone
committing an act that aims to cause a civil war or communal strife by arming
Syrian citizens or inciting them to take up arms against each other, or to
incite a massacre or looting in one or more localities. If this act achieves
its aim, the guilty party will be sentenced to death.”
An information technology specialist, Shammas is the daughter of Michel
Shammas, a well-known human rights lawyer active on Facebook. Anwar Al-Bonni,
the head of the Syrian Centre for Legal Study and Research, said “what is
happening to Yara Michel Shammas is clearly a way of putting pressure on the
(source: Reporters Without Borders)
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