[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Fri Jan 6 09:27:28 CST 2012
Dozens of migrant workers avoid death row, govt claims
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono praised the Migrant Workers Protection task
force for helping dozens of Indonesians working abroad to avoid death
“This achievement is very important. It helps us evaluate our policies
concerning migrant workers and provide better protection to our workers in the
future,” he said during a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
According to Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko
Suyanto, at least 67 Indonesian migrant workers in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia,
China and Iran, who earlier faced death penalties, ultimately managed to walk
“In Saudi Arabia, 37 Indonesian workers managed to avoid beheading. 8 of them
were declared innocent. Four of the eight workers acquitted have returned to
Indonesia,” he said.
As many as 14 workers in Malaysia, according to Djoko, had also been acquitted
in death penalty cases. “6 of them were declared innocent while the remaining 8
people were sent to jail.”
11 Indonesian workers in China and 2 in Iran also ducked the death penalty, he
“Our policy to hire lawyers in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia has proven beneficial
in terms of providing legal assistance to our workers who faced legal
proceedings,” he said.
Yudhoyono claimed his efforts to improve communications with leaders of the
countries where Indonesian workers were employed had also helped them receive
Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar, meanwhile, said the
government had decided to maintain its current ban on recruitment agencies
sending Indonesian workers to Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and Kuwait.
“Those countries have not adopted a legal framework that we think is sufficient
to legally protect our workers and assure that their rights are fulfilled,”
Malaysia was no longer on the list since its government has approved
Indonesia’s requests to provide better protection for migrant workers.
“Malaysia has agreed to oblige employers to provide one day off per week for
domestic workers, let Indonesian workers keep their passports and pay salaries
through bank transfers,” Muhaimin added.
He called on all labor recruitment agencies across the nation to obey the ban.
“Because, if you insist on sending workers to those nations, the workers would
become illegal workers, meaning they would be more prone to legal problems.”
Task force chairman Maftuh Basyuni said there were two Indonesian workers in
Saudi Arabia — Tuti Tursilawati from Majalengka, West Java, and Siti Zaenab
from Madura, East Java — whose cases were of critical concern because they have
not yet avoided the possibility of beheading.
Under Saudi law, forgiveness from a relative of the victim can save a convict
from a death sentence.
(source: Jakarta Post)
Indonesia Gets Reprieve for 9 Death Row Inmates in Saudi Arabia
The Indonesian Embassy in Saudi Arabia has said it has managed to save nine of
the 15 Indonesians on death row in the conservative Islamic state.
“Out of the 15 cases of Indonesians threatened with the death penalty, nine of
them have been saved by the Indonesian embassy in Riyadh in 2011,” state news
agency Antara quoted an embassy statement it received from Riyadh on Thursday
The statement said the trial process for the other 6 were not yet over and that
the embassy was offering continuous assistance, including providing translators
It said that some of the nine who were granted reprieves have since been
returned home. They included Darsem binti Daud Tawar, who was accused of
killing her employer’s son, who has since obtained a pardon from the family and
returned to Indonesia in July.
Bayanah binti Banhawi, who was found guilty of killing her employer’s
4-year-old infant, had her death sentence commuted to jail for negligence
leading to loss of life. She has since been freed and returned to Indonesia in
December. Neneng Sunengsih binti Mamih, who was also found guilty of killing
her employer’s baby, was later acquitted and freed.
Neneng is still at the embassy building in Riyadh, awaiting her return to
Indonesia later this month.
Darmanti Kusandi binti Harjum Karim and Junaesih Oman Diyar, both of whom are
on death row for alleged use of black magic, had their death sentences later
commuted to a jail sentence.
Sumartini binti Manaungi Galisung and Warnah Binti Warta Niing also were
sentenced to death for use of black magic, sentences that were later commuted
to jail terms.
2 other Indonesian domestic workers, Milan Nuryani and Yumanaha binti Nagabiyu,
were sentenced to death by stoning for adultery but had their punishments
changed to jail terms.
The embassy release said that to provide legal assistance to Indonesian
citizens in trouble with the law in Saudi Arabia, the embassy in Riyadh and the
consulate general in Jeddah worked together with local lawyers.
On Dec. 13, the embassy signed a contract with a local attorney, Abdullah
Abdurrahman Al Muhaemeed, while the consulate general in Jeddah is expected to
enter a similar contract soon with local lawyer Khuddran bin Mufsir Al Zahrani.
The embassy said that it was also regularly publishing the Warta Indonesia, or
Indonesia News, magazine to help spread information among its citizens living
and working in Saudi Arabia about the legal risks they could face if they
engaged in crime or violations of the law in that country.
“Warta Indonesia magazine always provides legal guidance for all Indonesian
citizens in Saudi Arabia, regarding what awaits murder cases, drug offenses,
black magic and adultery cases and other criminal offenses,” the statement
(source: The Jakarta Globe)
UN alarmed at jump in Saudi executions
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on Friday said it was
alarmed at the almost 3-fold increase in the use of the death penalty in Saudi
Arabia last year.
"We are alarmed at the significant increase in the use of the death penalty in
Saudi Arabia in 2011," said spokesman Rupert Colville at a regular press
Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences.
"What is even more worrying is that court proceedings often reportedly fall far
short of international fair trial standards, and the use of torture as a means
to obtain confessions appears to be rampant," he added.
At least 76 death row inmates were executed in 2011, according to an AFP count,
while Amnesty International believes that Saudi Arabia carried out at least 79
executions during this period.
In 2010, 27 people were executed, according to the UN, citing a report by Human
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by
death in Saudi Arabia, which strictly applies sharia or Islamic law.
So-called cross amputation of the right hand and left foot is applied in cases
of highway robbery, according to the UN.
"We call on the authorities to halt the use of such cruel, inhuman, degrading
punishment. As a party to the Convention against Torture, Saudi Arabia is bound
by the absolute prohibition against the use of torture and other cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment or punishment," Colville said.
(source: Agence France-Presse)
UN human rights office slams sharp rise in Saudi Arabia executions in 2011
The U.N.’s human rights office has criticized a sharp rise in executions
carried out by Saudi Arabia in 2011.
A spokesman for the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights says the number
of executions jumped from 29 in 2010 to at least 70 last year.
Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva on Friday that the wide range of
offenses for which the death penalty is pronounced was particularly troubling.
He says one woman was put to death last months after being found guilty of
Colville says Saudi Arabia’s growing use of the death penalty goes against an
international trend for fewer executions.
He says the U.N. human rights office also criticizes the frequent use of
“inhuman” double amputation for robbery offenses.
(source: Associated Press)
EU's foreign policy chief demands Iran halt executions of woman, pastor
The Europe Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton demanded Friday that
Iran halt the pending executions of a woman sentenced to die by stoning and a
Christian pastor convicted of apostasy.
Ashton also called on Iran to impose an immediate moratorium on the death
penalty, saying the country leads the world in the number of executions per
"Thousands of individuals remain at risk of execution, including Ms Sakineh
Mohammadi Ashtiani and Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The EU reiterates its call on
Iran not to execute them," Ashton said in a written statement.
"Hundreds of individuals were executed in 2011 after grossly unfair trials,
without the right of appeal and for offenses, which according to international
standards should not result in capital punishment."
Ashtiani's case drew international attention after she was sentenced to die by
stoning for adultery.
Iranian officials later said she would be executed, though the method of
execution -- stoning vs. hanging -- was still being debated.
Ashtiani, a mother of two, will be executed as soon as a decision is reached,
Iranian officials have said.
Ashtiani was convicted of adultery in 2006 and was later convicted of being an
accessory to murder in her husband's death. Her family has denied that she
played any role in the death.
Human rights groups and various governments have urged Iran not to execute
Ashtiani. Last year, Ashton demanded that Iran stop the execution from
proceeding, and British Foreign Minister William Hague called the proposed
stoning a "barbaric punishment."
International pressure also has been mounting over the case of Nadarkhani, who
was sentenced to death by hanging after being convicted of apostasy in 2011.
Nadarkhani is the leader of a network of Iranian house churches and was first
charged with apostasy in 2010 for converting from Islam to Christianity.
An Iranian court found Nadarkhani has Islamic ancestry and, therefore, had to
recant his faith. Nadarkhani was convicted and sentenced to die after refusing
to recant his faith.
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