[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide----PNG, ANTIGUA, CHINA, INDIA

Rick Halperin rhalperi at smu.edu
Mon May 20 12:28:27 CDT 2013

My postings to this listserve will resume on Wed., May 29


May 20


UN Human Rights High Com concerned over PNG death penalty

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has voiced concern about 
the Papua New Guinea government's plan to reactivate the death penalty.

It says resuming the death penalty, which has been dormant in PNG since 1954, 
would be a major setback.

In 2007, the UN General Assembly called on states to establish a moratorium on 
the use of the death penalty with a view to abolition.

About 150 of the UN's 193 member states have either abolished the death penalty 
or no longer practise it.

The High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, has written to PNG's Prime Minister Peter 
O'Neill stating her concerns about the plan.

While recognising the challenge of overcoming high rates of violent crime in 
PNG, she says capital punishment has never been proved to be a more effective 
deterrent than other forms of punishment.

(source: Radio New Zealand International)


Papua New Guinea's plans to resume death penalty 'major setback' - UN

The United Nations human rights office has expressed serious concern over Papua 
New Guinea's announcement that it will resume the death penalty more than half 
a century since it last carried out an execution, stressing this would 
represent "a major setback" for the country.

"The High Commissioner has written to the Prime Minister stating her concerns 
about the planned resumption of the death penalty, and is calling on the 
Government to maintain its moratorium and subsequently join the growing number 
of Member States that have abolished the practice altogether, including 11 
States in the Pacific," said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High 
Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, during a press briefing in Geneva.

Papua New Guinea has maintained a long-standing de facto moratorium on the 
death penalty since 1954, which was subsequently passed into law in 1970.

"Resuming the death penalty again would be a major setback, especially after so 
many other States have subsequently abolished the death penalty or adopted 
moratoriums," Colville said.

"While recognizing the challenge presented by the recent alarming rise in 
violent crime in Papua New Guinea, including rape, torture and murder, the use 
of capital punishment has never been proved to be a more effective deterrent 
than other forms of punishment," he added.

In the same briefing, Mr. Colville also drew attention to the rise in 
executions in Indonesia, where 4 men have been executed since the country 
resumed the death penalty in March.

"It is a very unfortunate development as Indonesia was close to establishing a 
moratorium on executions."

Indonesia had not carried out any executions since 2008. In January, Pillay 
urged the authorities not to carry out any further executions following the 
Government's announcement that it would execute 10 convicted criminals.

Since 2007, the General Assembly has adopted 4 resolutions calling on States to 
establish a moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its 
abolition. Today about 150 of the UN's 193 Member States have either abolished 
the death penalty or no longer practice it.

(source: Island Business)


Reaction to Death Row Reprieve

Several individuals aired their views on the recent death row reprieve 
announcement via Observer Radio's Big Issues on Sunday.

Seven death row inmates were told that their sentence is scheduled for review 
when they appeared in the High Court before Justice Keith Thom last Friday.

Attorney-at-law Steadroy 'Cutie' Benjamin referred to the news as historic.

"It is the 1st time that a Trial Judge in Antigua has been asked to review 
sentences. It is not only historic but also very symbolic. The judge will now 
have to hear each individual and arrive at the appropriate sentence; and no-one 
can pre-judge the decision," Benjamin said, adding that Antigua's situation is 
in keeping with the Privy Council Ruling."

The council is of the view that it is cruel and inhumane to have someone spend 
more than five years on death row.

Benjamin also said that although many may see it as unfair, the judge is bound 
by the Privy Council's ruling.

Lawrence Daniel also weighed in on the recent development.

"The judge will have to consider the nature and gravity of the offence, and may 
want to look at other cases in the region. There is the example of Ronald 
Gederon, who served time and has now left our shores. He will also have to 
consider if the inmates have been properly rehabilitated to re-enter society. 
The issue of stigmatization will also have to be looked at. Questions 
concerning employment and the victims' families will have to be answered," 
Daniel said, adding that the judge will also want to think about the fear 
society may develop upon the release of the offenders.

Also giving her views was Malika Moffet, President of Women of Esteem.

She suggested that she was anxious to know why a case such as Atley Alexander's 
would need to be reviewed.

He was placed on death row following the killing of his pregnant ex-girlfriend 
and her 2 children.

Also speaking on the Big Issues was Chalkie Coulbourne who lost a brother in 

"Linden Browne, my brother, was murdered in 2009 in Mock Pond. He was 41 and 
the father of 6. He worked at CLICO Insurance, and was very healthy. My family 
will never get over his death. I can just imagine how much pain he suffered. He 
was chopped and stabbed several times."

Colbourne said he is in total support of the death penalty; adding that when 
those who commit murder are executed, they won't have the chance to kill again.

Marvin Joseph, Atley Alexander, Steadroy 'Brier Fox' McDougal, Fitzroy Jarvis, 
Michael Mason Mellonson Harris and Lorriston Cornwall are scheduled to have 
their sentences reviewed on June 21.

(source: www.caribarena.com)


China sentences underground bank operator to death

A businesswoman in southern China has been sentenced to death on charges of 
defrauding investors as the government tightens controls on informal financing 
that is widely used by entrepreneurs.

Lin Haiyan was convicted of "illegal fundraising" for collecting 640 million 
yuan ($100 million) from investors by promising high returns and low risk, 
according to a statement by the Intermediate People's Court in Wenzhou, a 
center for private sector business. It said the scheme collapsed in October 
2011 and 428 million yuan could not be recovered.

The case highlighted potential abuses in largely unregulated informal lending 
that supports entrepreneurs who generate China's new jobs and wealth but often 
cannot get loans from the state-owned banking industry. The government is 
tightening controls after the global economic downturn sparked a wave of 
defaults and protests by lenders.

Another businesswoman from Wenzhou also was sentenced to death last year on 
illegal fundraising charges. That penalty was overturned following an outcry on 
the Internet and she was sentenced to prison.

Communist leaders have promised more bank lending for entrepreneurs and 
announced a pilot project in 2012 in Wenzhou to allow closely supervised 
private sector lending. But business leaders in Wenzhou say it is harder for 
entrepreneurs to get loans because worsening economic conditions have made 
banks and private sources reluctant to lend.

The underground credit market is estimated by China's central bank and private 
sector analysts at 2 trillion to 4 trillion yuan ($325 billion to $650 
billion), or as much as 7 % of total lending. In some areas, informal lending 
exceeds that of official banks.

Many households provide money for private lending in an effort to get a better 
return than the low deposit rates paid by Chinese banks, which effectively 
force depositors to subsidize low-interest loans to state industry.

Authorities have sentenced 1,449 people to prison terms of at least 5 years for 
involvement in underground lending since 2011, a police official, Du Jinfu, 
said last month.

Legal experts say loans between individuals are legal and the government has 
failed to make clear what lenders and borrowers are allowed to do.

"The distinction between illegal fundraising and private lending still remains 
unclear," said the Dui Hua Foundation, a San Francisco-based group that 
researches China's justice system, in a report in February.

Lin started raising money from friends, relatives and coworkers in 2007, 
according to a statement on the court website. It said Lin told investors the 
money was going into stock offerings and bank deposits but used it to speculate 
in stocks.

Even as losses mounted, Lin continued to raise money until the scheme 
collapsed, the court said.

The statement said the penalty still must be confirmed. All death sentences in 
China are automatically appealed to the country's highest court for review.

The court took the unusual step of issuing a 2nd statement to support 
sentencing Lin to death after a Chinese blogger questioned the penalty in a 
comment that included the phrase "killing the witness."

"Lin Haiyan's actions constituted financial fraud that caused huge losses and 
seriously damaged the people and the state," said the statement, which was 
several times the length of the original announcement. It criticized the 
blogger for challenging the court's decision.

Protests erupted in 2011 and early 2012 in cities and towns throughout central 
China and along the southeast coast, areas with large concentrations of small 
private businesses, after the downturn in global trade triggered a wave of 
defaults. Schoolteachers, retirees and others who had lent to entrepreneurs 
demanded authorities get back their money.

Regulators also worried banks and state companies had gotten involved in 
underground lending, exposing the official financial system to unreported 

In the earlier case in Wenzhou, an entrepreneur, Wu Ying, was sentenced to 
death for improperly raising 770 million yuan ($120 million) from investors in 
2005-07. Wu, who started with a hair salon and built a business empire, had 
earlier been praised by state media as a role model for female entrepreneurs.

China's supreme court overturned Wu's death sentence following an outcry on the 
Internet over the severity of the penalty. She was re-sentenced to death with a 
2-year reprieve, which usually is commuted to a long prison term.

A statement on the website of China's highest court, dated in 2011, says 
charges of "illegal fundraising" can be applied to an individual who receives 
more than 200,000 yuan ($32,000) of informal loans or causes losses to lenders 
of 100,000 yuan ($16,000). Enterprises can face charges if they receive 1 
million yuan ($160,000) or causes losses of 2.5 million yuan ($400,000).

(source: Associated Press)


Verdict in torture case on June 9

The man sentenced to death for torturing his 8-year-old daughter to death has 
claimed in the Court of Appeal that his ex-wife cast a spell on him, which 
caused the demise of the young girl.

The court will give a verdict in the torture case involving 29-year-old Emirati 
H.S. and his 27-year-old compatriot girlfriend A. A. A. on June 9.

In Sunday's hearing, the court bench listened to the final pleas made by H. S., 
who claimed the spell his ex-wife cast on him affected his daughter Wadeema 
instead. H. S., an ex-security supervisor, has been appealing a death penalty 
given by the Court of First Instance for torturing and burying the body of 
Wadeema and inflicting permanent injuries on his other daughter, seven-year-old 
Mira. He earlier told the court that his conviction lacked 'concrete evidence'.

He admitted in court he inflicted some of the burns on Mira's body, claiming he 
only meant to discipline her. But he alleged his ex-wife was to blame for 
Mira's other injuries, which he claimed to be a vindictive act against him.

"The medical report said that Mira's burns were old except for 3. The old burns 
were inflicted by my ex-wife.

"She used to tell my daughters that I don't love them. This was shown in the 
report by the psychiatrist on Mira's condition which said she felt unloved."

Throughout the case, he faced charges of torturing and illegally confining and 
depriving his 2 daughters of their freedom, with the use of force. He admitted, 
however, that he hid Wadeema's body by burying it in a remote desert location 
in Al Badayer in Sharjah, without the proper official authorisation.

Defence lawyer Hamdi Al Shiwi argued in the court that his client did not mean 
to kill Wadeema, saying that he beat her to discipline her, but it went too 

A. A. A., whom H. S. claimed to be his wife, has been appealing a life in 
prison sentence. The initial verdict convicted the duo of torturing H. S.'s 2 
daughters mentally and physically for around 6 months by depriving them of 
their simplest rights of food and clothes and imprisoning them in his rented 
flat located in International City.

(source: Khaleej Times)


Garo rebel outfit 'sentences' Congress legislator to death

The outlawed Garo National Liberation Army (GNLA) has again threatened to kill 
Meghalaya Congress legislator Limison D. Sangma for not complying with their 
extortion demands, police said Monday.

"We have been informed by the legislator that the GNLA has issued a 'death 
penalty' for not complying with their extortion demands," Mukesh Kumar Singh, 
the district police chief of West Garo Hills, told IANS.

In a text message to Sangma, the GNLA North Zone "area commander" P.D. Shira 
stated that the outfit declared that Sangma has been "awarded" the "death 
penalty" or that he should "compensate for the loss" by paying an amount of 
Rs.2 lakh.

"You (Sangma) had intentionally insulted and tarnished the image of the GNLA, 
in general, and our cadre Rangdat, and thereby committed an offence punishable 
under the various sections of GNLA penal code and within my cognizance," Shira 
stated in the text message.

Earlier, Sangma had received a text message in which the GNLA allegedly 
demanded Rs.5 lakh, and if not paid they would kidnap and kill him.

Though, the tribal Garo outfit denied sending the text message, Sangma, 
however, said it was the GNLA which had made the demand.

"It is the GNLA. They sent such demand notices twice - for Rs.10 lakh in May 
and Rs.50 lakh in October last year, and they demanded Rs.7 lakh over phone 
during the assembly elections," Sangma said.

"I have informed police about the GNLA making extortion demands. I hope they 
bring them to book," the Congress legislator said.

Intelligence officials said the outlawed GNLA had slapped extortion demands 
ranging from Rs.5 lakh to Rs.1 crore on petrol vend owners, coal dealers and 
businessmen in the coal-rich districts of Garo Hills in the western part of 

(source: Newstrack India)

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