Tag: death

Libya: Rights groups condemn Saif Gaddafi’s death sentence

Human rights groups have condemned the sentencing of Saif-al Islam Gaddafi, son of former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, and eight others of the previous regime to death.

The United Nations human rights office said the international body was “deeply disturbed” by the sentence given to the 43-year-old in absentia. He had presented the evidence to a Tripoli court via video link.

The UN said: “We are deeply disturbed at the verdicts and sentences handed down in Tripoli in the trial of former Gaddafi officials, in particular the imposition of the death penalty against a number of them. We had closely monitored the detention and trial and found that international fair trial standards had failed to be met.

“Among the key shortcomings is the failure to establish individual criminal responsibility in relation to specific crimes. There were also serious issues relating to access to lawyers, claims of ill-treatment, and trials conducted in absentia.”

The younger Gaddafi is currently being detained by a rival militia group which has refused to hand him over the Libyan authorities. He was sentenced over the war crimes committed during the 2011 uprising.

With two rival groups running parallel governments, several regions in the North African country have been gripped by lawlessness topped by an intense power struggle of the militias.

Among 37 people who were on trial, including Saif-al Islam, eight former officials were given the life sentence while seven others were jailed for 12 years; four were acquitted and some got shorter jail terms.

It is still unclear whether there would be an appeal against the verdict though Saif-al Islam’s lawyer has promised to challenge the ruling.

Amnesty criticism

Philip Luther, Middle East and North Africa programme director at Amnesty International, said in statement: “Instead of helping to establish the truth and ensuring accountability for serious violations during the 2011 armed conflict, this trial exposes the weakness of a criminal justice system which is hanging on by a thread in a war-torn country with no central authority.

“It’s a case that was always going to test the judiciary, but in the end it has shown the difficulties of delivering justice at a time when the rule of the gun overpowers the rule of law.

“The death sentences – the ultimate human rights violation – add further insult to injury, and should be overturned on appeal.” ibtimes.co.uk

85 % of Boston is against death penalty for Marathon bomber

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death for bombing the Boston Marathon and it’s re-opened the debate about capital punishment in America. 85 percent of the city he attacked is against the death penalty according to a recent CBS poll. Meanwhile we look at how far will the FBI will go to prevent terror on American soil. John T. Brooker, a 20-year-old from Kansas faces spending the rest of his life in prison for an alleged plot to attack a military base. The fake bomb was given to him by FBI undercover informants but last year Brooker checked himself into a mental health facility for evaluation and was reportedly diagnosed with schizophrenia and bi-polar disease. The “Safe Spaces Initiative,” by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, was launched after several cases where it seems the government entrapped troubled youths in the Muslim-American community. The Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain is In the Now.

Egypt: Ousted President Mohamed Morsi sentenced to death

Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Mursi has been told he faces execution, along with more than 100 supporters of his now banned Muslim Brotherhood, over a mass jailbreak during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. Mursi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, is already serving 20 years for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters during his own time in power.

Egypt Death Sentences Worry Iran

Hamas ready for talks with Egypt, unlike Cairo: Mushir al-Masri

Saudi Arabia faces outcry over Shia leader death sentence

Saudi Arabia is facing an international outcry and accusations of promoting sectarian hatred after a Shia Muslim religious leader from the country’s volatile eastern province was sentenced to death.

Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who led protests in Qatif at the height of the Arab spring in 2011, was convicted on Wednesday of sedition and other charges in a case that has been followed closely by Shias in the kingdom and neighbouring Bahrain.

Shia Muslims make up 10%-15% of the population of Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia, which bills itself as playing a lead role in the fight against the jihadis of Islamic State (Isis) in Syria and Iraq. Riyadh has supported Sunni groups fighting to overthrow Bashar al-Assad but denies backing Isis.

State prosecutors had reportedly asked for Nimr to be crucified. The sentence is thought likely to be commuted on appeal.

Nimr was arrested in 2012 and ill-treated during his two-year detention, much of it spent in solitary confinement. He was denied surgery for bullet wounds suffered when he was arrested. He was charged with “disobeying the ruler”, “inciting sectarian strife”, and encouraging and leading demonstrations.

In Iran, Saudi Arabia’s chief regional rival and the political centre of the Shia world, the foreign ministry warned on Thursday that execution would have “dire consequences”. It called Nimr an ayatollah, giving him the second most senior clerical title in the Shia hierarchy. Iran, like Saudi Arabia, uses capital punishment. theguardian.com

Syria bio-weapons scare to justify US ‘armed struggle policy’

The US continues to demonize the Syrian government while Washington is looking for ways to balance arms supplies to the rebels against Geneva talks, anti-war activist Brian Becker told RT, claiming that America’s ultimate goal is to remove Assad. On Wednesday, US intelligence chief James Clapper abruptly warned senators that Syria possess the capability to produce biological weapons.

“We judge that some elements of Syria’s biological warfare program might have advanced beyond the research and development stage and might be capable of limited agent production, based on the duration of its longstanding program,” Clapper, director of national intelligence, said in a written statement presented to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Clapper also warned that the Syrian conflict had become a “huge magnet” for Islamist extremists, claiming that those elements pose a direct danger to US and its allies, as around 7,000 foreign fighters are joined with 26,000 fighters deemed to be “extremists.”

Brian Becker, director of the Anti-War Answer Coalition, told RT that the US government is once again trying to keep up public rationales for carrying out an armed civil war policy in Syria. rt.com

Snowden requests extra security after receiving death threats

Whistleblower Edward Snowden is reportedly set to request additional protection from Russian authorities after receiving a growing number of death threats. The former NSA contractor has been living at an undisclosed location in Russia since August when he received asylum from Washington’s prosecution. RT’s Marina Portnaya reports.

US executes more people than Yemen, Sudan & Afghanistan

Today is International Human Rights Day. So here in the United States, it’s worth revisiting a debate that nearly every other developed nation has already sorted out: Is it a human right NOT to be legally murdered by your own government?

The United Nations thinks so. In February, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, “Capital punishment is inconsistent with the mission of the United Nations to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights and the dignity and worth of the human person.”

The UN has long pushed for global abolition of capital punishment. Since 2007, the General Assembly has approved four separate resolutions calling on member states to accept an international moratorium. Of the 190-plus member states, about 150 have eliminated the death penalty or no longer practice it. Even Russia has a moratorium that’s been in effect since 1996.

And that leaves the rest — the countries that shoot, hang, lethally inject, and behead people as punishment for their alleged crimes.

Amnesty International documents capital punishment around the globe and publishes its findings in an annual report that ranks the world’s states by the number of people they execute annually. The most recent report came out in April and covered the calendar year of 2012. We will have to wait a few months for the new report to tell us all about state murder in 2013. For now, here are the most up-to-date statistics on capital punishment across the globe.

Read more: globalpost.com

Lawmakers back allowing minors to request euthanasia

A controversial bill that would extend the right to request euthanasia to children suffering terminal illnesses and adults with dementia cleared a vote in a Belgian Senate committee Wednesday.

The panel voted 13-4 to allow minors to seek euthanasia under certain conditions, the communications director for the Senate, Patrick Peremans, told CNN.

The vote is one stage in a legislative process — the bill must clear other hurdles before it becomes law.

Belgium passed legislation in 2002 allowing voluntary euthanasia for adults.

Changes to the law now being considered by lawmakers would allow under-18s to request an end to their life only under stringent guidelines. cnn.com

Embassy Row: ‘Ambassador of evil’

Egyptians have denounced President Obama and U.S. Ambassador Anne W. Patterson for supporting the now-ousted Muslim Brotherhood-led government, but now they are turning their fury against a diplomat who last served at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo 22 years ago.

Calling him the “ambassador of evil,” an “assassin” and a “deadly killer,” thousands of Egyptians are waging a Twitter campaign against Robert S. Ford, most recently U.S. ambassador to Syria.

Mr. Ford is being considered to replace Mrs. Patterson, whom Mr. Obama has nominated to serve as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. The White House has made no official announcement, and press reports say only that Secretary of State John F. Kerry has urged Mr. Obama to nominate him.

Former defense contractor exposes Obama’s death squads

Alex is joined via Skype by former Army and Defense contractor Brandon Toy to discuss his recent public resignation from General Dynamics in protest of the “Dirty Wars” going on in the middle east and the atrocities he has witnessed. They also discuss high soldier suicide rates, U.S. officials using their powers of execution indiscriminately over seas and bringing those tactics to the American homeland, & the direction the nation is headed and the power of returning veterans to open the eyes of the general public to war crimes being committed in their name but without their knowledge or consent. kickstarter.com

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