2017-06-16 13:07:36 UTC
Kremlin does not discuss cancellation of freeze on capital punishment
The Kremlin does not discuss the possibility Russia might lift the freeze on
the capital punishment, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in
reply to a question from TASS.
"No, there are no such discussions in the Kremlin," he said.
Earlier on Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin twice mentioned the theme
of the death penalty during his annual question-and-answer call-in. The
question if a referendum should be called to find out the public's attitude to
the restoration of the capital punishment was picked by the president himself.
"I imagine what the referendum's outcome will be. The question was if the death
penalty should be applied to murderers, though," Putin said, avoiding to
disclose his own attitude to this issue.
Also, Putin mentioned the death penalty in the context of reforms launched in
the last years of the Russian Empire by its prime minister, Pyotr Stolypin, who
is remembered not only for his positive role, but also for the 'Stolypin train
cars' that were used for the forcible resettlement of peasants and the
so-called 'Stolypin necktie', in other words, the noose."
"We do not use the capital punishment as you know, although sometimes ... You
know what I mean," Putin said.
When it joined the Council of Europe in February 1996, Russia pledged to stop
enforcing death penalties and to adopt a law cancelling the capital punishment
altogether. In May 1996 a presidential decree was signed on step-by-step
reduction of executions. A freeze on the enforcement of death sentences
followed in August same year.
A new Criminal Code took effect on January 1, 1997 to establish the death
penalty as an exceptional measure only grave crimes against other people's
lives might entail, such as murder in aggravating circumstances, attempt on the
life of a statesman or public figure, of a person who administers justice or
carries out preliminary investigation, and of a law enforcement officer and
genocide. In April 1997 Russia signed Protocol 6 to the European Convention on
Human Rights to pledge to cancel the death penalty altogether. Russia is the
sole member-country of the Council of Europe that has not ratified this
On February 2, 1999 the Constitutional Court declared a freeze on the capital
punishment until the introduction of trial by jury in the whole of the
country's territory. On November 19, 2009 the Constitutional Court prolonged
the moratorium till Russia???s ratification of Protocol 6 to the European
Convention on Human Rights.
EU Parliament slams Pakistan's human rights, slams capital punishment for for
The European Parliament has criticised Pakistan's human rights record, and
squarely reminded Islamabad that it has grossly erred in handing down capital
punishment for those allegedly violating the nation's blasphemy law, in the
excessive of military courts and in denying India consular access to former
naval officer Kulbhushan Jadhav on multiple occasions.
European Union Parliament members unanimously endorsed a resolution that
criticised the abuse of capital punishment by Pakistan for fulfilling its
political aims in trials related to civilians.
Calling for the abolition of the death penalty, the European Parliament members
reiterated their strong opposition to the use of the death penalty in all cases
and under all circumstances and called on Pakistan to reintroduce a moratorium
on executions and commute all death sentences to various terms of imprisonment.
"Death penalty is a cruel and inhumane punishment and a miscarriage of
justice," said one the members of the European Parliament.
Referring specifically to the Jadhav case, wherein he has been sentenced to
death by a Pakistani military court in April on charges of espionage and
sabotage, the EU Parliament deplored the use of military courts for holding
hearings in camera and sought an assurance from the Government of Pakistan to
reverse the decision to the extent military courts should apply their
jurisdiction only on breaches of military discipline, and that too, only those
committed by military personnel.
The European Parliament resolution also insisted that authorities in Pakistan
should grant access to international observers and human rights organisations
for purposes of monitoring the use of military courts and strengthen the
civilian judiciary in line with international standards on judicial
As India was denied consular access to Kulbhushan Jadhav by Pakistan, the
resolution underscored that "third country nationals brought to trial, must be
allowed access to consular services and protection."
The European Parliament reminded Islamabad of its obligation to ensure respect
for the fundamental rights of freedom of thought and freedom of expression and
other international and regional human rights instruments.
Expressing its grave concern about the recent mass trials leading to a vast
number of death sentences, the resolution sought an immediate and definitive
end to such practices, which violate international human rights standards.
Stressing about the prevailing situation regarding human rights violation in
Pakistan, the resolution said ,"Several minority people have been killed and
persecuted because they are not being protected by the government and death
penalty are the tools for setting personal vendetta or to suppress minorities."
The European Parliament said that the death penalty is incompatible with values
such as respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of
law and respect for human rights, on which the Union is founded, and that any
member state reintroducing the death penalty would, therefore, be in violation
of the Treaties and of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The European Parliament then instructed its President to forward this
resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Commission Vice-President, EU
High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the
Government and Parliament of Pakistan and the Secretary-General of the United
Nations for further deliberation and action.
Concerned over alarming rate of execution in Pak after flawed
The European Parliament (EP) has expressed "deep concern" over the "alarming
rate of executions" based on "flawed trials" in Pakistan and deplored the use
of its military courts that hold secret hearings and have civilian
Significantly, the EP resolution came today, days after the International Court
of Justice (ICJ) stayed the death sentence given to Kulbhushan Jadhav, a
retired Indian Navy officer, by a Pakistan army court for alleged "involvement
in espionage and terrorist activities in Pakistan".
India moved the ICJ, describing the charges against Jadhav as "concocted" and
his trial as "farcical".
"Parliament is deeply concerned at the alarming rate of executions in Pakistan
following flawed trials, including of minors and persons with mental
disabilities, some of which are carried out while appeals are still under way,"
the resolution said.
The European Parliament during its meeting in Brussels also called on Pakistan
to reinstate its moratorium on the death penalty, with the ultimate goal of
"The EP deplores the use in Pakistan of military courts that hold hearing in
secret and have civilian jurisdiction; insists that the Pakistani authorities
grant access to international observers and human rights organisations for
purposes of monitoring the use of military courts," the resolution said.
It also called for an "immediate and transparent transition to independent
civilian courts in line with international standards on judicial proceedings;
underscores that third-country nationals brought to trial must be allowed
access to consular services and protection".
The EP resolution also mentioned Jadhav's case and said he was convicted by a
military court in April 2017 and sentenced to death and the case was currently
before the ICJ on the grounds that he was denied consular access rights.
It also noted that Pakistan entered the "Generalised Scheme of Preferences
(GSP)", which provides it with benefits from generous tariff preferences, and
it should provide a strong incentive to respect core human and labour rights,
the environment and good governance principles.
The resolution also made it clear that the GSP status was "conditional and the
effective implementation of international conventions is an essential
requirement under the scheme."
(source for both dnaindia.com)
Reimposing death penalty is the red line to EU, warns Ed Angara
The reimposition of the death penalty may cost the Philippines the duty-free
privileges it enjoys from European Union (EU) member-states, the country's
special envoy to the regional group said Friday.
"I think the most damaging to us is the reimposition of the death penalty. To
me, that's the red line to them," former Senator Edgardo Angara, special envoy
to the European Union, said in an interview on ANC.
The Generalized System of Preferences+ (GSP+) is based on ratification and
compliance with international conventions on human rights, labor rights,
environment and good governance.
"We will automatically lose our trade preferences with Europe, and that's
damaging to coastal and countryside development, especially in Mindanao,"
The Philippines is among the countries that benefit from the EU's GSP+.
The Philippines was given preferential status under the European Union-GSP+ in
December 2014, allowing the duty-free export of some 6,000 eligible products to
the EU market.
In the 1st 6 months of 2015, Philippine exports to the EU under GSP+ increased
by 27 %, from 584 million euros to 743 million euros.
The possibility of the Philippines losing this economic privilege was brought
up in January when several European leaders echoed international concern over
President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody campaign against illegal drugs.
Last May, Duterte said Manila would rather snub aid from EU amounting to P13.8
billion than allow EU members from interfering with his administration's
Malacanang later on clarified that the government will only refuse to accept
grants that come with conditions amounting to interference.
EU reviews Philippine trade perks tied to human rights
WITHDRAW DEATH PENALTY PROMISE?
Angara, who was tasked to "trouble shoot" the friction between the Philippines
and the EU, said Duterte will likely change his mind about the reimposition of
the death penalty should its repercussions be explained to him thoroughly.
"When a subject is thoroughly explained to him, he changes his mind, he changes
his objectionable remarks," Angara said.
"In the case of the Speaker and the House, they follow the instruction and the
inclination of the president. If the president requests..., his political
allies will follow suit," Angara, a veteran lawmaker, said.
He said the declaration of martial law in Mindanao after fighting in Marawi
City is not expected to trigger the halting of economic benefits from the EU as
Europeans "understand" why military rule is needed to combat terror threats.
"The whole of EU, from London to Paris, Belgium, Netherlands, are terrorized
and intimidated by this new extremism. They will understand that (martial law
is needed)," he said.
But Angara said the police and military should be "careful about the
enforcement of peace and order" in order to ensure the international community
that human rights will not be violated while the southern part of the country
is under martial law.
(source: ABS-CBN News)
Man charged with murder of his estranged wife
A man who caused the death of his estranged wife by torching her last month,
was charged with the murder at the magistrate's court here today.
However, no plea was recorded from accused V. Mathiyalagan, 46, when the charge
was read to him before magistrate Adibah Husna Zainal Abidin.
He was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries the mandatory
death penalty upon conviction.
Mathiyalagan committed the offence at a house No 626, Lorong Fairuz 3, Taman
Arked here about noon on May 26.
Deputy public prosecutor Nurul Faraheen Yahya prosecuted and the accused was
The court set Aug 10, for mention pending an autopsy report.
It was reported that in the incident, Mathiyalagan had allegedly hurled Molotov
cocktails at his wife R. Ratna, 44, who was cooking at her house.
The mother of 3 was rushed to Sultan Abdul Halim Hospital for burn but died 2
(source: New Straits Times)
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