2017-08-01 13:49:13 UTC
Maldives' dark side: Death penalty threatens trouble in paradise
The Maldives, famed for its crystalline waters and long tongues of white sand,
lies at the centre of the Indian Ocean.
Holiday firms offering trips to the Maldives have been urged by human rights
activists to condemn the expected execution of 3 men that will bring a brutal
end to the country's 60-year moratorium on the death penalty.
Sir Richard Branson last week described the reported decision by Abdulla
Yameen, the Maldivian president, to revive executions as "an awful political
move that will send the country back to the Dark Ages of human rights".
In a blog post, the creator of the Virgin brand threatened to remove his
holiday business from the Maldives and urged other tour operators, governments
and businesses to follow suit if the executions went ahead.
Richard Branson is asking other tourism operators to boycott the luxury
"It's been heart-breaking to watch what is happening on the beautiful island
nation of the Maldives, a country for which I have long had such great
affection and respect," he said,
Reprieve, the anti-death penalty campaign group, has issued a plea for Kuoni
and Thomas Cook, travel companies who operate luxury holidays in the Maldives,
to follow Branson's lead and urge President Yameen to halt the executions,
believed to be imminent.
In a letter to the firms, Reprieve claimed that the sentenced men, Hussain
Humaam Ahmed, Mohammed Nabeel and Ahmed Murrath, were convicted for murder
after "seriously unfair" trials.
Their deaths would be an "irreparable miscarriage of justice" and would follow
a pattern of human rights failings since President Yameen came to power in
2013, they said.
Of 20 convicts on death row, 5 were juveniles at the time of their arrest.
Reprieve believes that lethal injections have already been found for the first
3 deaths, while a search is under way for an experienced executioner.
Maya Foa, Reprieve director, said the executions were "a naked attempt by
President Yameen to suppress dissent and tighten his grip on power", calling on
him to "start the democratic reforms needed to bring stability back".
Kuoni said: "We do not condone any abuse of human rights and are naturally
concerned when news of this nature is brought to our attention. The people in
the Maldives depend on a thriving tourism industry for their livelihood and we
believe we bring positive change by supporting them."
Thomas Cook said: "We believe our influence is best exerted through responsible
Tourists see very little of the political turmoil or human rights abuses that
have gripped the country in recent years. Last week the British Foreign Office
updated its travel advice, urging tourists to avoid large gatherings in the
capital, Male, which could turn violent.
Ibrahim Hussain Shahib, the president's international spokesman, said the
government was implementing the law to protect its people.
"[They] have been charged and convicted of murder in the first degree, their
cases were tried at all stages of appeal... due process was followed at all
stages. There has been no doubt created in any of these cases as to whether the
convicted had carried out the crimes," said Mr Shahib, adding that the
constitution did not allow the head of state to grant clemency.
"This administration will not be deterred by a political opposition who seeks
to exploit policies to score points back home and abroad while not even
pretending to engage in positive political dialogue."
Miller Says 'Do It Now' Over Death Penalty Plans
Former Tall Pines MP Leslie Miller on Friday praised National Security Minister
Marvin Dames for having the "guts" to announce the Minnis administration's
plans to push for the enforcement of the death penalty, as he called on the
government to "do it, and do it now."
Mr Miller, a longtime supporter of capital punishment, said he is totally
behind Mr Dames' previous announcement, further congratulating Mr Dames and the
Minnis administration for "having the tenacity and the wherewithal to do what
is necessary on behalf of the Bahamian people".
The firebrand Progressive Liberal Party politician further encouraged the
Minnis administration not to be "concerned" with the backlash its stance on
capital punishment could have on the country, particularly that of the
international community, as he asserted: "They don't face the carnage that we
"We face it therefore we got to deal with it," Mr Miller told The Tribune on
Friday just hours after a man was found shot to death in Mason's Addition.
"It's our problem. If it's a Bahamian problem it got to be a Bahamian solution.
The solution is, you take a life yours gone, unless in special circumstances.
But this is just gutless murdering and these people got to stop, man. And I'm
with him 1,000 %.
"He could depend on my support. In and out, he could depend on me."
Last week, Mr Dames said the Minnis administration will use everything on the
law books, including capital punishment, to make The Bahamas safe for
"law-abiding citizens." At the time, Mr Dames said the Minnis administration
cannot tolerate a "lawless society" and said it is the government's job to
"introduce new policies and to enforce old ones to make sure everyone is safe."
"I am totally and 100 % with him," Mr Miller said when questioned on the
matter. "I want to congratulate him on having the guts to appreciate the fact
that these fellas would take a life in an instant with no sorrow, no
conscience, no nothing, because they know that when they take a life, they gone
go to Fox Hill prison, might, and 70 % of them walk free.
"Therefore, they take the law into their own hands and do as they please. If
this guy knows that his life is going to be taken, he ain't gone do it. You
know nobody wants to die. But they don't mind taking your life and my life. I'm
happy and I congratulate the minister for having the tenacity and the
wherewithal to do what is necessary on behalf of the Bahamian people.
"It is long, long overdue," Mr Miller added. "And I trust that they will push
this and get it done. It's on the books, you just got to have the guts to
enforce it. It has to be done."
Reflecting on the recent spate of homicides in New Providence, Mr Miller asked:
"Where we headed? This is a precipice and we headed down there at a thousand
miles an hour."
In January, while his party was in power, Mr Miller blamed "gutless
politicians" for the increases in murders and serious crimes in the country. At
the time, Mr Miller said many of his parliamentary colleagues were "afraid to
implement the laws on the books".
He urged Bahamians to vote for persons who will "carry out the death penalty"
and "send everyone else packing".
The following month, Prime Minister Dr Hubert Minnis, then in opposition, said
unless the then-government is willing to enforce the death penalty, "criminals
will continue to ravage our country and keep citizens in fear." Dr Minnis said
the country is losing the battle to the criminal element and "more serious
measures" need to be taken.
And last year, Dr Minnis insisted that the necks of "murderous scumbags" in the
country must be "popped" as he castigated the former Christie administration
for failing "miserably" in its obligation to keep Bahamians safe.
Reflecting on this statement, Mr Miller said he is "happy to see the minister
of national security has the guts to at least say the right thing".
"And the prime minister said he was with it," Mr Miller added, referring to his
and Dr Minnis' previous calls for the death penalty to be enforced. "When I was
in Parliament (Dr Minnis) and I were the 2 lone wolves in there saying we're
with it. Now he has an opportunity to make it come to fruition and I trust that
it happens. They got the numbers to do it, so the ball is in their court now.
Let's just do the right thing.
"Do the right thing man. Do it, and do it now, and we'll see a total
de-escalation of crimes and killings in our country."
A 2006 decision by the London-based Privy Council, the Bahamas' highest court
of appeal, quashed the country's mandatory death penalty for murder convicts,
which it said was unconstitutional.
In 2011, the Privy Council also said the death penalty should only be given in
cases where the offence falls into the category of the "worst of the worst."
# That same year, the Ingraham administration made changes to the Penal Code to
set out the criteria for the types of murders that would attract a
discretionary death penalty after conviction.
The law changes made it so a person convicted of killing a member of the Royal
Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF), Department of
Customs, Department of Immigration, the judiciary or correctional services
would be eligible for the death penalty.
Someone convicted of killing someone during a robbery, rape, kidnapping or
terrorist act would also fall into this category.
No one has been hanged since the amendments were passed into law.
Bringing Back The Death Penalty
EDITOR, The Tribune
Re: Death penalty needed to stop murders. - The Tribune, 25 July, 2017.
Although it is counterintuitive, it has been shown in many countries that the
Death Penalty seldom produces the desired result of deterrence.
Furthermore, it tends to divert attention from the more mundane underlying
crimes that eventually culminate in murder.
Virtually the only hope for reducing our murders would be to mercilessly attack
the widespread precursor crimes.
That would be much more difficult than a functioning death penalty, more
costly, and not nearly as spectacular in a quick fix political sense.
Reintroduction of the death penalty certainly would be a marvelous idea - if
only it would work as hoped!
KEN. W. KNOWLES, M.D.
(source: Letter to the Editor, tribune242.com)
Indonesia's Death Penalty Debacle Exposed----Maladministration in Nigerian's
July 2016 Execution
The official Ombudsman of Indonesia has accused both the Attorney General's
Office (AGO) and the Supreme Court of "maladministration" in denying a Nigerian
citizen, executed for drug trafficking in July 2016, his legal rights.
Ombudsman official Ninik Rahayu outlined a checklist of procedural failures
that could have prevented Humphrey Jefferson's execution, including the Supreme
Court's refusal to conduct a second review of his case, and the AGO's decision
to proceed with the execution despite the fact that Jefferson had filed a
clemency request with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.
The denial of due process to Jefferson raises troubling questions about
Jokowi's signature policy of executing convicted drug traffickers. Indonesia
ended a 4-year unofficial moratorium on the death penalty in March 2013, and
Jokowi has made the execution of convicted drug traffickers a prominent issue
of his presidency. Jokowi has sought to justify the use of the death penalty on
the basis that drug traffickers had "destroyed the future of the nation,"
despite international human rights obligations under which drug-related
offenses are deemed as falling outside the scope of "most serious crimes," for
which the death penalty can legitimately be retained. In December 2014, he told
students that the death penalty for convicted drug traffickers was an
"important shock therapy" for anyone who violates Indonesia's drug laws. Since
Jokowi took office in 2014, his government has executed 18 convicted drug
traffickers in 2015 and 2016 - the majority citizens of other countries. Jokowi
has routinely rejected their government's calls for clemency, citing national
Even worse, on July 21 of this year, Jokowi indicated the police could skip due
process entirely and summarily execute any foreign drug dealers who resist
arrest. "Gun them down. Give no mercy," Jokowi urged police in a speech.
National Police Chief General Tito Karnavian and Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso, the
head of the National Narcotics Agency, have echoed similarly unlawful
approaches to drug crimes modeled on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's
unlawful and abusive "war on drugs."
Jokowi and senior police officials should recognize that the cruel and unusual
punishment of the death penalty and the barbarity of extrajudicial killings
have no place in a rights-respecting country. Instead, Indonesia should restore
the unofficial moratorium on the death penalty and ensure the rights of
criminal suspects, including those implicated in drug crimes, are respected
rather than steamrolled.
(source: Human Rights Watch)
Iran HRM monthly report -Alarming escalation of executions in Iran in July
July saw many violations of human rights in Iran, the most important being:
The number of executions reaching to a peak of 102 and the pending execution of
120 inmates to be carried out soon
Foreign diplomats tour of Evin prison under the pressure of the increasing wave
of international criticism at Iran's human rights violations, especially in its
At a time when the move towards the abolition of the death penalty is spreading
around the world, Islamic Republic of Iran insists on executions which clearly
are in contravention the international human rights law.
Iran alone accounted for 55% of all recorded executions in 2016; Amnesty
239 executions were carried out in Iran in the 1st 6 months of 2017. Among them
were 7 women and 3 individuals who were under the age of 18 at the time they
allegedly committed the offence they were sentenced to death for. 12 executions
were carried out in public.
Seeking to rein in increasing protests and the abhorrence of the younger
generation in cities across the country, the Iranian regime has intensified the
crackdown on society through increasing the wave of executions. The month of
July alone saw 103 executions from which 7 were made public by media press.
This shows how the state of human rights had been deteriorated during the past
Under the pressure of the rising tide of protests against the situation of
human rights in Iran, the Iranian government took the ambassadors of 50 foreign
countries for a tour of the notorious Evin prison in Tehran on July 5, 2017 to
judge for themselves how the state treats prisoners. Ahead of the visit, some
prisoners in building 4 were also transferred to create an illusion of humane
living conditions. Walls were freshly repainted and the remaining prisoners
warned against approaching the diplomats to voice any concerns they might have.
Unsurprisingly many areas of the prison remained off limits to the foreign
delegates. They were only granted access to a handful of sections in buildings
4 and 7, mostly housing wealthier prisoners convicted of financial crimes.
The PR show was preceded by an absurd claim made the day before, by Javad
Larijani, an Iranian regime's human rights official, indicating that there were
no political prisoners in Iran. After the foreign diplomats' visit to Evin, the
Iranian state media outlets followed suit, pumping reports claiming that Iran's
biggest jail had been upgraded to state-of-the-art conditions.
The orchestrate display however was quickly exposed to show its true face by
prisoners- men and women who experience torture and hard prison conditions on a
daily basis in this notorious prison.
A number of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience addressed open
letters to the ambassadors who recently visited Evin Prison. They wrote about
issues that had been concealed by the Iranian regime's authorities during their
The sequel of events makes complete sense. The orchestrated tour of Evin by
foreign diplomats, without any human rights organization or expert accompanying
them, was an attempt on the part of the regime to debunk growing international
criticism of Iran's human rights violations, especially in its prisons.
This report, attempts to shed light on the truth about the tragic situation of
human rights in Iran.
(source: Human Rights Watch)
Yemeni man executed for rape, murder of 3-year-old----Thousands of people
gathered in the rebel-held Yemeni capital Monday to witness the public
execution of a man convicted of raping and murdering a 3-year-old girl.
Mohammed al-Moghrabi, 41, was sentenced to death for the June 25 rape and
murder by a court run by the Shiite Huthi rebels who control Sanaa. The
gruesome crime coincided with the 1st day of Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday
that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and sparked anger among the
population. Moghrabi was first given 100 lashes and then made to lie flat, his
face on the ground, and killed by multiple gunshots by security forces to
cheers from the crowd.
Police said they escorted him to Tahrir square where he was executed amid fears
the angry crowd could lynch him.
The public execution was widely aired on Huthi-run media in Yemen, framed as an
example of the Shiite rebels' efforts to combat crime in their areas. The
Iran-backed Huthis have been locked in war with the Saudi-backed
internationally-recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for 2
More than 8,000 people have been killed and millions displaced in the conflict,
while nearly 2,000 have died of cholera since April. The United Nations has
described Yemen as "the largest humanitarian crisis in the world," with 10
million civilians in acute need of life-saving aid as the country teeters on
the edge of famine.
Ogun lifts moratorium on death penalty
Ogun State has approved the lifting of a moratorium on cases relating to
capital punishment as part of measures to fast track dispensation of justice in
This was revealed when the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice,
Olumide Ayeni, and his counterpart in the Ministry of Information and Strategy,
Dayo Adeneye, briefed journalists after the 31st weekly Executive Council
Meeting, presided by Governor Ibikunle Amosun in Abeokuta on Monday.
According to the attorney general, the pronouncement was in accordance with a
recent directive of the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council of
States meeting 'in relation to death penalty.'
Mr. Ayeni, who said the moratorium is with immediate effect, explained that the
step would be applicable to cases, where lives were lost as a result of
committing a heinous crime.
While explaining the reason for the decision, the commissioner noted that it is
part of the efforts by the state government to reduce cases of kidnapping,
cultism and other societal ills, which he said is on the increase.
Mr. Ayeni stated that the step would go a long way to ensure that the rule of
law prevails in the society.
Mr. Adeneye, on his part, said the initiative was to avoid a spill over of
crimes and other violent acts from gaining entrance into the state.
Though constitutional in Nigeria, capital punishment has become an
unconventional mode in the nation???s criminal justice system leading to
congestion in the prison due to awaiting execution cases.
University lecturers recently expressed divergent opinions on the continued
relevance of the death penalty in Nigeria's criminal justice system.
Human rights activists globally have kicked against the death penalty.
In a 2014 research made by Amnesty International, about 697 people were
sentenced to death by firing squad or by hanging.
(source: Premium Times)
Court orders framing of charges against Bhatkal
A Delhi court today ordered framing of charges against Indian Mujahideen (IM)
operative Yasin Bhatkal and 10 others in the 2010 Jama Masjid blast case.
Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma, however, discharged 3 alleged
members of the outfit, saying there was not enough evidence against them.
The court discharged Syed Ismail Affaque, Abdus Saboor and Riyaz Ahmad Sayeedi,
who were named in the charge sheet by the police.
The case pertains to an explosion near the historic Jama Masjid here on
September 19, 2010 soon after 2 suspected IM operatives had fired at a bus from
which foreign tourists were descending near a gate of the mosque. Today's order
came on the blast incident.
The police had charge sheeted these suspected IM members, including its
co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, in connection with the blast case and said these
operatives had carried out the strike to dissuade foreign nations from
participating in the the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games.
The police had also said IM operatives had planned that foreign tourists found
near Jama Masjid would be randomly shot and a bomb blast would be executed
there for maximum casualty.
It had claimed that Bhatkal had prepared a pressure cooker IED, which was
planted in the car parked outside Jama Masjid, and an explosion had taken
The court had on July 18 reserved its order on whether to put Bhatkal on trial
in 4 separate terror cases, including the Jama Masjid blast case, after
concluding the hearing of arguments on charges in the cases.
Bhatkal was awarded the death penalty by a Special NIA Court in December last
year in a case related to the 2013 Hyderabad bomb blasts, which had claimed 18
(source: Press Trust of India)
Court hands death penalty to man for burning alive brother, nephew
A local court today awarded the death penalty to a man for burning alive his
brothers and 2 nephews.
Additional District and Sessions Judge G Pushtam Rajnish Kumar found Imran
guilty and announced the death sentence.
According to the prosecution counsel, Imran was upset over a "minor issue". A
resident of Mugalshah area of the city, he burnt his brother Naushad and 2
nephews Irshad and Islamuddin after pouring petrol on them when they were
He then locked the door from the outside and fled.
All 3 succumbed to their injuries later.
The incident occurred on the night of Aug 6, 2014.
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu
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