This is the summary for the group’s December meeting pulling together various news items about the use of the death penalty around the world. We would like to draw your attention to a web site Penal Reform International, with useful information on the death penalty. It is now in the list of links at the bottom of this site.
- Ethiopia – Andrew Tsage, a political refugee in the UK since 1979, has been placed in solitary confinement and is under threat of execution. He had been arrested at an Airport in Yemen, and sent on to Ethiopia. International concern has been expressed at the deterioration of human rights and freedom of expression in Ethiopia. David Cameron has written personally to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, but the Foreign Office say Tsage is not being held illegally.
- USA –
- Missouri – 19.11.14. Leon Taylor was executed, despite disagreement over the type of sentence which should have been imposed. This was the ninth execution in Missouri this year.
- Texas – 4.12.14 – a US Federal Court issued a stay of execution hours before Scott Panetti was due to die, following representations from his lawyers regarding his mental health.
- Saudi Arabia – 20.11.14 – the family of Simon Cumbera, an Irish national murdered while filming a news item, have expressed regret at the death sentence passed on Adil Sa’ad Al-Dubayti Al Mutayri.
- Mohammad Asghar – David Cameron has commented in Parliament on the ‘appalling treatment’ received in prison by this Scottish man accused of blasphemy and shot while in prison. Reprieve is trying to prevent his return from hospital to prison
- 25.11.14 – Asia Bibi, the Christian woman sentenced to death following a conviction of ‘insulting the Prophet Muhammad, has filed her final appeal against execution
- China – 25.11.14 – According to his lawyer, Nian Bin, a former death row prisoner acquitted of the charge of poisoning two children, is now being investigated again by the police. They have refused to accept the Court’s decision and are restricting his movements. Acquittals are rare in China, but this one prompted renewed calls for the abolition of the death penalty.
- Thailand – 26.11.14 – Death sentences were passed by Pattani Provincial Court on five suspected militants convicted of killing four soldiers. Human Rights Watch have accused Thailand of double standards, saying the Army was also responsible for rights violations.
- Egypt – 2.12.14 following the dropping of murder charges against ex-President Hosni Mubarak, a Court sentenced 188 of his supporters to death in connection with the killing of 13 policemen in August 2013.
- Cameroon – 3.12.14 – it was reported that Lawmakers are to vote on whether to implement the death penalty for people convicted of acts of terrorism. This is in response to the activities of the Islamist militant group, Boko Haram, on its border.
- Indonesia – AI have called on the Indonesian Government to halt its plans to execute 5 people by the end of the year.
- Bangladesh – UA283/14 – Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, a leading member of an opposition party, is at imminent risk of execution before being able to lodge an appeal. Circulated to DPLWG 17.11.14
- Iraq – UA300/14 – Ahmed Al-Alwani, a former member of Iraq’s Parliament, has been sentenced to death for killing two soldiers, following a trial marred with irregularities. He has only a month to appeal. Circulated to DPLWG 28.11.14. (This month’s Group DP Urgent Action)
- Saudi Arabia – UA 309/09 – Ali Agirdas, convicted of drug trafficking after an unfair trial, was executed on 20th November. His family learned of this through the media, and the authorities are refusing to release his body to them. Circulated to DPLWG 28.11.14.
- USA – Florida – UA 162/14 – the execution of Shane Kormondy has been scheduled for 15th January. Kormondy was found guilty of the murder of Gary McAdams in 1993. This would be the 21st execution under the governorship of Rick Scott.
- Reggie Clemons – there has been no further news. The Justice for Reggie website has not been updated since August.
- Moses Akatugba – further cards were signed for Moses at the Amnesty Film Night at the Arts Centre