Our latest monthly death penalty report is available thanks to group member Lesley for the work in compiling it. Note that China is the world’s largest executioner but the details are a state secret.
The latest death penalty report is now available thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it. It contains information on death penalty matters in Bangladesh, Turkey, USA and other countries. The report, as ever, is unable to include any information about China where details of executions are a state secret. It is believed to be the world’s largest executioner.
We are pleased to attach the latest death penalty report thanks to group member Lesley for the work in putting it together. Note that China executes more of its citizens than the rest of the world put together but details are a state secret.
There is an action taking place in Salisbury on 1 September between 9:00 and noon. It will be in the Cheese market or in the Library passage. Details are in the above report.
Potential new members are invited to come along and make themselves known during this event.
Attached is the current death penalty report thanks to group member Lesley for the work in compiling it. Grim news on several fronts with Sri Lanka thinking of re-using the penalty. China leads the world it is believed in the use of the penalty although details are a state secret.
On the issue of China, readers may like to read the website of the Chinese Human Rights Defenders which charts the systematic denial of human rights freedoms by the Chinese government. Links to many human rights sites can be found at the bottom of this site.
NCA admits not seeking Ministerial consent before supplying information to the Thai police
In 2014 there two British backpackers, Hannah Witheridge and David Miller, were murdered on a beach in Thailand and for days the press was full of the story. It was reported at the time that the Thai police were extremely slow to react and allowed crucial evidence to be lost and for likely suspects to escape. It was further alleged that the Thai authorities were reluctant to take the matter sufficiently seriously because of the possible damage to their tourist trade.
Three years later the case has again hit the headlines as it now appears that the National Crime Agency has been accused of supplying information to the Thai Police. The significance is that two Burmese individuals, Zaw Lin and Wai Pho have been convicted of the murders and are likely to face execution by lethal injection. The High Court in the UK found against the NCA for providing information which contributed to the likelihood of execution. The UK government opposes capital punishment and there are strict rules governing the provision of information in these cases. Ministerial authority is needed and in this case the NCA did not get this.
Doubts have been raised about the convictions as there is evidence of corruption, incompetence and the use of fabricated evidence used to secure a conviction. The use of torture is also alleged.
A spokesman for Reprieve said:
It is bad enough that the National Crime Agency secretly handed over evidence to help secure death sentences in a country known for unfair trials and torture. But they now admit they did this illegally, without any proper thought that their actions could contribute to a grave miscarriage of justice with two men now facing execution. UK cooperation with foreign police and security forces should be open and transparent. Government agencies shouldn’t have to be dragged through the courts for the public to know what is being done with their money.
Sources: The News; Reprieve; The Guardian; Press Association
If you live in the Salisbury area and are interested in campaigning on human rights issues we would be glad to welcome. It is free to join the local group. Keep and eye on this site, on Twitter or Facebook for events and come along and make yourself known.
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