Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shame on Sudan for executing people (Update 1)

WHERE are all the religious bods and human rights do-gooders when needed? Is the man in this photo being executed for adultery or for acting in self defence? He needs legal help, urgently. Shame on the countries that execute people.

Photo caption: 'A man on death row waits for execution orders in the Bentiu prison in southern Sudan. He was having an adulterous affair with a woman whose husband eventually caught on. The husband stabbed him with a spear in the abdomen, a scar visible in this photo. He killed the man during the confrontation. Prison authorities expect that he will be executed in the coming month. Haunting to think that this is the last photo anyone will ever take of him.'

Credit: Photo and caption by Peter Muller posted to Facebook on Friday 22 October 2010. Click here to read the full story at Peter's blog. Click here to follow Peter on Twitter.

Copy of 3 comments posted at Peter's Facebook page re photo above:

By Shanjok Shan October 22:
is that the prison wall i think it can easily be penetrated ..

By Pete Muller Photography October 23:
it is the prison wall. Perhaps you're right, Shanjok, but he is shackled and quite emotionally defeated.

By Paula Muller October 23:
Boy, this is very tough. Life can really be hard. Maybe he wouldn't be defeated if he were sprung. But then you are hunted too................... Maybe not a great idea.
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Kalma camp IDP sentenced to death

A resident of Kalma IDP camp in South Darfur was sentenced to death by hanging on Sunday for allegations that he attempted to kill a supporter of the Doha peace process.

Hussein Hassan Abdel Kareem was arrested on July 22nd by a pro-Doha group in the camp who delivered him to the Sudanese security service. He was accused of being an anti-Doha activist inside the camp

The leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement, Abdal-Waheed faction Ibrahim Al-Hilu spoke to SRS from Paris describing the incident as injustice.

Click here for full story at SRS 26 October 2010.
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Pardoned Generals

On October 6, 2010, The President of the semi-autonomous Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) and Commander-in-Chief of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued an Executive Order, pardoning senior army officers who rebelled or fought against the SPLA forces before and after April’s elections. Among them were those of Major General Gatwech Chan, also known as Gabriel Tanginye, Lt. General George Athor Deng and Colonel Gatluak Gai. The presidential decree also urged those Generals to rejoin the ranks and files of the SPLA forces and move freely in the South. Kiir also said that the pardon will not come into effect unless the three officers unconditionally lay down their arms and rejoin the SPLA.

Major General Tanginye was accused by GOSS of causing military confrontations with the SPLA in 2006 and 2008, which left about three hundred people dead in the Upper Nile state’s capital of Malakal. General Athor and Colonel Gai have also rebelled and clashed with the SPLA in protest of the outcome of the gubernatorial elections in Jonglei and Unity states, respectively.

Click here for full story at 14 October 2010.
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General Athor welcomes GOSS amnesty

The former SPLA Deputy Chief of Staff, the renegade General George Athor says he welcomes the GOSS Presidential amnesty directed at him and others.

On Wednesday last week, President Salva Kiir issued an executive order which grants an amnesty to four military officers - George Athor, Gabriel Tanginye, Gatluak Gai and Robert Gwang.

Click here for full story at SRS 11 October 2010.
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SPLA renegade general rejoins SPLA

The SPLA renegade General Dau Atur Jong, has rejoined the SPLA. Jong resigned from the SPLM after he lost the gubernatorial elections in Norther Bhar El-Ghazal state in April. He spoke to the press in Juba on Friday. ... Early this month, the president of GOSS Salva Kiir issued a decree pardoning the SPLA Generals who rebelled against the SPLA.

Click here for full story at SRS 25 October 2010.
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According to Wikipedia, a study done in 2005 found that the following countries did the most executions:
China (At least 1,770 executions)
Iran (At least 94)
Saudi Arabia (At least 86)
United States (60)
Pakistan (31)
Yemen (24)
Vietnam (21)
Jordan (11)
Barbarians. How many of those people executed were innocent, drunk, drugged, mentally ill, I wonder. Capital punishment (death penalty) is wrong, wicked, evil. Maybe that is why the only legal US source of sodium thiopental has refused to play any further part in executions. Click here to view an avalanche of shocking, barbaric, blood curdling comments at The Arizona Republic's article, 26 October 2010, "U.S. Supreme Court clears way for Arizona execution".
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Special courts in Darfur sentence nine individuals, including four children, to death
Source: Sudan Tribune
Date: Thursday, 28 October 2010:
From: African Center for Justice and Peace Studies
Contact: Osman Hummaida, Executive Director
Phone: +44 7956 095738 E-mail: osman@

(27 October 2010) - On 21 October, Judge Shegifa Ali Eshag of the Special Court in Nyala, South Darfur, sentenced a group of nine individuals allegedly affiliated with the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) to death for a carjacking in Khour Baskawit, near Selia and Yaseen in South Darfur on 13 May 2010. Four members of the group are under the age of 18. The group was convicted under Articles 50 (offences against the state), 51 (fomenting war against the state), 168 (armed robbery), and 182 (criminal damage) under the Sudanese Penal Code of 1991.

The names of the adults sentenced to death are:
Aboalgasim Abdalla Abubakar, 30 years old, Masaalit Tribe
Hassan Eshag Abdalla, 20 years old, Zagawa Tribe
Adam Altoum Adam, 40 years old, Zagawa Tribe
Mohamed Adam Eisa, 28 years old, Zagawa Tribe
Alsagig Abakar Yahya, 20 years old, Tungour Tribe

The names of the four children are:
Ibrahim Shrief Yousef, 17 years old, Birged Tribe
Altyeb Mohamed Yagoup, 16 years old, Zagawa Tribe
Abdalla Abdalla Doud, 16 years old, Gimr Tribe
Abdarazig Daoud Abdelseed, 15 years, Birged Tribe

The application of the death penalty to a child is forbidden by Article 37 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Sudan is a state party. Notwithstanding its international commitments, domestic law in Sudan continues to make provisions for the application of capital punishment for children. Although Article 36 of the Interim National Constitution (INC) of 2005 restricts the use of the death penalty for individuals under the age of 18, it does not exempt children from application of the death penalty in the event of “serious offences”, namely hudud crimes. Under the 1991 Sudanese Penal Code, certain hudud offences, including armed robbery, are capital crimes. The 2004 Child Law of Sudan attempted to rectify this gap in compliance with international law by restricting juvenile executions in principle and recommending maximum sentences. However, the Child Law fails to fully protect children by defining a child as a person under 18, unless “they have reached maturity under other applicable law”. This opens the door to application of Article 9 of the Sudanese Penal Code of 1991 which allows for persons to be considered adults if they have attained puberty. Despite amendments made to the Child Law on 29 December 2009, this gap in who may be sentenced to death was never remedied.

In this case, the four minors sentenced to death had given their actual ages to the registry, but the court tried them as adults pursuant to medical examinations while they were in custody that determined that they were over 18. There is no specialised permanent medical committee or standard procedure for assessing age, and in remote areas the medical committee is often presided over by a medical assistant rather than a doctor. Even when a doctor does conduct the examination, no medical tests are undertaken and the assessment of the child’s age is based upon physical appearance, and is thus more estimation than scientific assessment. Though the government of Sudan has argued before that in practice no juvenile is ever actually executed and minors are sentenced in order to collect diya, it can still be argued that the act of sentencing a child to death in light of the mental anguish imposed is in and of itself a rights violation, even if the sentence is never implemented.

In addition to the penalty, it appears that a number of procedural irregularities may have undermined the rights of these children. The Child Law of 2004 established specialized courts and juvenile detention centres, but the minors were tried in the same court as the rest of the group, violating their right to a fair trial under Article 34 of the INC. The case has been appealed, and will be tried by the Chief of Judges in South Darfur rather than an Appeals Court (which would be presided over by three judges) due to procedural regulations of the Special Court. The Special Court which convicted the group is distinct from the Special Criminal Court on the Events in Darfur established in 2005 following the opening of the ICC’s investigation into Darfur. In this case, the Special Court refers to a local court mandated since 1997 to prosecute cases of armed robbery and hijackings. Though the media frequently reports trials as being heard solely by the “Special Court” the two are not analogous and function separately; in this case, this is significant as the Special Courts for Darfur receive significantly more judicial monitoring and oversight.

The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies condemns the use of the death penalty in all cases, particularly when imposed against minors, as this is a clear violation of international law. In addition, there are worrying suggestions that the death penalty is being applied in this case as a tool to suppress ethnic minorities and against individuals who are viewed as being against the Sudanese state. In light of the insecurity in Nyala as of late, it is also possible that the group is being used as an example. The African Centre for Justice and Peace Studies calls on the Ministry of Justice to review the cases of the group and conditions under which they were sentenced, and to re-try those under 18 in a specialized juvenile court.

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