Abolitionists hold conference in Spain #Deathpenalty


death1

Published:
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Only for the most extreme cases. That’s part of Government’s continuing stance on the death penalty, which remains on T&T law books and which currently applies to 30 persons on Death Row—including one female. Speaking on the eve of this week’s international Anti-Death Penalty Congress in Spain, where the global abolitionist movement will caucus, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan said, “This is an emotional political issue with powerful arguments on both sides. “There may be doubt whether it is a potent and effective deterrent, but it is difficult to argue with victims who rest their case on the principle of retribution. In the final analysis, it is a matter that should be decided by the people.”

 

 

Global focus will fall on the issue of the death penalty in the Caribbean when the fifth annual Anti-Death Penalty Congress takes place in Madrid, Spain, from tomorrow to Saturday. The event has been organised annually since 2001 by the Ensemble Contre la Peine du Mort (Together Against the Death Penalty) and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty. It is being held this year on invitation of the Spanish government with support from the French, Norwegian and  Swiss governments. The summit, expected to be attended by 1,500 people from 90 countries, unites members of international civil society, politicians and legal experts to heighten the global lobby for the abolition of the death penalty.

 

Part of the gathering involves 200 participants from countries such as  T&T and others regionally,, which still retain the death penalty. Amnesty International estimates 13 of the 58 states that retain the death penalty are in the English-speaking Caribbean. Apart from special focus on the Arab and African regions in this year’s programme, the conference’s first day activities feature a session on the death penalty in the Caribbean region. Feature speakers include T&T’s Leela Ramdeen, who will present a paper representing the Greater Caribbean for Life group. This involves seven people from T&T, Belize, Guatemala, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and St Vincent & the Grenadines.

 

While deeply sympathising with the victims of  violent crime, the group doesn’t believe the death penalty makes societies safer. Members, however, believe abolition of the death penalty in T&T and the Caribbean will require a multi-faceted approach that addresses issues including improving the criminal justice and administration of justice systems, tackling crime and violence, addressing victims’ rights, enhancing education systems 1` and changing the minds of people. As for T&T’s positon on the death penalty issue, Ramlogan told the T&T Guardian: “There is no doubt the death penalty can be a deterrent, as it has an effect on the psyche of the criminal, but I’m aware that there’s a raging academic debate on this issue. “Victims and supporters argue it has nothing to do with the concept of deterrence, because it has to do with retribution and the enforcement of the law. Abolitionists argue that it is cruel and inhumane, is not an effective deterrent and ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves the whole world blind.”

 

Ramlogan added, “As the duly-elected government, we’re sworn to uphold and enforce the laws of this land and  therefore duty bound to facilitate and advance its implementation as long as it remains on the books.”  On the status of the Government’s moves to try and implement the law regarding hangings following its 2012 plan for legislation to categorise murders, Ramlogan said: “The Government did introduce a bill to categorise murders and introduce some measure of flexibility and discretion so that the death penalty would not be automatically imposed in every case. We were influenced in this regard by the American jurisprudence which distinguishes murders according to the particular facts and circumstances in which the murder occurred (hence, for example, murder in the first, second and third degree). “Unfortunately, this bill was not passed because the Opposition voted against it. The Government, however, has no difficulty with the proposition that the death penalty should be discretionary. We are, however, equally committed and duty-bound to implement the law as it presently stands.”

 

On whether the matter would be taken further, the AG said soon after the debate, he wrote Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley several letters “in the hope that we can have some meaningful dialogue on this issue.” “Unfortunately, there was no response. The Opposition has managed to maintain the contradictory position that it supports the death penalty but cannot support or propose any legislation to facilitate its implementation,” Ramlogan said. Since some quarters believe T&T, like other regional states, may soon have to take the death penalty off its books, where does T&T stand in this scenario? Ramlogan said, “I believe the overwhelming majority of the population favours the retention of the death penalty. The murder rate is high and there are many who believe in the principles of retention and deterrence. “The Government is in favour of categorising murders so that the death penalty can be reserved for the most extreme cases with the most brutal of heinous murders. The Opposition objected to this and we were forced to remove it from the proposed amendment to the Constitution. This, however, remains the Government’s position.”

 

Considering the 37 per cent reduction in serious crime (from 2012 to 2013 figures), asked whether Government still sees the death penalty as absolutely necessary, Ramlogan said, “The death penalty does not apply to most serious crimes. It does, however, apply to murder and the murder rate is still high even though it is on the decline.” With some polls on T&T showing a large part of the population favouring hanging, the AG was asked whether this can be expected before the end of the term. “We cannot implement the death penalty without an amendment to the Constitution. This requires a special majority in Parliament for which Opposition support is necessary,” he said. “In Jamaica the opposition recently joined forces with the government to vote to amend the Jamaica constitution to facilitate the implementation of the death penalty. We can only live in hope.” With the situation in limbo, the AG added, “The death penalty, part of our law, is what we inherited from our colonial masters. The Privy Council has ruled this is a valid part of T&T’s binding laws. “Both the Opposition and People’s Partnership have publicly declared their commitment to the implementation of the death penalty in response to the overwhelming public support and demand for it.” The AG added, “There is no universal consensus on the morality or correctness of the death penalty. It forms part of the laws and is in fact implemented in many countries, including certain states in the USA, Singapore and China.”

 

 

Opposition PNM says….

Opposition PNM deputy leader Marlene McDonald said the party stands by its position in favour of the death penalty, but also maintains its position against Government’s recent legislation on it. PNM Senator Fitzgerald Hinds added, “The death penalty issue is to me  more of an intellectual exercise more than emotional.” He said matters were often overturned at Privy Council level since that jurisdiction had abolished the death penalty. “They engage arguments in a rigorous exercise so it becomes a matter of their legal wit against that of Caribbean attorneys,” he added.
“So we have to be very intellectual in our approach on this. When the Government came with the last piece of legislation we examined it thoroughly and found where the Privy Council would have walked right over the stipulations of the bill.” Hinds added, “We must now await what new measures Government will present, then see whether that can meet Privy Council resistance.”

 

 

THE MADRID MANDATE

CONGRESS TOPICS:  include abolition and alternative sentences in the world, juveniles and the death penalty in the world, drug trafficking and the death penalty, legal representation in capital cases globally, the Middle East,  Iran, African and Asian regions and the death penalty, terrorism and abolition, the state of abolition in the USA, Europe and future strategies, death penalty and torture, abolitionist strategies.

POLITICAL FIGURES EXPECTED: President of Benin, Foreign Affairs Ministers of Spain, France, Swiss Confederation, Norway, Mauritania, deputy prime ministers of Luxembourg and Belgium, UN high commissioner for human rights, the general secretary of the Council of Europe, president of the Commission of Human Rights of the Iraq Parliament, president of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty, and the former  French Justice minister, who authored the French law that abolished France’s death penalty.

NOBEL PEACE PRIZE LAUREATES: Northern Ireland peace activist Mairead Maguire, former Iranian judge and women’s/human rights activist, Shirin Ebadi, former East Timor president Jose Ramos Horta.

TESTIMONIES FROM: former death row prisoners of Iran, Spain, Morocco, Uganda, Taiwan, parents, spouses of death row prisoners and the former death row warden of the US state of Virginia.

 

#India -11 babies die in 2 hours at Bengal hospital, death toll now 13 #WTFnews


HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  Purulia, June 09, 2013

A hospital in West Bengal’s Purulia district, 296 km from Kolkata, reported 11 infant deaths between Friday and Saturday.

“The children who died were brought to the hospital in a very critical condition. The doctors did their best,” said Nilanjana Sen, the hospital super.

“The extension work of the Special Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) is on and when it is completed children will get better treatment, the mortality rate will also come down,” she added.

 

Locals and relatives of the dead children, however, blamed the deaths on the poor infrastructure and lack of doctors at the Special Newborn Care Unit.

A senior doctor with the hospital, who did not want to be named, admitted there was a shortage of doctors in the paediatric unit.

 UPDATE, JUNE 10, 2013

Thirteen infants have died at the Purulia Sadar Deben Mahato Hospital in Purulia since last Friday, the hospital said on Monday.

Most of the infants were in the age group of 0-11 months, hospital superintendent Nilanjana Sen said. While eight deaths were reported on Friday, three infants died on Saturday and two deaths were reported on Sunday, she added.

The infants, who were brought to the Sadar hospital from the block-level hospitals, were suffering from complications such as low birth weight, malnutrition, dehydration and meningitis, the superintendent said.
Citing the difficulties of the Sadar hospital in treating such patients, Sen said the neo-natal unit has only ten beds, which needs to be increased.

 

On an average, 15-20 infants in serious condition are referred to the Sadar hospital from the block-level hospitals daily, she said.

 

#India – 17 year old abducted and Gang raped in Delhi #Vaw #Rape


RAPE

STAFF REPORTER, The Hindu . June 3, 2013

All three accused, in their 30s, have been arrested

A 17-year-old girl was allegedly abducted by three men in Nangloi while she was out for a stroll near her house on Saturday evening and gang-raped. All three accused, in their 30s, have been arrested in Delhi.

According to the police, the girl, who lives with her parents, had gone for a walk late on Saturday evening after dinner. As she reached an isolated stretch some distance away from her house, a white car came from behind and intercepted her.

The three men sitting inside asked her to get in. Upon her refusal, they allegedly dragged her inside and drove away. She tried to raise an alarm, but they covered her mouth.

“She was then taken to an empty warehouse in the area, where the three men took turns to rape her. Following this, the unconscious victim was dumped close to the spot from where she was abducted,” said a police officer.

When she regained consciousness, she returned home and narrated her ordeal to her parents. The family then approached the police and a case under Section 376 (D) of the Indian Penal Code and Protection of Children from Sexual Offences ct was registered.

Based on the description of the three accused and the vehicle, the police zeroed in on them and arrested them on Sunday. The car has also been seized.

Keywords: NangloiDelhi rapesexual assault

 

 

Manipur – 3 commandos suspended for beating up a patient


PTI  Imphal, June 04, 2013

Three police commandos were suspended for allegedly beating up a patient and five others, who were accompanying him, on the way to a hospital in Bishenpur district of Manipur, police said on Tuesday.

The suspension order of sub-inspector Bung Singh and two constables (all commandos) was issued by the Superintendent of Police of Bishenpur district Radheshyam Singh on Monday.

Khwairakpam Paka (32), under acute pain following detection of stones in his kidney, and his five companions including a woman, were beaten up by the three policemen in an inebriated condition when Paka was being taken from his home at Thanga to a private clinic in Imphal at around 10 pm on Saturday, police said.

Different social organisations had complained to the police about the incident. Three Manipur Rifles personnel and one jawan of India Reserve Battalion were also allegedly involved in the incident.

Respective commanding officers of the Manipur Rifles personnel and IRB jawan have been informed to take action against them, the sources said

 

Attn Delhi/NCR- LBT Helpline – Qashti


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#India – Murder and Gang Rape of School Girls in Jharkhand #Vaw #WTFnews


Jharkhand: No arrest yet after murder and gang rape of two school girls, people launch agitation, block highway

Bhaskar News   |  May 31, 2013,
Jharkhand: No arrest yet after murder and gang rape of two school girls, people launch agitation, block highway

Deoghar: These agitating people are demanding arrest of those responsible for the rape and murder to two girl students in the police-lines. They are demanding that postmortem report should be made public, and the Station House Officer of Jasidih police station should be suspended. Girls went missing near the area on last Saturday, and their bodies were found near a pond behind police line on Monday.

The mob managed to close most of the shops in the local market. Some people even pelted stones at a public transport bus. Jasidih Deoghar and Rohini road remained closed for nearly eight hours.

SDM, and CO of the area reached the spot to pacify the people, but no one was willing to hear them.

People had got agitated earlier also on Monday when dead bodies were found. That time police managed to calm down people after giving an assurance to arrest the culprits within 24-hours. But when police failed to live up to the promise, people decided to hit the road again.

CPI (M) leader Birinda Karat met the family members of the victims. She also met agitating people and extended her support to them. She threatened to launch agitation if culprits were not arrested immediately. She claimed that this case is as tragic as Delhi gang rape in which a medical student died after being gang raped in a moving bus.

 

Chattisgarh- After Maoist Attack , Police dismantle big camp in Sukma


RAIPUR, May 30, 2013

Suvojit Bagchi, The Hindu 

Within 72 hours of Saturday night’s devastating Maoist strike, Chhattisgarh police have removed one of their biggest camps from Minapa in Sukma district, located deep inside the forest, possibly fearing another attack. File photo

PTI Within 72 hours of Saturday night’s devastating Maoist strike, Chhattisgarh police have removed one of their biggest camps from Minapa in Sukma district, located deep inside the forest, possibly fearing another attack. File photo
SLIDESHOW

A Congress convoy, returning from the party’s Parivartan Yatra (transformation rally), on May 25, 2013 was waylaid near Darbha forest in Jagdalpur. At least 16 people were killed and 25 others were injured. Picture shows view outside the hospital in Raipur.

 

Questions surface about the wisdom of setting it up

Within 72 hours of Saturday night’s devastating Maoist strike, Chhattisgarh police have removed one of their biggest camps, from Minapa in Sukma district, located deep inside the forest, possibly fearing another attack. The camp was removed lock, stock, and barrel on Tuesday, 15 days after it was set up. Reportedly, it housed a thousand personnel.

Till last week, police officers were talking about the camp as a major strategic advance in the direction of the Andhra Pradesh border. But repeated firing by rebels on the camp had clearly put the police on the back foot.

Constables and junior officers on the ground believe that the Minapa camp, 50 km south of Sukma, had a vital link to the Darbha attack on Saturday, which saw the death of 27 Congress workers and leaders. “All attention was focussed on reaching supplies and facilities to Minapa,” said one officer.

Sources said the camp was a fine example of “horrendous planning.” It was set up even as the monsoon was approaching. “The camp should have been set up in October or November, so that it would have been well-established by the time the monsoon arrived,” said a constable.

The camp lacked even basic facilities such as toilets. There were no shade-trees to give cover — from rain, heat or stray firing. Personnel were spending their nights virtually in the open in an area largely controlled by Maoists.

Some constables told The Hindu that casualties were growing. “They went out to defecate and got shot. One died of bullet injuries and another got shot. One died of snake bite; there was no anti-venom available,” said one of them.

Constables alleged they were virtually left in the jungle to rot and die. “We were left in an open space, in the forest, in temperatures above 47 degrees, and told to set up facilities, to defend ourselves and go on the offensive. This was absurd,” said one.

Moreover, some of them were brought from the plains of Chhattisgarh. They had limited knowledge of the terrain and often suffered from dehydration. One officer said the camp was intended to be in place only for 15 to 20 days. “It was an experiment carried out to place an additional camp in the Maoist hotbed for two weeks during the Tactical Counter Offensive Campaign (TCOC) of the Maoists, so that we can engage them while they are busy planning,” he said. But the Maoist TCOC continues.

Director General of Police Ram Niwas defended the camp project. “We clearly achieved what we wanted to achieve. The Maoists were pushed back [during the TCOC],” he said.

Mr. Niwas was not ready to accept the views put forward by the constables. “There are officers with decades of experience who designed the plan and worked on it, and we achieved our target. If constables start finalising plans, how are we going to operate?”

 

Son molests Dalit girl, father sets her ablaze in Madhya Pradesh #Vaw #WTFnews


Last Updated: Sunday, May 19, 2013,
Zee Media Bureau

Bhopal: In a shocking incident, a 15-year-old Dalit girl was set afire by a youth’s father whose son was arrested by police on molestation charges filed by the victim.

Reports indicate the Dalit girl suffered 90 percent burn injuries and is battling for her life at a hospital in Bhopal.

The teenage girl was molested by the youth when she had gone out of house for some work, following which her family lodged a FIR against the accused.

Enraged with his son’s arrest, the youth’s father reached at the girl’s place on Saturday and poured kerosene on her and set her ablaze.

The police have registered attempt to murder case against the person.

 

Delhi refuses to Learn – 13-yr-old gangraped by eight men in Delhi, 393 rape cases in first 3 months 2013


IANS  New Delhi, April 20, 2013

 A

 13-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by eight men, four of whom were known to her, police said on Saturday. The incident comes even as the capital is witnessing outrage over the horrific rape of a five-year-old girl.

Three of the eight men have been arrested.

The victim and her 12-year-old brother were abducted by two men known to her on March 15 from outside her house at Farsh Bazar area in east Delhi and taken to Loni in the city outskirts, where she was gangraped by the eight, a police officer said.

 Four of the eight accused were known to the girl, the officer added.

Police arrested three accused – Deepak, 21, Ranjeet (20) and Sohan Lal (24) – Saturday, following medical examination of the victim April 15.

The victim is undergoing treatment at the Hedgewar Hospital in east Delhi.

According to a police officer, the father approached police after she went missing, but did not file a rape complaint after she returned home.

A search is on to nab the other accused, the officer added.

Meanwhile, the girl’s family alleged that police had refused to lodge their complaint.

On March 24, the girl returned home and the family approached the police, the mother said.

Failing to get any response from police, the family approached the local court April 9 which then ordered police to lodge a rape case.

The five-year-old girl was brutally raped for two days and kept without food and water in a room in which the accused, her neighbour, lived. She was rescued Wednesday when her family heard her screams. The accused has been arrested from Bihar.

Delhi has seen 393 rapes in the first three months of the year.

 

Rajasthan: Student gangraped by sacked cops #Vaw


PTI
Jaipur, March 11, 2013

RAPE

A 20-year-old girl was allegedly gangraped by two sacked jawans of Rajasthan Police Constabulary, police said in Jaipur.

“The girl was with her friend on a motorbike on March 7 when the accused, also on motorcycle, chased and stopped them near Rawatbhata road. The accused

identified as Mohan Singh and Jai Kumar, posing as policemen, sought papers of the motorbike and asked the couple to come to a police outpost with them saying that they were roaming in suspicious circumstances,” SHO Dadabadi police station-Kota, Dharmendra Kumar said on Monday.

“The couple was forced to sit on Jai Kumar’s motorcycle, while Mohan Singh drove the boy’s bike to an isolated area where they beat the boy and took turns to rape the girl,” he said.

After the incident, the couple reported the matter to the police and an FIR was lodged.

Mohan Singh was arrested on Saturday, he said, adding he was sent to judicial custody till March 16.

Another accused Jai Kumar is still absconding and a hunt is on to arrest him, he said.

The girl was living in a rented accommodation in Kota city and attending medical coaching classes.

Both the accused, who are local residents, were the RAC jawans and they were terminated from the services in 2006 for their involvement in a robbery case, the SHO, who is the investigating officer, sai