Amnesty: Mandatory death penalty 'cracking' after drug law changes

Amnesty International lauds strides by Africa to scrap death penalty

Amnesty International lauds strides by Africa to scrap death penalty

Launching the Amnesty International's Death Sentence and Executions 2017 Report in Accra Thursday, International Board Member of Amnesty International, Dr. Vincent Adzahlie-Mensah said the death penalty is a wicked and torturous punishment that must not be practiced by Ghana. "The executions were carried out for murder (240); drug trafficking (205); murder and rape 4; robbery 11; "spreading corruption on earth" 2; rape (male on female rape) 16; kidnapping and murder 3;moharebeh (politically motivated) (2); and 19 were for offences that could not be confirmed", the AI reported.

Speaking at the release of the group's annual death penalty report, Chiara Sangiorgio, Amnesty International's adviser on the death penalty, said, "What was noticeable past year was that the government breached some of its own practices as we saw people who were applying for a retrial being executed".

"We know that by galvanising the support of people worldwide, we can stand up to this cruel punishment and end the death penalty everywhere".

"We consider this report, as totally undeserving and a joke taken too far by Amnesty International, at the expense of Nigeria's internal security and sovereignty".

A number of countries actually resumed executions in 2017: Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

Speaking at the launch of the 2017 Global Death Penalty Report in Accra, Country Director of Amnesty International, Robert Amoafo Akoto revealed that seven people were sentenced to death in only 2017 but Ghana's prisons are now holding a total of 160 persons on death row, including six foreigners.

Amnesty International added, "For the first time in many years Amnesty International recorded more executions for murder than for drug-related offences". The organization believes Beijing carried out thousands of executions a year ago, but the exact figure remains classified as a state secret.

However, Amnesty International has observed that there has been "a slight decrease (5%) in execution figures" in Iran compared to 2016.

Amy Maguire, a senior lecturer in human right laws at Newcastle University, told SBS News countries with high execution numbers are often tied to a willingness to execute people for nonviolent crimes.

Woman attacks 2 people after dog eats her marijuana, OH police say
A North Carolina woman became a mother in the most unexpected way - by adopting the baby of a pregnant woman she met on a plane. Two other accomplices were convicted of similar charges, and were sentenced to three years and four years in prison.

"The death penalty is a symptom of a culture of violence, not a solution to it", commented Salil Shetty, Amnesty's secretary-general.

"If the state doesn't use the justice system that we have been ordained by God to do", she explained, "the people are gonna take the matter into their own hands, and that's one of my biggest concerns".

"We remain highly concerned about the continued practice of the death penalty [in Iran] in clear violation of protections established by worldwide law and standards", Chiara Sangiorgio, Amnesty International's adviser on the death penalty, told RFE/RL.

In Iran and Iraq, the report says, "confessions" of guilt reportedly obtained through torture were broadcast on television before the trial took place, in violation of the presumption of innocence. In addition to Guinea, Mongolia also abolished death penalty in 2017 and Guatemala did same but in a manner restricted to common crimes.

At least 15 countries imposed or implemented the death penalty for drug-related crime previous year.

A senior public prosecutor, Syed Naeem, who represented the state in the trial, said: "The anti-terrorism court sentenced the convict under section 376 to death and fined him Rs 200,000, sentenced him to death and fiend him Rs200,000 under 302, and also sentenced him to death and fined him Rs200,000 under section 7 of the ATA".

But Amnesty International says these figures may not be accurate.

Kenya also has not executed any death-row inmates since 1987.

"It is still unclear what impact they will have on reducing the number of people executed", said AI Malaysia interim executive director Gwen Lee at the national launch of the AI global report today.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.