Worldwide rise in death sentences

admin   •   April 2, 2015   •   1867

FILE PHOTO: An execution chamber (Jenevieve Robbins/Reuters)

An Amnesty International report has shown a rise in the amount of people sentenced to death worldwide.

Governments punishing crime and “terrorism” with capital punishment is responsible for a 28% rise in death sentences worldwide, a report released by Amnesty International said today.

The number of death sentences climbed from 1,925 in 2013 to 2,466 last year, an increase amnesty attributed to states seeking to tackle crime, terrorism and internal stability.

Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues, Amnesty International said, ”If we look at the increase in death sentences, a lot of that is explained by Egypt and Nigeria; two countries where death sentences rose sharply during the year. In Nigeria, death sentences were for murder or aggravated robbery, but some were against soldiers accused of mutiny in the context of the conflict with Boko Haram and obviously the death sentences in Egypt. The mass death sentences, were widely reported in 2014,”

In 2014, an Egyptian court sentenced more than 500 members of the outlawed Muslim brotherhood group to death, in what has become the largest mass death sentence in modern history.

Nigeria imposed 659 sentences last year, with some used to prosecute soldiers who had refused to participate in fighting militants Boko Haram.

“Pakistan lifted a moratorium on the death penalty in December in response to the massacre of 141 people in a Peshawar school; hanging several militants believed to be responsible for the attack,” said Gaughran.

However over the course of past year the number of people confirmed to have been executed globally dropped by 22%, falling to 607 from 778 in 2013.

Amnesty notes, this figure excludes China, which keeps death penalty statistics secret, but is believed to execute thousands of people each year.

Similarly, many executions are thought to have taken place in secret in North Korea.

Amnesty’s report said that China was the worst offender worldwide.

Gaughran added, ”We haven’t published figures on China since 2009; rather what we decided to do was challenge the government of China each year. Tell the world how many people you are executing and how many people you’re sentencing to death.”

Gaughran condemned governments using capital punishment as a deterrent for crime.

”The death penalty is not a deterrent to crime and terrorism. There is no evidence to support that contention. In fact, studies by the UN and studies done across different regions in the world show that the death penalty is no more of a deterrent than terms of imprisonment. So governments using that line, that the death penalty is a deterrent, are deceiving the public.”

140 countries including the Philippines have so far abolished capital punishment, with others looking set to follow in 2015.

Gaughran said that amnesty is moving closer to their goal of ending the death penalty. (RAY CONSOLACION/UNTV News)

North Korea fires projectile; tells UN it has ‘right to test weapons’

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 28, 2021

North Korea on Tuesday  fired an unidentified projectile into the Sea of Japan.

Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato during a press conference on Tuesday confirmed that a suspected ballistic missile was launched from inland North Korea.

He said Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has already released instructions in response to the launch.

“This imposes a huge threat to the safety and stability of our country and the region and it is a serious issue faced by the international community. We will continue to gather and analyze information and be fully prepared with vigilance,” Kato said.

No harm to Japanese aircraft or ships has been reported in the latest incident, he added.

The Japanese official also said that they have begun intelligence analysis and gathering to ensure the safety of their aircraft, vessels and other assets. Kato assured that Japan will take all possible precautionary measures including readiness for contingencies.

Meanwhile, North Korea reiterated at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly that it has the right to test weapons.

“Nobody can deny the righteous right to self-defense for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to develop, test, manufacture and possess the weapon systems equivalent to the ones which are possessed or being developed by them [South Korea and the United States],” said Kim Song, permanent representative of the DPRK to the United Nations.

Song also urged the US to withdraw its “hostile policy” toward his country so as to “contribute to the peace and stability of the Korean peninsula and the world.” AAC

DFA calls on North Korea to comply with int’l obligations after ballistic missile launch

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Following the ballistic missile launch of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) on March 25, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has reiterated its call for the country to comply with international laws.

The Foreign Department, in a statement on Friday (March 31), expressed concern over DPRK’s latest ballistic missile launch saying the actions undermine regional peace and stability, not only in the Korean Peninsula, but also in the entire region.

The department said the DPRK should abide by the obligation under the resolutions set by the United Nations Security Council.

Two missiles were launched by North Korea into the sea near Japan on Thursday (March 25). AAC

Pyongyang disinfects the city after North Korea introduced tougher curbs against coronavirus

UNTV News   •   July 29, 2020

North Korea’s state-run television on Tuesday (July 28) released a video of Pyongyang workers disinfecting the city as the state introduced tougher curbs against the coronavirus, after it locked down the town Kaesong, on the border with the South, to tackle what could be its first publicly confirmed infection.

Strict quarantine measures and the screening of districts were in progress and test kits, protective clothing and medical equipment were being supplied, the North’s KCNA state news agency said.

The measures come after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency on Sunday (July 26) after a person who defected to South Korea three years ago returned across the highly fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) to Kaesong this month with symptoms of COVID-19, KCNA reported.

Reclusive North Korea had reported testing 1,211 people for the virus as of July 16 with all returning negative results, the World Health Organisation said in a statement sent to Reuters. The report said 696 nationals were under quarantine. (Reuters)

(Production: Minwoo Park)

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