wiki globe

Posts Tagged ‘executes’

Hamas executes 2 suspected informers for Israel

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 8:49 am

 The Hamas government on Thursday executed two men accused of collaborating with Israel, signaling an escalation in the militant Palestinian group’s method of controlling the Gaza Strip.


It was the first time the death penalty has been carried out in Gaza since Hamas violently seized power in the coastal area in 2007.


The bullet-riddled bodies of the men, convicted by military tribunals in 2008 and 2009, were dumped by armed men at Gaza City’s main hospital before dawn on Thursday, a hospital employee said. A brother of one of the men said both families were summoned to the prison late Wednesday for a visit but were not told of the pending executions.


The killings drew condemnations from human rights groups and were likely to deepen Hamas’ international isolation. Human rights groups have criticized the Hamas military tribunals, saying they often rely on confessions obtained through torture.


Amnesty International called the military proceedings unfair and said it was “gravely concerned” about the fate of other Palestinian prisoners held by Hamas.


Three more convicted informers remain on death row in Gaza, along with six murderers. Six other men have been sentenced to death in absentia, according to the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights.


In addition, Amnesty International and other human rights organizations accused Hamas gunmen of killing suspected collaborators during the chaos surrounding Israel’s Gaza offensive in the winter of 2008-2009.


During the war, 17 people were found dead after fleeing a Gaza prison damaged in an Israeli airstrike. Most had been held as suspected collaborators.


Palestinian law allows the death penalty for those convicted of collaborating with Israel and other offenses. Technically, execution orders require a signature by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Since taking office in 2005, Abbas has signed such an order once, approving the execution of four convicted murderers in June 2005.


Hamas’ takeover of Gaza left Abbas’ Western-backed government in control only of the West Bank, and Hamas did not ask for or receive Abbas’ approval for Thursday’s executions.


Ghassan Khatib, a spokesman for Abbas’ government in the West Bank, said Hamas has made many changes to Gaza’s legal system since its violent takeover.


“For us, all its resolutions and activities are illegal and unacceptable,” Khatib said, adding that carrying out an execution without Abbas’ approval deepens the Palestinian rift.


The executions were announced by Ahmed Atallah, the head of Gaza’s military court. In a statement on the Hamas Interior Ministry Web site, Atallah said the two defendants had provided information to Israel and helped with attacks on Gaza militants for several years.


Atallah said Mohammed Ismail, 36, was convicted of planting devices in the cars of militants, presumably to help track them. Nasser Abu Freh, 33, a former Palestinian police captain before the Hamas takeover, allegedly started receiving money to work with Israel in 1998.


A brother of one of the men said both families were summoned by Hamas police for a prison visit late Wednesday but were not told of the pending executions.


He said his family was called back to the prison after daybreak Thursday and was briefly shown the body, covered by a sheet from the nose down. He said the family was not allowed to take the body, but was later informed his brother had been buried in a Gaza cemetery. He spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for his safety.


Israel’s Shin Bet security service maintains a network of informers in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Collaborators are often recruited through blackmail, payment or the promise of entry and work permits to Israel.

Source: SGGP

China executes Japanese drug smuggler: state media

In Uncategorized on April 6, 2010 at 8:58 am

China executed a convicted Japanese drug smuggler on Tuesday, making him the first Japanese citizen to be put to death in the country since diplomatic ties were re-established in 1972.


Mitsunobu Akano, 65, was executed in the northeastern province of Liaoning, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting an announcement from China’s top court, the Supreme People’s Court.


Tokyo confirmed that Chinese officials had informed Japanese diplomats of the execution shortly after it took place. Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama again said the case was “regrettable”.


Akano was arrested in September 2006 at an airport in the northeastern city of Dalian while reportedly trying to smuggle 2.5 kilograms (5.5 pounds) of narcotics from China to Japan.


“The courts had clear and irrefutable evidence of drug smuggling and the death sentence was handed down and carried out in line with Chinese law,” Xinhua quoted the announcement saying.


It said Akano had been “treated legally”.


The report said some of the drugs were in the luggage of an accomplice but gave no other details on that person.


Officials at China’s supreme court did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


Akano was initially sentenced to death in June 2008 and the punishment was upheld last year, Chinese state media have said.


Hatoyama, speaking Tuesday before receiving confirmation of the execution, said: “It is regrettable from the Japanese point of view, even if the legal systems are different. But there isn’t much that Japan can do about this.”


Justice Minister Keiko Chiba expressed concern that the case “could trigger a backlash from the Japanese public”, according to Jiji Press.


Beijing has informed Japan it plans to execute three more Japanese drug smugglers as early as Thursday — Teruo Takeda, 67, from Nagoya city; Hironori Ukai, 48, from Gifu prefecture; and Katsuo Mori, 67, of Fukushima prefecture.


Japan uses capital punishment, usually in cases involving multiple homicides.


Last week, rights group Amnesty International called on Beijing to say publicly how many people it puts to death each year, saying the figure was likely in the “thousands” and more than the rest of the world combined.


Such data is not released by China, where it is considered a state secret.


In December, China executed Briton Akmal Shaikh, a 53-year-old father-of-three convicted of drug smuggling. Supporters said he was mentally ill and London repeatedly urged Beijing to grant clemency.


China has slowly been reforming its death penalty system after acknowledging several miscarriages of justice.


At the beginning of 2007, the Supreme People’s Court began reviewing every death penalty case rather than allowing lower courts to issue the final judgement — a move that China says has led to fewer executions.


Amnesty’s Japanese chapter said China’s capital punishment system had “many serious problems” and called on Beijing not to follow through with the executions of the three other Japanese nationals.


 

Source: SGGP

China executes Briton over drugs; Brown slams decision

In World on December 29, 2009 at 11:13 am

 China on Tuesday executed a British citizen caught smuggling heroin, the British Foreign Office said, in a move quickly condemned by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.


Akmal Shaikh‘s family and the British government had appealed for clemency, arguing the former businessman suffered from bipolar disorder. The Chinese supreme court rejected the appeal saying there was insufficient grounds.


“I condemn the execution of Akmal Shaikh in the strongest terms, and am appalled and disappointed that our persistent requests for clemency have not been granted,” Brown said in a statement issued by the British Foreign Office.


“I am particularly concerned that no mental health assessment was undertaken.”


China had yet to publicly confirm Shaikh had been executed in the western city of Urumqi at the time Brown made the statement. Shaikh had been due to be executed on Tuesday morning.


Shaikh was still “hopeful” when relatives met him in Urumqi this weekend, his cousin Soohail Shaikh told reporters at Beijing airport late on Monday night.


“We beg the Chinese authorities for mercy and clemency to help reunite the heartbroken family,” Soohail Shaikh had said.


Brown last week asked China not to execute Shaikh, who was born in Pakistan and moved to Britain as a boy. While not leading to any diplomatic rift, the case could harden public opinion in Britain against China, and also rile Chinese public opinion.


The two countries recently traded accusations over the troubled Copenhagen climate change negotiations.


Shaikh’s defenders, including British rights group Reprieve which lobbies against the death penalty, say he was tricked into smuggling the heroin by a gang who promised to make him a pop star. Arrested in 2007, a Chinese court rejected his final appeal on December 21.


Reprieve posted on the Internet a recording Shaikh made of a song, “Come Little Rabbit”, which it described as “dreadful” but which Shaikh believed would be an international hit and help bring about world peace.


He would be the first European citizen to be executed in China since 1951, Western rights groups say.


Shaikh’s family says he suffered from bipolar disorder, and was tricked into becoming a mule by a smuggling gang who promised him a music recording contract.


“This is not about how much we hate the drug trade. Britain as well as China are completely committed to take it on,” the British Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, said in a statement emailed to reporters. “The issue is whether Mr. Shaikh has become an additional victim of it.”


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

China executes 2 for role in tainted milk scandal

In World on November 25, 2009 at 10:46 am

China executed a dairy farmer and a milk salesman Tuesday for their roles in the sale of contaminated baby formula — severe punishments that Beijing hopes will assuage public anger, reassure importers and put to rest one of the country’s worst food safety crises.








In this Sept. 18, 2008 file photo, a child cries as he waits for ultrasonic scan to detect for problems related to consuming tainted milk formula at a hospital, in Shijiazhuang, northern China’s Hebei province. (AFP Photo)

The men were the only people put to death in a scheme to boost profits by lacing milk powder with the industrial chemical melamine; 19 other people were convicted and received lesser sentences. At least six children died after drinking the adulterated formula, and more than 300,000 were sickened.


Beijing has responded swiftly and comprehensively to eliminate problems in its food production chain that have spawned protests at home and threatened its export-reliant economy. The milk powder contamination struck a nerve with the public because so many children were affected, but was only one in a series of product recalls and embarrassing disclosures of lax public health safeguards.


Melamine, which is used to make plastics and fertilizers, has also been found added to pet food, eggs and fish feed, although not in levels considered dangerous to humans. The chemical, which like protein is high in nitrogen, fooled inspectors. It can cause kidney stones and kidney failure.


China has tightened regulations and increased inspections on producers and exporters in cooperation with U.S. officials, who have noted a drop in the number of product recalls on Chinese exports.


But Beijing continues to struggle to regulate small and illegally run operations, often blamed for introducing chemicals and additives into the food chain. The country has 450,000 registered food production and processing enterprises, but many — about 350,000 — employ just 10 people or fewer. The U.N. said in a report last year that the small enterprises present many of China’s greatest food safety challenges.


Zhang Yujun, the farmer, was executed for endangering public safety, and Geng Jinping for producing and selling toxic food, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.


Much of the phony protein powder that Zhang and Geng produced and sold ended up at the defunct Sanlu Group Co., at the time one of China’s biggest dairies.


Xinhua said an announcement of the execution had been issued by the Shijiazhuang Municipal Intermediate People’s Court, although a court clerk who answered the phone Tuesday said he was unable to confirm the sentences had been carried out. Most executions in China are performed by firing squad.


Of the others tried and sentenced in January in the scandal, Sanlu’s general manager, Tian Wenhua, was given a life sentence after pleading guilty to charges of producing and selling fake or substandard products.


Three other former Sanlu executives were given between five years and 15 years in prison.


There was outrage after news spread of the doctored milk in September 2008, both because of the extent of the contamination and allegations that the government prevented the news from breaking until after the Olympic Games in Beijing.


The cover-up accusations were never publicly investigated, and authorities have since harassed and detained activist parents pushing lawsuits demanding higher compensation and the punishment of government officials. Families were offered a one-time payout — ranging from of 2,000 yuan ($293) to 200,000 yuan ($29,000), depending on the severity of the case — to not pursue lawsuits.


Tuesday’s executions brought some comfort to Li Xinquan, who lost one of her 8-month-old twin daughters who was fed with melamine-tainted formula from Sanlu. Li has campaigned to force authorities to admit negligence and provide fair compensation.


“They deserved it. This is the punishment they have received from the government,” said Li, whose other daughter survived because she was breast fed.


Another parent, Wang Zhenping, also voiced satisfaction with the executions, reflecting strong support for the death penalty in China, which executes more people annually than the rest of the world combined.


Wang, who said his 2-year-old son appeared to have recovered from melamine poisoning, rejected the compensation offer and said he was growing weary of the struggle.


“I feel like it doesn’t really matter now,” he said.


U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said last month that Beijing has made progress in increasing product safety.


The numbers of consumer recalls of toys imported from China had fallen from more than 80 in fiscal 2008 to about 40 in fiscal 2009, Tenenbaum said.


“Chinese suppliers and U.S. importers are now on notice from both governments that it is a mistake to depend on good intentions and a few final inspections to ensure compliance with safety requirements,” she told a conference in Beijing.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share