In this episode of Truth in Media, Ben Swann explores the origin of ISIS that has already been long forgotten by American media. Swann takes on the central issue of whether or not ISIS was created by “inaction” by the United States government or by “direct” action.
Saudi authorities executed a Pakistani man on Sunday for attempting to smuggle drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said.
Up to 129 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, including the latest execution, compared with 87 for the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies.
Mohammed Sharif was arrested while attempting to smuggle heroin into the country hidden in his stomach, the ministry said in a statement published on the SPA state news agency.
He was executed in the Quwaiya district, near Riyadh.
Most people sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded, but sometimes executions are carried out by firing squad.
Amnesty International on Tuesday appealed for a moratorium on executions in Saudi Arabia, criticising the kingdom’s “deeply flawed judicial system”.
Under Saudi Arabia’s strict Islamic legal code, drug trafficking, murder, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.
Amnesty says Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prolific executioners, along with China, Iran, Iraq and the United States.
Source: Agence France-Presse, August 31, 2015
The inhuman mullahs’ regime in Iran hanged 16 prisoners in various cities on August 26, 27 and 29.
On August 26, in addition to the criminal execution of political prisoner Mr. Behrouz Alkhani in Urumia Prison, twelve other prisoners were collectively hanged in prisons in Kermanshah and Urumia. The Iranian regime has so far refrained from publishing information on those executed.
On August 27, Jamal Ja’afari, from the city of Sanadaj, was hanged after suffering four years imprisonment in this city. Similarly, on August 29, two prisoners were hanged in prisons in Bandar Abbas and Khorramabad. Abdollah Zarei, 25, who was hanged in Bandar Abbas was from Minab County, Hormozgan Province. A 23-year-old prisoner was also transferred to solitary confinement along with Zarei in preparation for execution, but there is no news about his fate.
These executions that demonstrate the regime’s fear of growing social protests are merely a minute section of the nationwide suppression of the Iranian people that is being implemented in an escalating manner during Rouhani’s tenure, the so-called “moderate” president of the Iranian regime. The number of these executions has now surpassed 2000 during Rouhani’s presidency.
The silence and inaction of the international community in the face of the collective executions by the mullahs, concurrent with visits by senior European officials to Iran to pave the way for trade contracts with the mullahs’ inhuman and anti-Iranian regime is tantamount to encouraging this regime to continue with its crimes and collaboration with this regime.
Source: Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, August 30, 2015
Indonesia’s struggling economy could be one reason why there has been little word of the country’s next round of executions, according to the lead lawyer for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Australians Chan and Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine, were among several foreigners shot dead in April.
According to high-profile Indonesian lawyer and professor Todung Mulya Lubis, who has been in Australia to talk about an ongoing campaign against the death penalty, it is too early to say if the economic slowdown was contributing to a de facto moratorium.
“But I believe that Jokowi now realises that he has to pay the price for those two executions,” Professor Lubis said.
Late last year Indonesian president Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, said there would be no clemency for more than 60 people convicted of drugs offences, and two rounds of executions were carried out in the early part of 2015.
Indonesia’s economic growth has now dipped below 5 per cent for two consecutive quarters this year, and much needed foreign investment is yet to pour in to help build up the nation’s depleted infrastructure.
“The economy is not good at the moment,” Professor Lubis said.
“We have a problem with our debt, you know, the balance. We have a problem with the weakening of the Indonesian currency.
“We have a problem with declining exports to other countries. And we cannot afford to have another execution, as simple as that.”
The shooting of Chan and Sukumaran and several others, including a Brazilian man with mental health issues, saw substantial international pressure, including from the United Nations, put on the president.
The first round of executions in February resulted in a diplomatic stoush with Brazil, with some Indonesian politicians raising the idea of trade recriminations.
Mr Widodo was also supported domestically for pushing back against what was seen to be international meddling and for taking a strong stance against the drug trade.
Widodo ‘knows new investment is not coming’
In the lead-up to the execution Mr Widodo was quietly advised by some prominent Indonesians of the damage using the death penalty could cause to relations with other countries including Australia, Holland, France and Brazil.
Now, with Indonesia recording its lowest economic growth rate for six years, investors are generally staying on the sidelines, waiting to see if the new government can deliver reforms, including dealing with regulatory certainty.
Professor Lubis is also known for his work with large corporate entities, and said he was seeing first-hand the nervousness in the business community about government policies.
“Jokowi realises, he understands, new investment is not coming to Indonesia,” he said.
“Even the existing investment cannot be maintained. They may go any time.
“And I as a lawyer come across that. I know some of the companies … are considering leaving, so that is not very good.”
“I know some of the companies we work with are considering leaving.”
A Frenchman and a Filipino woman escaped the firing squad in late April, and Indonesia’s attorney-general has signalled a third round of executions has not yet been scheduled.
A 59-year-old British woman is among those facing the death penalty as part of the president’s hardline stance.
Source: ABC News, Helen Brown, August 31, 2015
China’s top legislature on Saturday adopted amendments to the Criminal Law, removing the death penalty for nine crimes, and ruling out commutation for most corrupt figures.
The 9 crimes punishable by death include smuggling weapons, ammunition, nuclear materials or counterfeit currency; counterfeiting currency; raising funds by means of fraud; arranging for or forcing another person to engage in prostitution; obstructing a police officer or a person on duty from performing his duties; and fabricating rumors to mislead others during wartime.
After removing the death penalty for these crimes, those convicted will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The amendments were voted in by lawmakers at the end of a six-day bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.
The move to limit the use of the death penalty comes in the wake of judicial reform pushed forward by the Communist Party of China in recent years to gradually reduce the number of crimes subject to the penalty.
It is the second time China has reduced the number of crimes punishable by death since the Criminal Law took effect in 1979.
In 2011, the NPC Standing Committee dropped the death penalty for 13 economic-related non-violent crimes including smuggling cultural relics, gold and silver; carrying out fraud related to financial bills; forging or selling forged exclusive value-added tax invoices; teaching criminal methods; and robbing ancient cultural ruins.
Under the amended Criminal Law, which will take effect on Nov. 1, the number of crimes punishable by death is 46.
According to the amendments, criminals convicted on serious corruption charges who have received a 2-year suspended death sentence will face life imprisonment after the 2 years.
This aims to “safeguard judicial fairness” and prevent “the most corrupt criminals from serving shorter prison terms through commutation,” according to the top legislature.
It targets officials who illegally seek commutation, parole or non-prison sentences.
The amendments also impose tougher sentences for assaults on police officers on duty and clarify the crime of contempt of court, so as to safeguard judicial authority.
Nine lawyers were recently taken under coercive measures, after they used Beijing Fengrui law firm as a platform to provoke trouble and disturb social order.
According to the current law, lawyers can be disbarred if they are convicted of disrupting or interfering with due proceedings or inciting others to raise trouble.
The new law adds crimes regarding cyber security, enhancing protection of citizens’ personal information and ascertaining responsibilities for Internet service providers failing to fulfill duties of network security management.
The revised law says that those counterfeiting passports, social security cards and driving licenses will also face punishment.
Organizing cheating in exams and bringing civil litigations based on fabricated facts to pursue illegitimate interests, are also listed as crimes that are punishable by imprisonment up to 7 years.
In its stipulations against terrorism, the revised law adds several items to crack down more heavily on terrorism.
Those promoting terrorism and extremism by producing and distributing related materials, releasing information, instructing in person or through audio, video or information networks will face more than 5 years in prison in serious cases. Those who instigate violent terror activities will also face the same punishment.
Harsher punishment will also be imposed on those involved in cults. In serious cases, the maximum punishment may be extended to life imprisonment, the new law says. Previously, the maximum sentence for those found guilty of cult-related crimes was 15 years in prison.
Source: CRIEnglish, August 30, 2015
Chad executed by firing squad 10 members of Boko Haram on Saturday, the security minister said, marking the 1st use of the death penalty since the country bolstered its anti-terror measures last month.
The 10 men were sentenced to death on Friday after being convicted of crimes including murder and the use of explosives.
They were killed at around 11 a.m., Ahmat Mahamat Bachir, the security minister, said Saturday.
Those killed included Bahna Fanaye, alias Mahamat Moustapha, who Chadian officials have described as a leader of the Nigeria-based group.
Chad has vowed to take a leading role in a regional force to fight Boko Haram that is also expected to include soldiers from Cameroon, Benin and Niger in addition to Nigeria. Boko Haram has targeted Nigeria’s neighbors in regular attacks this year.
In June and July Chad’s capital, N’Djamena, was rocked by a series of suicide attacks that killed dozens of people – the 1st such attacks since Boko Haram threatened the country earlier this year.
In 1 attack, suicide bombers on motorcycles targeted 2 buildings in the capital. In another, a man disguised as a woman wearing a burqa detonated a bomb outside the city’s main market.
Last September, Chad drew praise from rights groups for a draft penal code that abolished capital punishment.
The International Federation for Human Rights said at the time that the country had observed a moratorium on the death penalty since 1991 with the exception of 9 executions that took place in November 2003. But anti-terror measures approved by lawmakers last month in response to the recent attacks brought the death penalty back.
Source: Associated Press, August 30, 2015
A court hearing in Pakistan tomorrow (31st) could decide whether the government should be allowed to execute a severely disabled man.
Abdul Basit, 43, was convicted and sentenced to death for murder in 2009. In 2010, he contracted tubercular meningitis in prison, which left him paralyzed from the waist down. A Government-appointed medical board recently confirmed that Basit has no use of his lower limbs and is “bed bound with urinary and fecal incontinence.” Despite being unable to stand, and reliant on a wheelchair, the Pakistani authorities have issued a ‘Black Warrant’ for his execution – part of a wave of hangings in Pakistan that has seen over 200 prisoners killed since December 2014.
At a hearing in July, the Lahore High Court ordered a stay of execution for Basit, after his lawyers argued that his execution would constitute cruel and unusual punishment – violating the fundamental right to human dignity enshrined in Pakistan’s Constitution. Tomorrow’s hearing will decide whether the stay should be extended, or whether the Pakistani authorities should be permitted to execute Basit. There are no provisions for the execution of disabled prisoners in Pakistan’s execution protocol.
Pakistan has the largest death row in the world, at over 8,000 prisoners. The government has claimed that the hangings are necessary to deter ‘terrorists’, but recent reports have revealed that the vast majority of those already executed had no links to terrorism.
Commenting, Kate Higham, Pakistan caseworker at Reprieve, said: “There has, quite rightly, been an outcry at the Pakistani authorities’ insistence on hanging a severely disabled man. It is appalling that the government is trying to push through its plans to kill Basit, when the only result would be a grotesque, cruel spectacle – and the pointless loss of yet another life. It’s to be hoped that the court puts a halt to these grisly plans – but the international community must also step in and urge Pakistan to end this terrible wave of executions.”
Source: Reprieve, August 30, 2015