Tag Archives: Human Rights

Death Penalty, Yes or No? Vote!


I’ve just read an amazing article about the Death Penalty in India and like its author I’m totally against all forms of Capital Punishment. Still, I am interested in what my readers are thinking about this topic, so I made a poll where you can vote for or against the Death Penalty. Of course the voting is totally anonymous, so don’t worry about me seeing your name/IP address or anything like that.
Please leave a comment here if you want to say something more about this issue. Below you can find “Reasons against the death penalty” with a few comments by me and also the article I mentioned above.

 


Reasons against the death penalty (by antideathpenalty.org)

1. Executions cost more than life in prison.
$2 million per person vs. $500,000 (4x as much!). Free counsel for defense, for appeals, maximum security on a separate death row wing.
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“The Arab Spring Is Coming to China.”


Senator John McCain, right, and the Chinese vice foreign minister, Zhang Zhijun. | Andreas Gebert/European Pressphoto Agency

HONG KONG — The former Republican presidential nominee, Senator John McCain, told one of China’s most senior diplomats on Saturday that “the Arab Spring is coming to China,” pointing to the wave of Tibetans setting themselves on fire in China.

With the news Sunday of three more Tibetan self-immolations, at least 18 ethnic Tibetans — many of them current or former Buddhist clergy members — have set themselves alight in the past year to protest Beijing’s harsh stance against the Dalai Lama and the apparent suppression of Tibetan religious and cultural practices.

All the self-immolations have occurred in Tibet and the western Chinese province of Sichuan.

Three Tibetans in Sichuan burned themselves on Friday, according to news reports on Sunday.

Zhang Zhijun, the Chinese vice foreign minister, was on a panel with Senator McCain at a security conference in Munich, and Mr. Zhang termed the notion of an Arab Spring-style uprising in China as “no more than fantasy.”

“It is a matter of concern when Tibetans are burning themselves to death because of the continued repression of the Tibetan people in your country,” Senator McCain told Mr. Zhang during the panel, reiterating his belief that “the Arab Spring is coming to China as well.”

A street vendor in Tunisia, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in December 2010, and his death was the catalyst for nationwide riots and protests. Similar rebellions followed in Egypt, Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.

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Author of California Death Penalty Says “It is time to undo it”


© Kok Cheow Yeoh

Don Heller: A California Republican against death penalty
By Don Heller, Columnist

I have been a Republican for many years. I wrote the ballot initiative that reinstated the death penalty in California in 1978. I believe those who commit willful and intentional murder should be locked up and severely punished in the interest of public safety.

I made a terrible mistake 33 years ago, but it is one that can be corrected. People are working hard to give voters the opportunity in the next election to replace the death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole. If given that chance, I call upon all Californians to join me in voting yes to abolish capital punishment.

I have not gone soft on crime. I believe that public safety is one of the primary purposes of a government predicated on the rule of law.

Justice should be swift and certain.

But the death penalty initiative that I drafted was drawn up without fiscal study, input from others, or committee hearings. I made sure that the legal structure that I created would meet tough constitutional standards and checked my work against relevant U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence. But there was none of the give and take envisioned by our forefathers when they created the legislative process more than 200 years ago. Essentially, I wrote alone and the fiscal impact was never considered by the sponsors or myself.
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Libya: Detainees left to suffocate in crowded metal containers


Pro al-Gaddafi forces left 19 detainees to die of suffocation while locked inside metal containers in the sweltering June heat in north-western Libya, Amnesty International has discovered.

19 people suffocated to death while detained in the two metal containers © Amnesty International
Three survivors described how al-Gaddafi loyalists tortured them and then imprisoned them along with 26 others in two cramped cargo containers on 6 June at a construction site in al-Khums, 120 km east of Tripoli.

The detainees endured temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius and drank their own sweat and urine when the limited water supply ran out. Their captors shouted “rats, shut up”, ignoring their cries for help.

This is the first report of the June incident, because al-Khums was off-limits to independent reporting until it fell under the control of the National Transitional Council (NTC) on 21 August.

“This is obviously appalling and inhumane treatment of a group of people who were mostly civilians,” said Diana Eltahawy, North Africa Researcher at Amnesty International, who is currently in Libya.

It is a war crime for any party to a conflict to kill or torture prisoners.

Some of the survivors described their ordeal to Amnesty International © Amnesty International
Amnesty International’s team have examined the two metal containers used to hold the detainees in al-Khums. Once the doors were locked shut, the containers had no windows and the only ventilation came from dozens of bullet holes along the metal walls.

The larger container held 19 people, 10 of whom survived. Only one person emerged alive from the smaller container, which measured 2 metres by 6 metres and was used to hold 10 people. Some had been held at the site since 20 May.

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China Allows Dissident Artist’s Wife to Visit Him


BEIJING — The dissident artist Ai Weiwei was allowed a visit from his wife on Sunday, the first time he has been seen or heard from since being detained by authorities 43 days ago and held incommunicado in a secret Beijing-area location, Mr. Ai’s attorney said on Monday.

The attorney and family friend, Liu Xiaoyuan, said he had met on Monday with Ms. Lu and that she said her husband appeared to be in good physical condition. Mr. Ai also asked about the health of his mother and family, he said, but the circumstance of the supervised visit offered no chance to discuss how his captors were treating him or other details of his confinement. Continue reading

Bill Aimed at Helping Sex Trafficking Victims


NFS

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Assemblyman John Hambrick of Las Vegas says giving sex trafficking victims a chance to regain their life is the right thing to do.

Hambrick urged the Senate Judiciary Committee to support AB6. The bill would allow sex trafficking victims to ask courts to expunge prostitution convictions from their criminal records.
Supporters of the bill say criminal charges sabotage attempts to leave the trade because they pop up when potential employers run background checks.

Jill Morris of the organization Not for Sale says state law punishes pimps and traffickers, but Nevada can’t snare every one. She says AB6 helps balance the equation by taking care of victims. The bill cleared the Assembly with a unanimous 42-0 vote.

No action was taken Wednesday by the Senate committee.

Source

Protest in Hong Kong over Ai Weiwei detention


Supporters of the detained Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei, have scuffled with the police in Hong Kong, with at least one person being detained after protesters pushed through police barricades.

Around 150 protesters held banners and pictures of Ai on Sunday, and carried a large statue representing democracy.
Ai disappeared into police custody two weeks ago at Beijing’s international airport. China’s foreign ministry has said that the prominent artist was being investigated for unspecified “economic crimes”.
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