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America's Secret Death Penalty Drugs

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Governments have gone to great effort to keep the sources and methods of their death penalty regimes secret.
In November, the Omaha World-Herald sent a simple records request to the Nebraska state government. Along with several other news outlets, the paper wanted to know the source of the drugs to be used in an upcoming execution—the first in the state in more than 20 years.
In the past the Nebraska Department of Corrections would have provided this information, but now it refused. Officials there insisted that the supplier of the drugs the state intended to use, in the name of its citizens, to sedate, paralyze, and stop the beating heart of an inmate were exempt from Nebraska's public record law.
In December the Nebraska chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sued to challenge the denial.
Nebraska is just the latest state to decide the executioner's black hood of anonymity also covers the pharmacies that mix the deadly compounds used to kill prisoners. As letha…

Indonesia celebrates its Independence Day

Radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
Radical Islamic cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir
Terrorist convict Abu Bakar Ba'asyir gets 3-month sentence cut

Convicted terrorist leader Abu Bakar Ba'asyir was given a three-month sentence reduction on Independence Day, an official said on Wednesday.

"This is the second year he [Ba'asyir] has been granted an Independence Day remission," said the corrections office chief of the West Java Justice and Human Rights Agency, Agus Toyib, in Bandung, West Java, as reported by Antara news agency.

Ba'asyir had fulfilled administrative requirements for a remission, such as having served one-third of his sentence and cooperating as a justice collaborator, he added.

Ba'asyir, the spiritual leader of Islamic organization Jamaah Ansharut Tauhid (JAT), was sentenced to 15 years in prison in 2011 after the South Jakarta District Court declared him guilty of funding a military training camp for a terrorist group in Aceh. He filed for a review of his case, which the Supreme Court rejected in August. After serving time in a high-security prison on Nusakambangan Island in Cilacap, Central Java, the ministry moved Ba'asyir to Gunung Sindur Penitentiary in Bogor, West Java, in April over health concerns for the frail 77-year-old.

The firebrand Muslim cleric was among 11,010 inmates in West Java granted remissions on Independence Day.

Indonesia marks Independence Day by sinking 60 illegal ships


Indonesia marked its Independence Day on Wednesday by sinking 60 foreign ships seized for fishing illegally in the country's waters.

Indonesia celebrates its Independence Day
Indonesia celebrates its Independence Day
Maritime and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti said the ships were sunk at eight locations across the Indonesian archipelago.

Pudjiastuti has organized the destruction of more than 200 illegal fishing boats since 2014. The government of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has taken a hardline stance against illegal fishing, partly driven by the need for Indonesia to show its neighbours, including China, that it is in control of its vast territory of 17,000 islands.

Many of the boats were captured off Indonesia's Natuna Islands, a point from which Indonesia's exclusive economic zone thrusts into the South China Sea. Beijing has described the area as a traditional Chinese fishing ground even though it is nearly 2,000 kilometers (1,250 miles) from the Chinese mainland.

The sinkings were carried out in a low-key fashion compared with previous occasions, when boats were blown to smithereens and their destruction broadcast live.

Pudjiastuti told a news conference in Ranai, a Natuna Islands port, that the ships were sunk off Ranai, Batam, Tarempa, Kalimantan, Maluku, and Sorong in West Papua to create artificial reefs.

"We do see at the moment the deterrent effect," she said. "I think it is already quite a strong message" to foreign countries and their fishing fleets.

Source: The Jakarta Post, August 17, 2016

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