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Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

Egypt court upholds 10 death sentences over football riot

Port Said, Egypt
An Egyptian court upheld Monday death sentences against 10 people convicted over rioting that claimed 74 lives at a stadium in Port Said in 2012, judicial and security officials said. 

The ruling by the Court of Cassation, which is final, excluded an 11th defendant who remains at large after his death penalty was also confirmed in June 2015 by another court.

The ruling by the Court of Cassation, which is final, excluded an 11th defendant who remains at large after his death penalty was also confirmed in June 2015 by another court.

The court also upheld sentences of life imprisonment for 10 people and 5 years for 12 others, including Port Said's security chief at the time, said the officials who requested anonymity as they are unauthorised to speak to the media.

Monday's ruling was welcomed by relatives of those who died in the rioting, who celebrated outside the court in Cairo.

The riot, the country's deadliest sports-related violence, broke out when fans of home team Al-Masry and Cairo's Al-Ahly clashed after a premier league match between the 2 clubs.

Ultras -- hardcore football supporters usually blamed by the authorities for violence -- were at the forefront of the 2011 uprising that unseated longtime president Hosni Mubarak.

Source: al-monitor.com, February 21, 2017

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