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No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

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Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

Indonesian men caned for gay sex in Aceh; Indonesia steps up its crackdown on gays

Public caning, Aceh province, Indonesia
"A large crowd of observers cheered as the caning took place."
Two men have been caned 85 times each in the Indonesian province of Aceh after being caught having sex.

The men stood on stage in white gowns praying while a team of hooded men lashed their backs with a cane.

The pair, aged 20 and 23, were found in bed together by vigilantes who entered their private accommodation in March. They have not been identified.

Gay sex is not illegal in most of Indonesia but it is in Aceh, the only province which exercises Islamic law.

It is the first time gay men have been caned under Sharia law in the province.

The punishment was delivered outside a mosque in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh.

A large crowd of observers cheered as the caning took place. "Let this be a lesson to you," one of the men watching cried out. "Do it harder," another man yelled.

Earlier, an organiser warned the crowd not to attack the men, saying "they are also human".


'He was terrified' - Rebecca Henschke, BBC News, Banda Aceh


Public caning in Indonesia's Aceh province (file photo)
Public caning in Indonesia's Aceh province (file photo)
I met one of the young men in jail a day before the caning, the first journalist to speak to him. He was terrified and his whole body was shaking. He was thin, pale and had a red rash on his skin.

Inmates surrounded us with intimidating glares as we tried to talk. I thought we were going to be speaking in a private room, but he was not granted that.

Before neighbourhood vigilantes broke down the door to his rented room, he was in his final years of a medical degree - his plan was to be a doctor. Now we are told the university has kicked him out.

Videos of the raid that caught him and his partner having sex have been widely shared online. In the mobile phone footage they are both naked, pleading for help.

"I just want the caning to be over and to go back to my family, I have been deeply depressed. I am trying to pull myself out of a deep black hole," he said.

The countries that cane their convicts


Public caning in Indonesia's Aceh province
Aceh was granted special rights to introduce Sharia law more than a decade ago.
Aceh was granted special rights to introduce its own stricter Islamic laws more than a decade ago, and has become increasingly conservative in recent years.

Strict laws against homosexuality were passed in 2014 and came into effect the following year.

In the past public caning sentences have been handed down only for gambling and drinking alcohol.

Indonesia has historically largely been tolerant of homosexuality, but has witnessed increasing official and social hostility towards its small and low-profile LGBTQ community in recent years.

Earlier this month, Indonesian police arrested 14 people in the city of Surabaya for allegedly holding a gay party. They could face charges under ambiguous anti-pornography laws.

On Monday, 141 men were arrested - including a British man - in a raid on what police said was a "gay party" at a sauna in the capital, Jakarta, on similar charges. Most were released on Tuesday.

Rights groups have strongly criticised prosecutions of people involved in same-sex relationships, and the use of caning.

Amnesty International said every human was entitled to a right to privacy and to have consensual relations, but that the two men had been ambushed in their home.

It said caning was a "cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment" and may amount to torture and called on the Acehnese authorities to abandon the practice.

SourceBBC News, May 23, 2017


Two men receive 83 lashes for gay sex in Indonesian province of Aceh


"A grotesque display of medieval torture."
"A grotesque display of medieval torture."
Banda Aceh: The crowd roared as two men in their early 20s - one muttering through clenched teeth - received 83 lashes each outside a mosque in the Indonesian province of Aceh for the crime of gay sex.

One of the men, who was just 20, was given a glass of water after the 40th lash. A doctor approached him after the 60th and asked him if he was still strong. He nodded.

Three hooded men took turns to flog the pair.

The audience, estimated by police to be 2500 people, gathered before the red-carpeted platform in front of Syuhada mosque in Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, baying in frustration when the caning paused.

This was the first time sharia courts had imposed public flogging for sodomy under new laws introduced in 2014 as part of Aceh's Islamic criminal code, known as Qanun Jinayat.

The law criminalises liwath, or sodomy, with a maximum punishment of 100 lashes, 100 months in jail or a fine of 1000 grams of gold.

Four heterosexual couples also received up to 30 lashes of the cane for khalwat (being in close proximity, such as secluded in a room, when not married), which is effectively kissing and hugging.

One of the women couldn't continue after nine lashes and had a break before returning to the platform, where a white triangle marked where the convicted must stand and face the crowd while being caned.

"You are strong in bed, but you pretend to be in pain when caned," someone yelled.

A medical team, including an ambulance, were on standby. Under regulations, those being punished must be caned from the waist up.

Men and women were separated to observe the caning, with an announcer warning the crowd that children should not be present.

"But the mothers can then tell them at home as education on the enforcing of sharia law," he said.

Aceh is the only one of Muslim-majority Indonesia's 34 provinces that criminalises homosexuality and uses sharia as its legal code in addition to the national criminal code.

Endin Saprudin, a sharia police officer at the Aceh provincial administration, said the men would be free once they had been caned.

"The worldly punishment is completed after the execution of the sentence," Mr Endin told Fairfax Media.

"However I don't know about the punishment of the afterlife - whether or not they will be caned again. At least we have saved some Muslims by showing them such actions are clearly prohibited."

On March 28, vigilantes broke into an apartment in Banda Aceh, Aceh's capital, and took the two men to the police after catching them in bed together.

LGBT rights advocacy group Arus Pelangi said a video of the two men had gone viral, which put them at risk and should never have been circulated.

"Can you imagine the caning being carried out in front of so many people?" said chairwoman Yuli Rustinawati.

"Obviously it is painful to be caned but then many people are watching. It creates another pain psychologically, not only for the offenders but also for their families."

The men represented themselves in court and accepted their punishment.

Mr Endin, the sharia police officer, said they had been entitled to a lawyer but questioned why they would need one when they were caught red-handed.

"The pictures obviously show they committed a homosexual act," he said.

Prosecutors requested 80 lashes but the judges imposed a harsher sentence of 85, of which 83 were delivered.

Human Rights Watch had called on Indonesian President Joko Widodo to intervene and stop the public flogging.

"The court's less-than-maximum sentence of 85 lashes is no act of compassion. It does not change the reality that flogging is a grotesque display of medieval torture," said Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phelim Kine.

Muhammad Iswanto, another sharia police officer, said data showed that no one punished under sharia law in Aceh had repeated their crime. "In the whole Aceh province, for all offences such as khamar (alcohol), zinah (adultery), until now we do not have a recidivist," he said.

Moammar, a 20-year-old chemistry student, came to watch the caning with nine of his friends from campus. "I am curious because this is the first caning on a liwath case," Moammar said. "I want this case to be the first and last case of homosexuality."

The central government in Jakarta granted Aceh's religious leaders the right to impose sharia-inspired law in 2001 as part of a deal struck to quell a decades-long separatist movement in the province.

But Ayi, a Banda Aceh resident who lives in the same neighbourhood as one of the gay men, said caning was another form of violence.

"We had 30 years of conflict. But now we have this," she told Fairfax Media.

Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Jewel Topsfield, Karuni Rompies, May 23, 2017






Indonesian authorities publicly released the results of HIV tests forced on 14 gay men


An anti-LGBTQI Indonesian police raid last month led to the detention and forced HIV testing of 14 men
Human Rights Watch have released a statement denouncing the treatment of the men, stating that the police continue to violate the rights and privacy of LGBTQI people in Indonesia.

An anti-LGBTQI Indonesian police raid last month led to the detention and forced HIV testing of 14 men, and human rights activists say the laws and actions of police violate the rights and privacy of LGBTQIA people.

Police were reportedly tipped off by neighbours, and carried out a midnight raid on a private party of 14 gay men, who were in two hotel rooms in Surabaya. Police detained the entire group, and confiscated condoms, mobile phones, and a flash drive that allegedly contained homosexual pornographic videos.

The next day, police informed media that all 14 men were made to undergo testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and five had tested HIV positive.

Police also told media that eight of the men were detained on Law on Pornography charges, and two of the men are being charged with organising the 'sex party' event and providing pornography.

Indonesia's Law on Pornography specifically prohibits sexual parties, and the usage and distribution of homosexual pornography. Homosexual sex is included under the umbrella term "deviant sexual acts", which also covers sex with corpses, sex with animals, oral sex, and anal sex.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) have released a statement denouncing the treatment of the men, and stating that the police continue to violate the rights and privacy of LGBTQI people in Indonesia.

Phelim Line, deputy Asia director of HRW, said in a statement, "Indonesian police are again violating the basic rights of LGBT people by invading their privacy. The Surabaya raid subjected these gay men to traumatic humiliation, puts two at risk of long prison terms, and threatens the privacy rights of all Indonesians."

HRW's story on the matter says that forced HIV testing goes against the ethical and human rights principles of privacy, autonomy and informed consent, as well as the World Health Organisation's guidelines on consent for HIV testing: "Mandatory, compulsory or coercive HIV testing is never appropriate."

The raid in Surabaya comes in the wake of major anti-LGBTQI sentiment from government officials and politicians throughout 2016, which led to growing harassment and violence against LGBTQI Indonesians. Despite President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo defending Indonesia's LGBTQI people in October last year, this latest raid shows that authorities continue to target the community.

Last month, police in the Aceh province - which upholds sharia law - arrested two men for having consensual sex in the privacy of their own home. They now face a public flogging sentence, which violates international prohibitions against torture. The United Nations Human Rights Council's International Convenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) states that "it is undisputed that adult consensual sexual activity in private is covered by the concept of ‘privacy'."

Late in 2016, Indonesia also moved to block Grindr and a number of other gay dating apps.

Kine called for President Jokowi to "make good on his commitments to protect privacy rights" and end the government's support for police raids on LGBTQI people: "So long as the government permits police raids on private gatherings under a discriminatory law, it will fail to curb anti-LGBT harassment and intimidation."

Source: SBS, Chloe Sargeant, May 8, 2017


Indonesia steps up its crackdown on gays with massive raid


Arrested and publicly shamed for sex between mutually consenting adult men.
Arrested and publicly shamed for sex between mutually consenting adult men.
Predominantly-Muslim Indonesia is rooting out gay men and punishing them for being gay — even though that’s not a crime.

The most recent example Sunday night netted 141 arrests of men at a sauna that is popular in Jakarta’s gay community, in what was described as a “gay sex party” dubbed “The Wild One,” according to Gay Star News. Each man paid the U.S. equivalent of $14 for entry.

The men, many of them shirtless, were hustled before photographers and those pictures were widely disseminated, which shocked not only LGBTQ activists but their unsuspecting families as well, reported The New York Times. Not all of the suspects were out to relatives, friends and coworkers, according to reports.

“It’s very difficult for us to express our sexuality like heterosexuals,” the director of a gay rights advocacy group called Suara Kita told The Times. He goes by one name: Hartoyo. He told the newspaper that releasing pictures of the shirtless men to local news outlets was “extremely dangerous.”

A police spokesman told the paper the men were detained on suspicion of violating Indonesia’s pornography law, which police use to punish a wide range of sexual behavior.

While same-sex relations are not illegal in most of Indonesia, police stage raids on businesses catering to the mostly underground gay community, and are notorious for what The Times called “vigilante actions.”

The most recent raid came one day before two gay men convicted in a Sharia court last week were to be publicly caned — lashed 85 times with a whip, according to CNN — outside a mosque in Banda Aceh. Their conviction was for sodomy, which is still illegal in that province.

Source: lgbtqnation, Dawn Ennis, May 22, 2017

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