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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…

Indonesian duo in terror plot face death penalty

Anggi Indah Kusuma appearing in a West Jakarta district court in March 2018.
Wife had been deported from Hong Kong last year after she pledged allegiance to ISIS

A former Indonesian migrant worker who was deported from Hong Kong last year after she posted a Facebook video of her pledging allegiance to Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is now facing the death sentence along with her newly wed husband for terror-related offences at home.

Both are facing charges in connection with planning terror attacks and making explosives in a rented house in Bandung.

"Anggi Indah Kusuma alias Khanza Syafiyah al-Fuqron has committed evil conspiracy, consciously tried to or assisted (others) to carry out terror acts. She has made and stored explosives with the intention to launch terror acts," stated court documents seen by The Straits Times.

Anggi, 24, returned to Indonesia in March last year and was immediately interrogated by police. She was subsequently sent to a Social Affairs Ministry rehabilitation centre before being allowed to go home to her parents in Klaten, Central Java.

But in May last year, Anggi fled home and married another migrant worker, Adilatul Rahman alias Rahman Factory, who had returned home from Malaysia. Her parents disapproved of the marriage.

Anggi was introduced to Rahman on Facebook while she was in Hong Kong and, after their marriage, the couple moved to Bandung, West Java. Less than three months after their wedding, on Aug 15 last year, Anggi and Rahman were nabbed during simultaneous raids by Densus 88, the elite counter-terrorism unit, on three places in Bandung. Three of their accomplices were also picked up.

All those arrested were allegedly members of a terror cell manufacturing homemade chemical bombs to be used to attack the presidential palace in Jakarta, the police mobile brigade squad headquarters outside Jakarta and state-owned weapons manufacturer PT Pindad.

Court documents said that in early August, Rahman and an accomplice, Young Farmer alias Abu Nakir Shaab, went to a chemical store in Bandung to procure bomb-making materials but could not get any because the store required identification from the buyers, who also had to certify their use.

The men then resorted to a popular local online marketplace, procured the materials and had them delivered on Aug 11 to the rented house in Bandung.

The couple as well as their accomplices then began the process of making a bomb using a manual provided by Young Farmer, whose real name has not been established yet.

The court was told that while making the bomb, everyone was shocked by thick smoke and a strong odour in a room in Rahman's house. Anggi, who was then pregnant, was nauseous. The decision was then taken to move the process to Young Farmer's house, also in Bandung.

Counter-terrorism officials said Anggi was radicalised while in Hong Kong after she befriended two men, Musa Wisesa and Abu Alqosam al-Ajeneseh, who indoctrinated her on Islamic syariah law and the ISIS caliphate.

The court documents did not provide further details about the two men but said that not long after Anggi befriended them, she pledged allegiance to al-Baghdadi in a Hong Kong park. A fellow Indonesian videotaped her reading a text provided by Abu Alqosam, and Anggi then uploaded the footage to her Facebook account. She also uploaded a write-up, professing her radical ideology.

Anggi was a member of several radical chat groups on Telegram.

Source: The Straits TimesWahyudi Soeriaatmadja, March 13, 2018


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