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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…

Iraq: Figures leaked by government official appear to show more than 19,000 people detained on terrorism grounds, many accused of ISIS links

Mosul, Iraq
Responding to an Associated Press report that the Iraqi authorities have detained or imprisoned at least 19,000 people accused of links to the Islamic State armed group or other terror-related offences, sentencing more than 3,000 of them to death, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said:

“We are deeply alarmed by this report and the Iraqi authorities’ mass use of the death penalty and the courts’ reliance on torture-tainted ‘confessions’ to secure convictions.

“Amnesty International has documented the flawed screening process by Iraqi forces to which men and boys fleeing areas of conflict have been subjected. Thousands of them have been arbitrarily arrested, forcibly disappeared, and routinely subjected to torture and horrific conditions in detention. 

“It is vital that all those detained are held in officially-recognised and supervised detention facilities.

“The Iraqi authorities must immediately address serious flaws in the criminal justice system and institute effective safeguards against torture and enforced disappearance, and ensure all defendants are given a fair trial, including the right to legal representation. 

“They must implement an immediate moratorium on executions as a first step towards total abolition of the death penalty.”

Leaked figures


The Associated Press said its figures are based partially on an analysis of a spreadsheet said to list all 27,849 people imprisoned in Iraq as of late January, a dataset provided by an official who requested anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media. 

AP said thousands more people were believed to be held in detention by other bodies, including the Federal Police, military intelligence and Kurdish forces. 

Source: Amnesty International UK, March 21, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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