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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…

Indonesia: Two men face 100 lashes after being arrested for having consensual gay sex

Aceh, the only region of the Muslim-majority country where Shariah law is in effect and gay sex is illegal. 
Two Indonesian men have been arrested for having gay sex.

The university students had their rooms raided by residents in Aceh, the only region of the Muslim-majority country where Shariah law is in effect and gay sex is illegal. 

Condoms and mobile phones belonging to the 21 and 24-year-old were handed over to police.

If found guilty, the men face being sentenced to 100 lashes at a public caning.

Marzuki, head of the Aceh Provincial Sharia Law Department, told local reporters that one of the men had ‘confessed’ to the charges.

Last year, two men were caned 83 times each as a legal punishment for having gay sex.

Marzuki said then that residents in the local area had been suspicious of the men because they of their apparent intimacy, and deliberately set out to catch them having sex.

While homosexuality has never been illegal in Indonesia, attitudes towards LGBT people have become steadily more extreme across the country in recent years despite a growing gay population.

The Indonesian Psychiatrists Association classifies homosexuality, bisexuality and being transgender as illnesses.

And earlier this year, Indonesian police arrested 12 transgender women in Aceh and shaved their heads in an effort “to turn them into men”.

The raid on salons was called “operasi penyakit masyarakat,” which translates as “community sickness operation”.

The police chief in Aceh said his officers also humiliated the trans women “by way of having them run for some time and telling them to chant loudly until their male voices came out.”


A bill with the support of most of the country’s main political parties is making its way through the legislative process.

Amendments have been accepted by the House of Representatives, but the whole Parliament must sign off on the bill before it makes its way to the President’s desk.

Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch said the new law “will create new discriminatory offences that do not exist in the current criminal code.

Indonesian man escorted after public caning for having gay sex.
“It will slow down Indonesia’s efforts to develop their economy, society, knowledge [and] education … if law enforcement agencies are busy policing morality.

“It’s sounding like the Acehnese sharia code,” he added.

The day after the two men were caned last year, 141 men were arrested in Jakarta, the capital, for having a “gay sex party”.

And earlier that same month, eight men were arrested for holding a “gay party” in Surabaya, the second biggest city in Indonesia.

The Indonesian Supreme Court narrowly blocked a similar measure from passing last month, but it seems that was only a temporary reprieve.


Source: Pink News, Josh Jackman, April 2, 2018


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