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The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

Bahrain court upholds death, life sentences

Bahrain
Defendants charged with murder of police officer

Manama: Bahrain’s Cassation Court on Monday upheld the death sentence for two men convicted by lower courts on the charge of the premeditated murder of a police officer.

The court also upheld life in prison for three defendants and jail terms for the others varying from three to 10 years.

Only one of the 13 defendants was acquitted in the case where they faced charges of premeditated murder, attempted murder, forming a terror group, harbouring fugitives, failing to report a terrorist plot and possessing incendiary devices.

The public prosecution said it received information on April 14, 2016, from the police directorate in Manama about a group of terrorists who used Molotov cocktails to set a police patrol vehicle ablaze to kill officers.

Investigations revealed the terrorists had ambushed the patrol in Karbabad and doused it with petrol before setting it alight. One man burned to death and the other two suffered burns.

On June 5, 2017, the high court sentenced two defendants to death, three to life in jail, three to 10 years, one to seven years, one to five years and two to three years. 

One suspect was acquitted.

The court of appeals on February 27 upheld the sentences.

Source: Gulf News, May 22, 2018


Bahrain court issues death sentences against 2 activists, revokes citizenship of none others


Bahrain has upheld death sentences against two activists as the ruling Al Khalifah regime intensifies its crackdown against political dissidents and pro-democracy campaigners in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

The defendants, Ahmad al-Abbar and Hussein Mahdi, were sentenced to death by the Bahrain Criminal Court after they made forced confessions, according to the Manama Post website. Their charges were not immediately known.

Another Bahraini court also sentenced 9 citizens to jail and revoked their citizenship.

Separately, a court in the capital Manama on Sunday also sentenced 20 activists to prison sentences ranging from 3 to 15 years after they were convicted on "terrorism" charges.

This came days after a Bahrain court on Tuesday revoked the citizenship of 115 people at a mass terrorism trial.

The court ruling came as much of the Mideast was focusing on Israeli forces killing over dozens of Palestinian protesters as the US relocated its embassy from Tel Aviv to the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds the day before. Like much of the crackdown, it has quietly escaped attention.

The trials in Bahrain are often tainted with allegations of torture and coerced confessions. Hundreds have been sentenced to lengthy prison terms.

Activists say the number of those who have lost their citizenship in Bahrain since 2012 has risen to over 700.

Rights groups have accused Manama of employing its anti-terror legislation to jail and torture regime critics.

Lynn Maalouf, Middle East Director at Amnesty International, said in a statement on May 16 that "the Bahraini government is using revocation of nationality - rendering many of its citizens stateless in the process - and expulsion, as tools to crush all forms of opposition, dissent and activism."

The right to a nationality is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Bahrain is a state party.

Thousands of anti-regime protesters have held numerous demonstrations in Bahrain on an almost daily basis ever since a popular uprising began in the country on February 14, 2011.

They are demanding that the Al Khalifah dynasty relinquish power and a just system representing all Bahrainis be established.

Manama has spared no effort in clamping down on dissent and rights activists. On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the Manama government in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.

Scores of people have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or got arrested as a result of Al Khalifah regime's crackdown on anti-regime activists.

On March 5, 2017, Bahrain's parliament approved the trial of civilians at military tribunals in a measure blasted by human rights campaigners as being tantamount to imposition of an undeclared martial law countrywide.

Bahraini monarch King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah ratified the constitutional amendment on April 3 last year.

Source: abna24.com, May 23, 2018


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