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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…

German court OKs deportations to Tunisia despite death penalty

ISIS militants
The ruling is a win for the CSU’s Horst Seehofer, who sought the swift deportation of asylum seekers classified as terrorist threats.

Germany’s constitutional court on Monday denied an appeal from a suspected Islamic State member who was trying to avoid deportation to Tunisia, saying the threat of the death penalty was not likely to be realized.

Haikel S.’s lawyer filed an appeal with the European Court of Human Rights, but judges in Strasbourg declined to intervene Monday. The ruling paves the way for more deportations of people considered “terrorist threats.” German law prevents deportation if the suspect would face the death penalty or life without parole in the destination country, but Tunisia has not executed anyone since 1991.

Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the ruling. “It is a judgment that gives us clarity and makes the enforcement of rights possible,” she said. It could bring a conclusion to the case of Sami A., a former bodyguard of Osama bin Laden who has so far avoided deportation to Tunisia.

The decision is definitely a win for Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister and leader of Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, who is thinking about the state’s election in October. He has been trying to speed up deportations since he came into office in March and is currently creating a plan for “anchor centers” to process asylum seekers more efficiently.

“It is a judgment that gives us clarity and makes the enforcement of rights possible.” -- Angela Merkel, German Chancellor

The project is part of the coalition pact that the CDU/CSU and SPD agreed upon in March. Mr. Seehofer says the anchor centers would swiftly take in and process refugees, and direct them out of Germany if necessary.

Critics call anchor centers a euphemism for concentration camps and point to the recent uprising in Ellwangen, where asylum seekers prevented police from taking a man slated to be deported last week.

Authorities in Germany and Tunisia believe Haikel S. was involved in the 2015 Bardo Museum attack, where Islamic State supporters killed 22 people and injured dozens more. He initially came to Germany in 2003 as a student, and after being deported returned in 2015, claiming to be a refugee from Syria. He was captured in an anti-terror raid in 2017 and is currently in a Frankfurt jail awaiting deportation.

Ms. Merkel’s cabinet is expected to wrap up another sticking point this week and cap the number of family members allowed to follow immigrants to Germany at 1,000 per month.

Source: Handelsblatt Global, Heike Anger, Moritz Koch, Grace Dobush, May 8, 2018. Heike Anger is a correspondent in the parliamentary editorial office of Handelsblatt in Berlin. Moritz Koch is a senior Handelsblatt correspondent in Berlin. Grace Dobush is an editor with Handelsblatt Global in Berlin. DPA contributed to this report.


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
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