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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…

Pakistan: Zainab murderer handed death penalty for rape, murder of 3 other girls

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An anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday handed Imran Ali - who is currently incarcerated and on death-row for the rape and murder of 6-year-old Zainab Amin - the death penalty on 12 more counts for the rape and murder of 3 other girls.

Ali, a resident of Kasur, was involved in at least 9 incidents of rape-cum-murder of minors, including Zainab, which he had confessed to during her murder investigation.

The verdicts for the cases of all the 3 minor girls were announced today by special administrative judge Sheikh Sajjad Ahmed of the ATC after listening to the final arguments presented by the counsels.

In all 3 cases, Ali was found guilty under sections 364-A (kidnapping or abducting a person under the age of 14), 376 (3) (rape of minor), 302-B (punishment for qatl-i-amd) of the Pakistan Penal Code and section 7(a) (punishment for acts of terrorism) of the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997.

According to the judgements, Ali has been sentenced to death on a total of 12 counts (4 counts for each victim), fined Rs6 million (Rs2m per victim) and ordered to pay Rs3m (Rs1m per victim) as compensation to the victims' families. In case of failure to pay the fine or compensation, he will have to undergo another 6 months imprisonment.

The 1st information reports of all 3 cases were registered in different months of 2017. The ages of the 3 victims were 5, 7 and 8.

Zainab's rape and murder earlier this year had sparked outrage and protests across the country after the 6-year-old, who went missing on January 4, was found dead in a trash heap in Kasur on January 9.

Her case was the 12th such incident to occur within a 10 kilometre radius in the city over a 12-month period.

The heinous nature of the crime had seen immediate riots break out in Kasur - in which 2 people were killed - while #JusticeforZainab became a rallying cry for an end to violence against children.

The Punjab government had declared the arrest of Ali, the prime suspect, on January 23.

On June 12, the Supreme Court rejected Ali's appeal against the death sentence handed to him for the rape and murder of Zainab, noting that the petitioner had admitted committing similar offences with 8 other minor victims and "in that backdrop, he did not deserve any sympathy in the matter of his sentences".

Imran had filed the appeal challenging the death sentence handed to him in February, claiming his trial was not fair. He still has the right to seek clemency from President Mamnoon Hussain.

Source: dawn.com, August 5, 2018


Kasur rape and murder convict gets 12 more death sentences in Pakistan


The convict in a high-profile rape and murder case of a minor girl in Pakistan's Kasur city was given 12 more death sentences by a special anti-terrorism court in another 3 cases of child sexual abuse, according to a media report.

Imran Ali, who was already awarded four counts of the death penalty, 1 life term, 7-year jail term and Rs 4.1 million in fines back in February for raping and murdering the seven-year-old girl, had confessed sexually abusing at least another eight girls, Dawn newspaper reported.

The anti-terrorism court (ATC) on Saturday awarded Ali, currently incarcerated and on death-row for the rape and murder of the minor girl, the death penalty on 12 more counts for the rape and murder of three other girls, the report said.

Ali was also fined Rs 6 million out of which Rs 3 million were directed to be handed to the families of the victims as 'blood money'.

Earlier this year, the rape and murder of the minor girl in Kasur had sparked outrage and protests across the country.

Ali was nabbed by authorities on January 23 following a DNA-match.

He was found to be a serial killer and had confessed to his crimes on the day of his indictment that came through the Lahore High Court (LHC).

On February 17, he was given a death sentence for abduction, rape and murder in the Kasur girl case.

Source: newsnation.in, August 5, 2018


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