At the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, a mass of nooses represent the 131 government opponents hanged by the apartheid government. Globally, hanging remains the most common form of death-penalty execution. (Image: John Karwoski, Flickr)• Netsanet BelayDirectorAmnesty International Africa+44 20 74135500Ray MaotaA mere five African countries were responsible for a rise in death penalty executions on the continent in 2013. The vast majority – 90% – of African countries have abolished the death penalty.Amnesty International reported a more than 50% rise in executions in Africa last year compared to 2012, but added that there was progress because only one in 10 African countries still executed people. Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Africa director, said: “Five states executed people last year: Botswana, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. Sixty-four people were put to death, an increase of more than half from 2012. This was mainly caused by Somalia, where reported executions jumped from six in 2012 to 34 last year.” In the same year, Saudi Arabia alone executed 79 people, and Iran 369.According to Amnesty International, more than half of all death sentences were carried out in the semi-autonomous Puntland region of Somalia, often against alleged members of the al-Shabab militant group.Nigeria was particularly worrying, said Belay, as the country resumed executions for the first time in seven years. “The resumption seems to have been motivated by the deteriorating security situation, although there is no convincing evidence that the death penalty has any particular deterrent effect on crime and violence.”The vast majority of countries in Africa had moved away from the death penalty, while a small, isolated group continued to cling to state-sanctioned killing, Belay added. “Some governments use the death penalty as a populist tool to prove that they are ‘tough on crime’. It is shocking that politicians play with people’s lives in this way to gain votes.“Neither is it true that people executed are only those guilty of the most heinous crimes. Last year, people were executed, among other things, for drug offences and alleged links to political opposition groups. People received the death penalty for armed robbery in Kenya, Nigeria and Sudan, even in cases where no-one died.”Amnesty International reported that Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan accounted for more than 90% of all regional executions last year. Belay said: “It is a great pity that a few countries let the region down. Most African states have abolished the death penalty in law or practice or are on the road to doing so.“Positive developments in countries across Africa have inspired the global abolitionist movement in recent years. Governments must ensure these hopes are not in vain – the increase in executions in 2013 should not be repeated over this year.” ProgressAt the start of the year, the regional court of the Economic Community of West African States ordered the Nigerian government to refrain from further executions, and in March the country’s justice minister confirmed that the government would respect the ruling, according to Amnesty International’s website.“Some of the most promising developments have been in sub-Saharan Africa,” Belay said. “Of the African Union’s 54 member states, 37 are not applying the death penalty … In Ghana and Sierra Leone, new constitutions are being drafted that offer real opportunities for abolition. Benin and Comoros are both considering new penal codes that would end the death penalty. Guinea-Bissau ratified, and Angola signed, a key United Nations treaty aimed at the abolition of the death penalty.” Worldwide executionsAmnesty International publishes an annual review of the death penalty worldwide, and on 27 March, it released its report on death sentences and executions in 2013.The report stated that the wide use of the death penalty in Iran and Iraq caused a sharp global spike in the number of executions carried out in the year, bucking the global trend towards abolition. Excluding China, where the number of executions is kept secret, 778 executions were known to have been carried out in 2013, compared to 682 in 2012. After China, Iran (369 executions) and Iraq (169) are the biggest executioners, followed by Saudi Arabia (79) and the USA (39).
Union Minister of State for Agriculture Kailash Chaudhary faced the ire of Congress workers who allegedly pelted stones at his car while he along with Rashtriya Loktantrik Party MLA Hanuman Beniwal were on their way to attend a religious function in Rajasthan’s Barmer district on Tuesday night, police said.The Congress workers were targeting Mr. Beniwal who had levelled corruption charges on the State revenue minister Harish Chaudhary, they said. No one was injured in the incident but window panes of the minister’s vehicle and a police jeep were damaged, police said. Talking to reporters in Barmer on Tuesday, Mr. Beniwal had levelled corruption charges on Mr. Chaudhary which annoyed Congress workers. Mr. Beniwal and Union Minister Kailash Chaudhary were scheduled to attend a religious function at a temple in Baytoo area of Barmer at night. When they reached there, some of the Congress workers pelted stones at the vehicle, police said. Baytoo is the assembly constituency of the State revenue minister Harish Chaudhary. “There was resentment among the Congress workers. They assembled near Baytoo last night saying they will not let the MP attend the function. They were initially pacified. Senior police officers were also present but when the vehicles arrived, some of the Congress workers pelted stones at the vehicle of the union minister in which RLP MP Hanuman Beniwal was also present,” SP of Barmer Sharad Chowdhary said. He said the situation was brought under control and both the leaders attended the function amid police security. After the function was over, the minister stayed at Balotara town in Barmer while the RLP MP from Nagaur was escorted by the police to the Jodhpur border. Efforts are being made to arrest the accused, he added. Hanuman Beniwal’s RLP is an NDA alliance partner. He had contested and won the Lok Sabha election from the Nagaur seat as the alliance candidate last year while BJP’s Kailash Chaudhary represents Barmer constituency in the Lok sabha. read more
Chelsea’s Willian, celebrates scoring his side’s first goal of the game during the Champions League round of sixteen first leg soccer match between FC Barcelona and Chelsea at Stamford Bridge stadium in London, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. (Adam Davy/PA via AP)LONDON — Willian isn’t used to receiving much acclaim. Even a place in Chelsea’s starting lineup isn’t certain.And if any Chelsea player was going to outshine Lionel Messi against Barcelona, surely it was going to be Eden Hazard.ADVERTISEMENT The first leg confounded the status of the teams: Barcelona is the unbeaten Spanish leader, while Chelsea has tumbled to fourth in the Premier League.After all the effort Chelsea took to bring Willian to Stamford Bridge, perhaps they should be valuing the winger’s abilities more.The Brazilian was signed from under the noses of Tottenham in 2013 for 32 million pounds. The north London club thought it had stolen a march on its rival — a medical had been completed — before the transfer from Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala was hijacked by Chelsea’s Russian owner, Roman Abramovich.That was in early in Jose Mourinho’s second spell in charge, and Willian is on his third Chelsea manager in almost five years. Such instability in the dugout leads to talent being cast aside in west London — often to emerge stronger elsewhere. Just look at two players who found their way back to the Premier League: Mohamed Salah at Liverpool and Kevin De Bruyne at Manchester City.At 29, this is Willian’s moment — especially with a World Cup in less than four months away. Brazil coach Tite could have been given a welcome selection quandary after Willian fell out of favor in the national team setup.The talk now in Brazil is whether Tite reshapes the lineup to accommodate Willian, with Renato Augusto the fall guy. A front four of Willian, Philippe Coutinho, Gabriel Jesus and Neymar could prove intimidating in Russia, where Brazil faces Switzerland, Costa Rica and Serbia in a relatively kind group.Pundits in Brazil were naturally raving during the broadcast of Tuesday’s game.“Willian can say he played better than Messi,” said Junior, who played at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups, on Globo. “Not many players can say that, and I am sure Tite is watching now.”More immediately, Willian needs to retain the faith of Conte. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Perhaps that’s why Barcelona underestimated Willian on Tuesday night, leaving him unmarked in dangerous spots so often.While Hazard’s contribution as the false nine was modest, Willian produced one of his most complete performances for Chelsea in the Champions League last-16 first leg.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutIt wasn’t just his 11th goal of the season — the opener that rattled Barcelona in the second half — or the two occasions he thundered shots against a post. There was speed he provided down the right flank, finishing as the game’s top dribbler and winning the most aerial duels among the home players.“Willian has the potential to play this type of game in every game and I hope to see this for a long time,” Chelsea manager Antonio Conte said after the 1-1 draw. “When you play in this way the coach doesn’t have any doubts about you playing.” There have been doubts, though. Many. The decision to play without a recognized striker provided an opening for Willian, who only played the last ten minutes of Chelsea’s last Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion.Willian seized the opportunity to make an impact against Barcelona on the right wing in a game when Chelsea had to settle for 32 percent possession and was left frustrated when Messi equalized.“It was one of my best performances here,” Willian said. “I almost had a hat trick. We were a bit unlucky but we must be proud of our performance because we played really well. To play against Barcelona is not easy.”The strategy was well executed by Conte in the competition the Italian coach might have to win to stay in the job into next season.“We had to stay compact, we had a plan and we did exactly as we expected,” Willian said. “They had the ball and we expected to counterattack.”ADVERTISEMENT Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles05:01What the Deaf want the hearing to know01:24Life lessons the hearing can learn from the Deaf01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City NBA: Cavs star James opposes playoff changes MOST READ LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Google honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa Read Next AFP official booed out of forum Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. 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