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5. Newsflash: USA: NUMBER OF FATAL SHOOTINGS BY POLICE IS ..
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HANDS OFF CAIN NEWS
The Hands off Cain newsletter
This newsletter is realized in the framework of a project founded by the European Union. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Commission.

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Year 17 - n. 26 - 15-07-2017

In this issue:

1. Top story: SAUDI ARABIA: TEN PRISONERS EXECUTED
2. Newsflash: VIETNAM: NEW LAW TO ENABLE CORRUPT OFFICIALS TO ESCAPE DEATH PENALTY BY PAYING BACK STOLEN MONEY
3. Newsflash: JAPAN EXECUTES PAIR ON DEATH ROW
4. Newsflash: SINGAPORE HANGS MALAYSIAN DRUG TRAFFICKER
5. Newsflash: USA: NUMBER OF FATAL SHOOTINGS BY POLICE IS NEARLY IDENTICAL TO LAST YEAR
6. Suggested links:


SAUDI ARABIA: TEN PRISONERS EXECUTED


Six people convicted of drug trafficking and homicide were executed in Saudi Arabia on July 10, the government said, the highest number of executions in a single day this year.
A Pakistani citizen was executed for drug trafficking and five Saudi nationals for homicide, the interior ministry said.
On July 11 the Saudi authorities executed four men who were convicted in a secret ‘terrorism’ court – including at least one man who was convicted on charges relating to protests. It marks the first execution coming from the terrorism court since a mass execution in January 2016, in which several protesters convicted at the court were killed.
In an announcement, the Saudi authorities claimed to have executed four ‘terrorists’ from the country’s Eastern Province.
The executions appear to mark the first execution of prisoners tried at the controversial Specialized Criminal Court since a mass execution in January 2016, which attracted international condemnation.
The SCC is supposed to hear terrorism cases; however, it has also been used to sentence alleged protesters to death, including several juveniles.
International human rights organization Reprieve understands that at least one of the men executed on July 11 was sentenced to death on charges relating to protests. The man is understood to have been tortured into signing a ‘confession’, which was relied on to convict him at the SCC.
(Sources: Reprieve, 11/07/2017; Afp, 10/07/2017)
For further information :

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HANDS OFF CAIN - NEWS FLASH

VIETNAM: NEW LAW TO ENABLE CORRUPT OFFICIALS TO ESCAPE DEATH PENALTY BY PAYING BACK STOLEN MONEY
July 13, 2017: Amendments to Vietnam’s Penal Code, which takes effect in January 2018, give those found guilty of corruption and bribery the chance to escape the death sentence if they return 75 percent of their ill-gotten gains.
Those sentenced to death for corruption or taking bribes can have their punishment commuted to life in jail if they cooperate with the authorities during the investigation and voluntarily return at least 75 percent of their illegal earnings, officials said at a press briefing called by the President Office on July 12.
The 2015 Penal Code had been scheduled to come into effect in July 2016 but was shelved due to multiple errors and loopholes. The National Assembly, Vietnam's top legislature, approved the revised law last month.
The clause was one of the controversial parts of the new code. Some lawmakers argued that it would weaken the fight against corruption, which the Vietnamese government has set as one of its priorities.
Under the 1999 Penal Code, capital punishment could be handed down to those who abused their power to embezzle VND500 million ($22,000) or take bribes of at least VND300 million. Vietnamese workers earned an average of $2,200 last year.
The new law also spares convicts over 75 years old from the death penalty, as well as those convicted of robbery, vandalizing equipment and works significant to national security, opposing order, surrendering to the enemy, drug possession, drug dealing and the production and trade of fake food. That will bring Vietnam's number of capital crimes from 22 to 15.
(Sources: e.vnexpress.net, 13/07/2017)
For further information :

JAPAN EXECUTES PAIR ON DEATH ROW
July 13, 2017: Japan’s Ministry of Justice announced the execution of two male convicts on death row, reports the Sankei Shimbun.
According to the ministry, Masakatsu Nishikawa, 61, who murdered four female managers of hostess clubs in 1991, and Koichi Sumita, 34, were both executed by hanging. Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda ordered the executions.
Between December 13 and 28, 1991, Nishikawa killed the four women — Kyo Harada (55), Noriko Murakami (51), both from Kyoto, Kumiko Masaki (45), from Hyogo Prefecture, and Fumiko Takahashi (55), from Shimane Prefecture — by strangulation or stabbing. He also robbed the victims of more than 200,000 yen in cash.
The following month, Nishikawa attempted to strangle Ayame Katsura, a 37-year-old rakugo storyteller, to death inside her residence in Osaka.
On September 30, 2011, Sumita raped Misa Kato, 27, inside a warehouse of a company where she was employed. He then stabbed her about 10 times. Sumita, who formerly worked with Kato, then drove a vehicle containing her corpse to a garage in Osaka’s Sumiyoshi Ward where it was dismembered and dumped at a garbage site and in a river.
There have been a total of 19 executions under the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which began in December of 2012. In November of last year, Kenichi Tajiri was hanged for killing two women in Kumamoto Prefecture in the most recent execution before July 13.
(Sources: tokyoreporter.com, 13/07/2017)
For further information :

SINGAPORE HANGS MALAYSIAN DRUG TRAFFICKER
July 14, 2017: Singapore executed a Malaysian drug trafficker despite a plea for clemency from the United Nations and concerns expressed by rights groups over alleged flaws in his trial.
Prabagaran Srivijayan was arrested in 2012 after 22.24 grams (0.8 ounces) of heroin was found in the car he was driving when it was stopped at a checkpoint going to Singapore.
He was sentenced to death two years later after being convicted of drug-trafficking. Trafficking certain volumes of illegal drugs into Singapore carries a mandatory death penalty unless certain conditions are met for the sentence to be commuted.
The 29-year-old was executed in prison on July 14, the city-state’s Central Narcotics Bureau said in a statement. Executions in Singapore are carried out by hanging.
The bureau said the amount of drugs he was caught with “is sufficient to feed the addiction of about 265 abusers for a week.”
He had maintained his innocence and had launched appeals in both Singapore and his home country, including a bid in Malaysia’s Court of Appeal to get the neighbouring city-state referred to the Hague-based International Court of Justice.
His appeals in Singapore, including a last-ditch court challenge July 13 and an appeal to the president, were all rejected.
The United Nations had opposed the planned execution, with the UN rights body’s Southeast Asia office this week urging Singapore not to proceed while the Malaysian appeal was still pending.
(Sources: Agence France-Presse, 14/07/2017)
For further information :

USA: NUMBER OF FATAL SHOOTINGS BY POLICE IS NEARLY IDENTICAL TO LAST YEAR
July 1, 2017: Police nationwide shot and killed 492 people in the first six months of this year, a number nearly identical to the count for the same period in each of the prior two years.
The Washington Post began tracking all fatal shootings by on-duty police in 2015 in the aftermath of the 2014 killing in Ferguson, Mo., of Michael Brown, who was unarmed and had an altercation with the officer who shot him.
The ongoing “Fatal Force” project has documented twice as many shootings by police in 2015 and 2016 as ever recorded in a single year by the FBI’s tracking of such shootings, a pattern that is emerging again in 2017. Since Brown’s killing in Ferguson, other fatal shootings by police, many captured on video, have fueled protests and calls for reform. Some police chiefs have taken steps in their departments to reduce the number of fatal encounters, yet the overall numbers remain unchanged. Academics who study shootings give weight to The Post’s accounting. As in previous years, the data gathered by The Post showed that police most frequently killed white males who were armed with guns or other kinds of weapons.
One in four people killed this year were mentally ill. And police have continued to shoot and kill a disproportionately large number of black males, who account for nearly a quarter of the deaths, yet are only 6 percent of the nation’s population. This year, fatal shootings of unarmed people have declined, continuing a trend over the past two years. In the first six months of this year, 27 unarmed people were fatally shot, compared with 34 for the same period in 2016 and 50 in the first six months of 2015.
Black males continued to represent a disproportionately large share of unarmed people killed, although their share has dropped slightly: from 32 percent of all unarmed killings during the first six months of last year to 26 percent for the same period this year. Mental illness has remained a factor in fatal police shootings, as a quarter of those killed were struggling with some form of mental illness. The pace at which officers have been killed in the line of duty has held steady over the past two years. According to the FBI, 21 police officers were killed from January to June 29, two fewer than in the same period last year. The 2016 year ended with 66 officers killed, not including accidental deaths. Since January 2015, according to the FBI, 128 police officers have been killed in the line of duty. In Los Angeles from January 2015 to the end of last month, city police officers shot and killed 47 people, the most for any U.S. police department in the period. Officials with t
he Los Angeles Police Department said they have been working to reduce the number of deadly encounters. In the past two years, the department extensively tracked use of force, added training and updated its use-of-force policy, which now requires officers to “de-escalate” confrontations before firing their guns.
This year in Los Angeles, fatal shootings are down to seven, which Matthew Johnson, president of the Los Angeles Police Commission, considers a small victory. There is no comprehensive government data source that tracks fatal shootings by police officers. The Post database relies on local news coverage, public records and social-media reports to identify fatal shootings by police.
The FBI gathers information on fatal police shootings, but that program is based on voluntary reporting by police agencies and covers only cases in which police fatally shoot people who are committing felonies. The Post’s data has revealed a dramatic undercount by the FBI.
The Post’s project, and a similar counting effort by the Guardian newspaper in 2015, prompted now-fired FBI director James B. Comey to call his own agency’s system “embarrassing and ridiculous.” In October 2016, the Justice Department announced that it would move forward with plans to collect better data about officer-involved shootings.
(Source: washingtonpost.com, 01/07/2017)
For further information :

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