Page 53

Death sentences and executions in 2013 47

two Ethiopians, a woman and a man, were sentenced to death in Bossaso for the murder of the woman’s husband. At least 28 death sentences were reported in the self-declared Republic of Somaliland, all for murder. At least four executions occurred in South Sudan, despite the country’s vote in favour of the UNGA resolution on a moratorium on the death penalty in December 2012. Two soldiers were hanged in the capital, Juba, on 12 November after being found guilty of murder. Two further executions took place in Wau in north-western South Sudan on 18 November. All were carried out in secret. According to local NGOs, the government neither informed families in advance nor released details of those executed afterwards. Information about death sentences or judicial executions is generally not disclosed, and the actual number of executions may be higher. At least 16 death sentences were reported. In June, 11 men received death sentences in Wau for murder. The same month, the governors of Lakes, Warrap and Unity states resolved to make cattle-rustling activities a capital crime. The death penalty is used in South Sudan despite well-documented weaknesses in the legal system, including a general lack of legal representation in trials that often last only minutes. However, under South Sudanese law, the Supreme Court is required to review and confirm all death sentences, which has helped to reduce the number of death sentences passed. At least 21 executions were reported in Sudan. Three people from Darfur were reportedly executed in Port Sudan in February after being convicted of armed robbery. In April and May, authorities in El-Obeid prison in Northern Kordofan State reportedly hanged five people convicted of killing a farmer. At least 29 death sentences were reported, but the real figure is believed to be over 100.88 In July, the Sudan Armed Forces Act of 2007 was amended to allow for the prosecution of civilians in military courts for various crimes under Sudan’s 1991 military code, some of which carry the death penalty. In December, the Sudanese parliament discussed a draft law on combating human trafficking, which reportedly included the death penalty if the victim died. The Sudanese authorities continued to use the death penalty to oppress real or perceived activists of political opposition groups. Jalila Khamis Koko, a teacher and activist who was arrested by the National Security Service in 2012 and charged with various offences including capital ones, was released on 20 January 2013. She was acquitted of all charges except those related to “spreading false news”, a provision often used by the government to silence dissent. That charge is punishable by up to six months in prison but Jalila Khamis Koko was released as she had already spent nine months in pre-trial detention. No new death sentences were reported in Swaziland, but at least six people are believed to be on death row. The last execution took place in 1983. At least seven death sentences were reportedly imposed by the High Court in Tanzania, all for murder. In September the High Court resolved to establish a panel to hear the case filed in 2008 by the Legal and Human Rights Centre and two other civil society organizations challenging the constitutionality of the death penalty. However, this had not happened by year end.

Amnesty International March 2014

Index: ACT 50/001/2014

Death sentences and executions 2013  

This report is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Russian and Spanish at the following link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AC...

Death sentences and executions 2013  

This report is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Russian and Spanish at the following link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AC...

Advertisement