Amnesty says more people executed in China than rest of world combined but sub-Saharan Africa is a ‘beacon of hope’China remains the “world’s top executioner” amid a decline in executions worldwide, Amnesty International has said in its annual report on capital punishment.According to the report, released on Thursday, China implemented “more death sentences than the rest of the world combined”. Amnesty believes thousands of executions and death sentences occurred in 2017 in China, where they are considered a state secret.China aside, executions worldwide dropped again in 2017, with at least 993 recorded in 23 countries – down 4% from 2016 and 39% from 2015.At least 2,591 death sentences were recorded in 53 countries in 2017 – down from a record high of 3,117 in 2016 – and at least 21,919 people are known to be under a death sentence, Amnesty said. The human rights group said the “positive trend” towards ending capital punishment was exemplified by sub-Saharan Africa, where 20 countries have now abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Just two countries in the region, Somalia and South Sudan, carried out executions last year.“The progress in sub-Saharan Africa reinforced its position as a beacon of hope for abolition,” the Amnesty International secretary general, Salil Shetty, said.Excluding China, 84% of the reported executions last year were carried out in just four countries: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan. Bahrain, Jordan, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates resumed executions in 2017.Iran has the highest known figure despite an 11% drop on 2016, executing at least 507 people, with at least 31 death sentences carried out in public.The US remained the only country in the Americas to carry out executions, with 23 last year, up slightly from the year before.Shetty said with the progress in Africa, “the isolation of the world’s remaining executing countries could not be starker”.But Amnesty said the continued use of the death penalty for drug-related offences was “distressing”, with 15 countries last year imposing death sentences or carrying out executions.Drug-related executions were recorded in China, Iran, Singapore and Saudi Arabia, where “drug-related beheadings rocketed from 16% of total executions in 2016 to 40” in 2017.The US was noted for putting people on death row who have mental or intellectual disabilities, a criticism also levelled against Japan, the Maldives, Pakistan and Singapore.Source: The GuardianLEAGUE OF JUSTICE
Israel's supreme court has suspended a controversial government plan to deport tens of thousands of African migrants who entered the country illegally.It gave the state until 26 March to provide more information on the plan.In January, the migrants - mostly from Eritrea and Sudan - were offered $3,500 (£2,510) and a plane ticket to leave Israel voluntarily by the end of March.Otherwise, they faced detention and subsequent expulsion. The UN refugee agency criticised the plan.The Israeli court issued its ruling on Thursday, following a legal challenge by a group of migrants from Eritrea and Sudan.The government now cannot deport African migrants until the court receives additional information.Israeli authorities say there are currently more than 40,000 African migrants in Israel, describing them as "infiltrators".Most of them entered from Egypt several years ago, before a new fence was built along the desert border. This has almost ended illegal crossings.Only single young men are affected by the government plan.It exempts children, women, parents of dependent minors and victims of slavery and human trafficking.The authorities have said the migrants' return will be humane and "voluntary".Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has claimed that an unchecked influx of African migrants could threaten Israel's Jewish character.Source: BBC NEWSLEAGUE OF JUSTICE
The next round of the South Sudan peace talks has been adjourned to next month, the monitoring agency said.The talks in Addis Ababa were scheduled to begin on April 26 to April 30.However, the regional bloc's Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) said there was a need for more time for consultations among the parties involved.A delegation of JMEC has been in Juba since last Saturday, meeting with the parties to the conflict and other stakeholders.South Sudan has been in internal war since December 2013 when President Salva Kiir had a fallout with his deputy Riek Machar.Attempts to put off the conflict have been futile as multiple truces have been violated by the main signatories to the peace.Source: The East AfricanLEAGUE OF JUSTICE.
The African Union Peace and Security Council delegation Monday met the South Sudan cabinet in Juba ahead of the next round of peace talks in Addis Ababa on April 26.South Sudan Information minister Michael Makuei confirmed the meeting between the cabinet and the 25-member AU delegation.Mr Makuei said members of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad) council of ministers were also expected in Juba on Tuesday.Political actorsThe two delegations are also scheduled to meet other South Sudanese political actors.The delegations are expected to put pressure on the parties to the conflict to commit to the peaceful political settlement of the crisis in the war-torn state.The AU Peace and Security Council delegation is headed by its chairman, Nigerian diplomat Bankole Adeoye.Exchanged viewsThe delegation that arrived in Juba on Saturday has already met with a number of African diplomats in Juba and exchanged views on the peace process.The team was also expected to meet President Salva Kiir before travelling to Malakal town in the former Upper Nile State for an on-spot assessment of the situation.Source: The East AfricanLEAGUE OF JUSTICE
April 18, 2018, 9:46 am
today in history
April 6, 1994 Juvénal Habyarimana was killed
The president of Rwanda is killed in a plane crash, triggering a genocide that claims 800,000 lives.