France hits bid to revive death penalty in PH

MANILA, Philippines – France voiced its concern about the Duterte administration’s proposal to reintroduce the death penalty in the Philippines, as the European country joined the observance of the 15th World Day Against the Death Penalty.

“We want to signal our concern at the continued use of the death penalty, notably in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, and the United States, and at the resumption of executions in Nigeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Jordan,” the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said in a statement sent to Filipino reporters on Wednesday, October 11.

“France is also concerned about the determination of the Philippine authorities to reintroduce the death penalty, following its abolition in 2006,” the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs said.

The French ministry said that aside from the 15th World Day Against the Death Penalty on Tuesday, October 10, it was also marking “the 40th anniversary of the last execution in France.”

“France is opposed to the death penalty everywhere and under all circumstances,” France said.

“It is committed to the universal abolition of this unjust, inhumane and ineffective punishment and calls on all states that still impose the death penalty to establish a moratorium with a view toward its definitive abolition,” France added.


HEALTHNigerian govt bans private practice for medical doctors


Nigerian Government has banned medical doctors working in public hospitals from private practice.

The decision was taken at the Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Government added that henceforth the doctrine of no work no pay which was contained in the nation’s law would be invoked for workers embarking on strike.

In a joint media briefing after the FEC, the Minister of Health Prof. Isaac Adewole and Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, noted that most of the unions that recently embarked on strike contravened the labour laws especially the Trade Dispute Act.

The ministers further disclosed that a committee had been set up for comprehensive evaluation of job done by workers, especially in the public sector.


Local Government Officials Allegedly Kill 38-year-old Widow | Photo

A petty trader, Mrs. Toyin Adelanke, has reportedly died when tax officials from Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State wanted to collect tax from her, NewTelegraph has reported.
Speaking about her death, the victim’s 89-year-old mother, Mrs. Abike Ijiyemi, told journalists yesterday that Toyin planned to give her food the day she died in the hands of the tax collectors.
Toyin (38) reportedly died while the tax officials were trying to seize her television for failure to pay tax. It was learnt that Toyin fell down while dragging her television with the government officials which they wanted to seize because she did not pay the money demanded from her. The local government officials were said to have taken the television to their vehicle and left without attending to the woman.
It was also learnt that the woman died later and her remains were deposited at the morgue of the State Specialist Hospital, Akure.
However, Toyin’s distraught mother told journalists at Idanre in Idanre Local Government that: “In the morning of the day she was killed, she called me and said that she had bought some foodstuffs for me. She promised to bring them to me at Idanre the second day. Instead of coming to fulfil her promise, it was the announcement of her death they brought to me.
“My daughter was a widow. Her husband died four years ago. She has been singlehandedly taking care of their only child since then. She was the one who sponsored the education of their 24-year-old son up to the Gateway Polytechnic in Ogun State. She was the person taking care of me and paying my debts. Also, Toyin’s sister, Mrs. Mojisola Otitilowo, said the deceased was in her shop at Bolajoko Street, Oke-Aro area of Akure about 2p.m. when the government officials invaded her shop.
She said: “They were four in number. Three of them disembarked from the vehicle they brought. “They did not accept her plea. One of them removed the television from where it was but Toyin started dragging it with them.
She fell down. Despite that, the council officials went away with the television. “A woman, who came to buy sachet water, discovered that Toyin was unconscious where she lay on the floor of the shop and raised the alarm which attracted neighbours who rushed in and started pouring water on Toyin to revive her.
“When it was realised that Toyin had given up the ghost, the matter was reported at the Police B Division, Oke-Aro.”
Toyin’s son, Ayodele Adelanke, demanded that his mother’s killers be brought to book, saying she must not die in vain. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, who confirmed the incident, described it as unfortunate. Joseph said some suspects had been arrested over Toyin’s killing.

Source: NewTelegraph


As the world marks today the World Day Against the use of the Death Penalty with the theme “Poverty and the death penalty” LEDAP reaffirms its position that the abolition of death penalty in law and practice should be the firm desire of the Nigerian government as death penalty is cruel and inhumane treatment, which has no place in modern society. LEDAP contends that the application of death penalty is discriminatory in Nigeria as it has become a punishment exclusive to the poor in society.

LEDAP is continually in legal battles with the federal and state governments in its quest to ensure that fundamental rights of citizens are safe-guarded and death penalty is abolished. Currently LEDAP has legal actions in court where it challenges the imposition of mandatory death sentences and the proposal of the federal and state governments to execute death row inmates. LEDAP urges state Governors not to sign any death warrants as it constitutes state murder. With high number of criminal convictions overturned on appeal, continued execution is risky as innocent people may be wrongfully killed.

LEDAP strongly believes that in its practical application death penalty is discriminatory as there is hardly any rich or influential person in society who is sentenced to death. LEDAP contends that the reason for the discriminatory outlook is due to the fact that the rich have the resources to settle the police or afford the best lawyers who ensure they are not convicted. LEDAP therefore takes the commemoration of the World Day Against Death Penalty, to re-live the experiences of the inmates saved from the gallows, inviting freed former death-row inmates to tell their stories in a media parley. It is LEDAP’s conclusion that poverty is a common factor to all prisoners on death row in Nigeria.

LEDAP beckons on the Government to ensure that it gives life rather than exercise eagerness in taking it away while it condemns the recommendation that prisoners on death row be executed as a means of decongesting the prisons. LEDAP believes that the government has a duty to protect and respect the sanctity of human life rather than supervising its termination and recommends a moratorium law be passed against executions in Nigeria.



Chinonye Obiagwu

National Coordinator

UN Women statement: International Day of the Girl Child, 11 October

“Some people say that it is shameful for girls to go to work or go to school. These are old traditions and conventions.” These are the words of Alan and Israa, two Syrian girls who, through a UN Women-supported training and community centre in Beirut, Lebanon, are learning how to repair mobile phones. This training is helping to break down traditional ideas about what girls can and cannot do, and through giving them relevant skills for their future, it is building resilience and helping to break conventional isolation.

This year, on the International Day of the Girl Child, we are focused on how to ‘EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises’. Throughout 2017 we have seen growing conflict, instability and inequality, with 128.6 million people this year expected to need humanitarian assistance due to security threats, climate change and poverty. More than three-quarters of those who have become refugees or who are displaced from their homes, are women and children [1]. Among these, women and girls are among the most vulnerable in times of crisis.

Displaced and vulnerable women and girls face higher risks of sexual and gender-based violence, as well as damage to their livelihoods [2]; girls are 2.5 times more likely than boys to miss school during disasters [3]; and displaced girls are often married off as children in an effort to ensure their security. A 2013 assessment estimated a rise in the percentage of Syrian girl refugees in Jordan being married before age 18 from below 17 per cent before the conflict, to more than 50 per cent afterwards.

At UN Women, we are working to ensure that girls experiencing crises have positive options that allow them to grow and develop social and economic skills. Along with local women’s organizations, we support women and girl refugees through our Global Flagship Initiative, on Women’s Leadership, Empowerment, Access and Protection in Crisis Response (LEAP) [4], which boosts civic engagement and leadership by advocating for women’s political and social participation at the local, national and international levels. LEAP also establishes Empowerment Hubs where women can network and access critical services and training, and provides job placements, cash-for-work initiatives and training for businesses.

Programmes like these can turn situations of displacement into opportunities for empowerment for girls and young women, remove them from potentially violent situations, and serve as a path to economic security so that they are not forced to marry older men to provide for their physical and financial wellbeing.

As Alan and Israa experienced, UN Women is also tapping into the possibilities of mobile technology, developing a Virtual Skills School, so that women and girls who have dropped out of school due to early marriage, childbearing or traditional practices, who are living with a disability, or who are displaced from their homes and in refugee camps, have access to second-chance learning.

On the International Day of the Girl Child, let us commit to investing in skills training and education for girls and livelihood activities for young women around the world who are facing crises. Far from being passive recipients of assistance, these girls are leaders who will use the skills that they develop today to rebuild their communities, and create a better future for all of us.

culled from


Francis issues statement to mark World Day Against Death Penalty

Press Release:-Tuesday 10th October 2017 is observed as the World Day Against the Death Penalty. First observed in 2003 by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (WCADP), this year marks the 15th observance with focus on the theme “Poverty and Justice a deadly mix.”

The purpose of this theme is to raise awareness about the reasons why people living in poverty are at a greater risk of being sentenced to death and executed.  The World Coalition Against the Death Penalty is an alliance of N.G.O’s, Bar Associations, local authorities and Unions.

The overall objective of the WCA against the Death Penalty is to strengthen the international dimension of the fight against the Death Penalty with the goal to achieve universal abolition of the death penalty.

The Caribbean is also part of the international campaign, through the work of the Greater Caribbean For Life (GCL) which is a Non-Profit, Civil Society Organisation established in Trinidad on October 2nd 2013 to unite the Caribbean abolitionist organizations and individuals.

GCL believes in stopping crime not lives and strives to create a culture of respect for the right to live and for the dignity of all human beings.

The Greater Caribbean consists of 25 countries/states including 13 Caricom countries which retain the Death Penalty.

As a member of the Greater Caribbean For Life I take this opportunity to raise awareness of the international campaign to abolish the Death Penalty.  Although there has been no execution in St. Lucia since 1994, St. Lucia remains a retentionist country.  Against the strong statements made 2 weeks ago by the Minister of Justice, to visit the gallows, it is necessary to state categorically that despite the rise in youth violent crime and murder, this is a backward stance, as hanging is no deterrent to crime.

In keeping with this year’s theme “Poverty and Justice a deadly mix” I call on the Government to stop crime and not lives.  Rather to focus on the issue of poverty and its related ills.  Prevention is the key.  By focusing on the social and economic origin of crime, such as the poverty which engenders violence and disregard for Law and Order.  In this regard St. Lucia must adopt the recommendations contained in the U.N.D.P 2012 Report “Human Development and the shift to better citizen security.”

The U.N.D.P urges Governments in the region to strive to achieve “a better balance between legitimate law enforcement and preventive measures, with a stronger focus on prevention and to invest more, for example in youth development, job creation and reducing poverty and socio-economic inequality, inequity.  These strategies can contribute to a safer and more democratic just society in the region.

This is the strategy for St. Lucia in preventing crime/murder instead of applying the Death Penalty.  At the domestic level we must try to eradicate the drug culture, which breeds the gun culture, side by side introduce family support measures and rehabilitate delinquent youth.  The criminal justice system must be strengthened, by removing the delays, ensuring prosecutions and improving forensic investigation.

Above all St. Lucia must live up to its international responsibility by adhering to the 2014 recommendations of United Nations Human Rights Commission, which at the Universal Periodic Review Meeting for St. Lucia in 2015 urged St. Lucia to take steps to abolish the Death Penalty by signing and ratifying the 2nd Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which abolishes the Death Penalty.  St. Lucia should also consider stop voting against the U.N Resolutions regarding the call for a moratorium on the death penalty, which the Caribbean States as retentionist always vote against.

As World Day against the Death Penalty is observed, the victims of violent crime must not be forgotten, however, injustice cannot be fought with injustice and our Court of Appeal has already declared the mandatory death penalty (hanging) to be inhuman and degrading treatment and therefore unconstitutional.  For after all the RIGHT TO LIFE is the most fundamental human right and must be upheld by the citizens but more importantly upheld by the State.  It is wrong for the State to carry out capital punishment in the name of justice.  This is simply state killing, which most times involve the poorer marginalized in St. Lucia.

There must be a better way, there is nothing to fear but fear itself.  As Christians and citizens let us educate ourselves, let us become part of the International Campaign to abolish the Death Penalty and save lives

Without the right to life, there simply would be no human rights, because human rights are indivisible, are interrelated and interdependent.  The abolition of the death penalty is in keeping with evolving standards of decency/practised by modern democratic societies which have implemented alternative punishment for murder so as to keep society safe.  St. Lucia can do the same.

Mary M. Francis


National Centre For Legal Aid and Human Rights Inc.


Greater Caribbean For Life (G.C.L)

Death penalty has no place in 21st century, says Guterres

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an end to the death penalty Tuesday, insisting it has “no place in the 21st century.”

He urged member states that still execute convicts to join the 170 countries that have halted or abolished the practice, warning that the risk of a miscarriage of justice is an “unacceptably high price” to pay.

“I want to make a plea to all states that continue this barbaric practice: please stop the executions,” Guterres said at an event marking the 15th World Day Against the Death Penalty.

Capital punishment “does little to serve victims or deter crime,” Guterres said, adding that most of the UN’s 193 members do not carry out executions.

“Just last month, two African states – The Gambia and Madagascar – took major steps towards irreversible abolition of the death penalty,” he said.

“In 2016, executions worldwide were down 37 per cent from 2015. Today just four countries are responsible for 87 per cent of all recorded executions,” he added.

Those four countries are China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, a UN official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Guterres also called for transparency from states where the death penalty is legal, asking them to let lawyers do their job.

“Some governments conceal executions and enforce an elaborate system of secrecy to hide who is on death row, and why,” Guterres said.

“Others classify information on the death penalty as a state secret, making its release an act of treason.”

This lack of transparency “shows a lack of respect for the human rights of those sentenced to death and to their families.”

culled from