The human rights organization says the death penalty violates the right to life and is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. A report by Amnesty International released today said that 106 people were sentenced to death in Sri Lanka last year but yet Sri Lanka continued to be among the execution-free countries..Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender or the method used by the state to carry out the execution. Official information received by Amnesty International indicated that one-hundred and six new death sentences were imposed in Sri Lanka in 2011 and 362 people were on death row at the end of the year. In late December 2011 the National Human Rights Commission announced that it intended to propose that the government abolish the death penalty. However, the Secretary to the Ministry of Prison Reforms and Rehabilitation A. Dissanayake was reported as saying that the prison authorities had already requested the approval of the Management Service Department of the Treasury to recruit a hangman and that they had received a number of applications for the post.According to Dissanayake, in late December there were nearly 750 inmates on death row, Amnesty International said. The US was once again the only executioner in the Americas. A total of 43 executions were recorded in 13 of the 34 states that retain the death penalty, a drop by a third since 2001, and 78 new death sentences were recorded in 2011, a decrease by half since 2001. (Colombo Gazette)
“It is probably safe to say that there is agreement amongst most Member States that speech that is both intended to lead to the incitement of terrorist acts, and that causes a danger that such act will be committed, may lawfully be restricted,” Javier Rupérez, Executive Director of the Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate (CTED), told heads of special services, state security and law enforcement agencies meeting in Kazan, Russia, from 15 to 16 June. “On the question of the prohibition and prevention of incitement to commit terrorist acts, it is evident that States have different understandings of this concept,” Mr. Rupérez said, however.Some States have already enacted specific laws prohibiting statements that may directly or indirectly lead to the commission of terrorist acts, while a smaller number said they have criminalized the glorification of terrorism, along with supportive explanations of the scourge.Mr. Rupérez said that CTED detected these trends in its analysis of reports by Member States on the action they have taken to implement Security Council resolution 1624, which was adopted during the 2005 UN World Summit and requires States to curtail incitement to commit terrorist acts. He noted that CTED has only received replies from some 30 States, predominantly from Europe, along with a few responses from Asia, the Middle East and other regions. In addition, most legal authorities find the issue highly problematic. “The criminalization of certain forms of speech is a highly sensitive matter under international law, since freedom of expression has been recognized, time and time again, by the United Nations as well as regional organizations and many respected authorities, as a ‘cornerstone, a foundation,’ of societies based on democratic principles and the rule of law,” he said. In addition to the discussion about resolution 1624, the Kazan meeting is expected to tackle such topics as providing security for oil and gas industries, countering extremist activities that exploit religious ideologies and establishing an international database on organizations and individuals involved in terrorist activities.