Protests after Gaza court cuts sentence in Italian murder case

Updated 20 February 2013
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Protests after Gaza court cuts sentence in Italian murder case

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories: Palestinian human rights groups and NGOs demanded yesterday that a Gaza court explain why it had cut the life sentences handed to two men for the murder of an Italian national.
The statement was issued a day after a military court accepted an appeal by two militants who were convicted last year of the kidnap and murder of Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni in 2011.
Both were sentenced to life behind bars but escaped the death penalty following a request from Arrigoni’s family.
“In its latest decision on Feb. 19, the court granted the convicts’ appeal by reducing the first and the second defendants’ sentence from life imprisonment with hard labor to 15 years imprisonment,” said a statement by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Al-Mezan, Addameer and the Palestinian NGO network. In response, they demanded that the court “publish the reasoning of its decision to reduce the sentence as soon as possible, in order to clarify its motive.” Although the family had expressed a wish that the court refrain from applying the death penalty, it was not a license for “tolerance or waiving the private or public right when dealing with perpetrators of dangerous and serious crimes like in this case,” it said.


A third man who was also convicted in connection with the Arrigoni murder will also appeal on Feb. 24 to reduce the 10-year sentence he was handed.
In their appeal, the two militants had asked the court drop the murder conviction, leaving only kidnapping on their file, but it was not immediately clear whether that part of the appeal was accepted.
Arrigoni, 36, a member of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement, was kidnapped on April 14, 2011 and, later on, found hanged in an abandoned house in northern Gaza.
It was the first time a foreign national had been murdered in Gaza since Hamas took over.


Libya’s coast guard recovers five bodies from migrant boat

African migrants rescued from a ship off the coast of Zuwara, about 130 kilometres west of the Libyan capital Tripoli, sit alongside of bodies of others who died, at the dock in the capital's naval base on June 18, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 52 min 45 sec ago
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Libya’s coast guard recovers five bodies from migrant boat

  • Since January, some 10,760 migrants have crossed from Libya to Italy, more than 80 percent less than during the same period last year
  • Since last summer, smuggling networks inside Libya have been disrupted under Italian pressure

TRIPOLI: Libyan coast guards said on Monday they had recovered the bodies of five migrants and picked 191 survivors off the coast west of the capital Tripoli.
Libya’s western coast is the main departure point for migrants trying to reach Europe by the sea, though the number of crossings has dropped sharply since last July.
The five dead migrants were brought back to port in Tripoli on Monday along with 115 survivors from various sub-Saharan African and Arab countries, coast guard officials said.
Their boat was intercepted off Mellitah on Sunday after being damaged by rough seas, according to Ayoub Qassem, a coast guard spokesman.
Another group of 76 migrants was intercepted on Sunday off Zawiya, just west of Tripoli.
Since last summer, smuggling networks inside Libya have been disrupted under Italian pressure and Libya’s EU-backed coast guard has stepped up interceptions, returning more than 7,000 migrants to Libya so far this year.
Since January, some 10,760 migrants have crossed from Libya to Italy, more than 80 percent less than during the same period last year, according to statistics from Italy’s interior ministry.
Last week, crossings in the central Mediterranean were thrown into further uncertainty when Italy’s new government closed its ports to a rescue ship operated by humanitarian organizations that was loaded with more than 600 migrants.
It eventually docked in Spain.