Archive | July 28, 2014

Five Life Sentences for Rape*

Five Life Sentences for Rape*

A Polish man must await the outcome of his appeal against the five life sentences imposed on him for the rape and sexual assault of a woman.

Edward Piotrowski (aged 48) told his victim during the two-and-a-half-hour attack that he was going to kill her, her partner and his daughter.

The trial heard that he tied up the woman’s partner with rope and tape and sexually assaulted her in front of him before taking the victim to another room where he raped her and forced her to perform oral sex.

In January 2010, Piotrowski, formerly of Edenderry Co Offaly, was sentenced to five concurrent life sentences by Mr Justice Peter Charleton after he was convicted by a Central Criminal Court jury of the attack on November 25, 2007.

The five life sentences, which Piotrowski is serving simultaneously, were imposed on three counts of rape, one count of aggravated sexual assault and one count of false imprisonment of the woman. He had denied the charges.

Piotrowski was also jailed for concurrent terms of 10, five and 10 years for aggravated burglary and assault and false imprisonment of the man. He had pleaded guilty to the assault charge but not guilty to the false imprisonment and aggravated burglary. All the sentences were backdated to November 2007.

In April of this year the Court of Criminal Appeal upheld Piotrowski’s conviction after finding there was “no legitimate basis for overturning the jury’s decision”.

Counsel for Piotrowski, Mr Bernard Condon SC, today (Monday) told the court that the focus of the sentence appeal was on the life sentences and whether or not it was appropriate in this case to impose an “extraordinary” five life sentences.

He submitted that where such a sentence is imposed it was “quite clear” that there should be an explanation from the trial judge of how the case falls in to the exceptional category of cases where a life sentence is warranted.

Counsel argued that the trial judge did not explain why he had taken this “exceptional step” and this was an error in principle.

Mr Condon said there was a lack of proportionality in the sentence imposed [not] and there was an issue as to whether or not the sentence properly took in to account all of the bases for imposing criminal sanction, which were not just punitive, but were also concerned with deterrence, protection for the community and rehabilitation.

Mr Eanna Mulloy SC, for the State, told the court that Piotrowski had pleaded not guilty and there was a “complete and utter rejection of the jury verdict” in a manner that was “quite aggravating”.

He said all the issues in the case had been gone through in detail at the trial.

Mr Justice Frank Clarke, presiding at the Court of Criminal Appeal, said in all circumstances the court proposed to reserve its judgement and would hope to return judgement in the earliest part of the next court term, which begins in October.


Related Topics:

Rape in India Gains Its Rightful Status*

Is Society Ready to Penalize Rape?

Czech Republic: Sex Offenders to Be Castrated

Judge Breaks Down After Sentencing Pedophile

Israel’s ‘Eid Gift to Palestinians*

Israel’s ‘Eid Gift to Palestinians*

With Israeli warplanes flying overhead and the sounds of explosions and shelling echoing through the night, the streets of Gaza appeared gloomy and quiet during the early hours of the ‘Eid day.

The Israeli artillery on Monday pounded several areas in eastern Gaza Strip as Palestinians celebrate the first day of ‘Eid ul-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadhan.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that Israeli troops fired several shells at the eastern parts of Gaza City and Khan Younis as well as Jabalia and Beit Hanoun in the north.

The shelling, however, left no casualties, medical sources confirmed.

On Sunday, Hamas said that Palestinian resistance factions had accepted a U.N. request for a 24-hour humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, starting 11am GMT on Sunday.

“The situation now is an unlimited truce,” Israel’s chief military spokesman, Brigadier General Motti Almoz, told Israel Radio.

“The IDF (Israeli Defence Forces) is free to attack after any fire if there is any.”

Hamas’s armed wing said it killed two Israeli soldiers in the northern Gaza Strip. An Israeli military spokeswoman said a soldier was wounded there but she knew of no fatalities.

Some residents in Gaza reported they had received a recorded telephone message on Monday which said in Arabic:

“Listen Hamas, if you are still alive, you should know that if you continue, we will respond, we will respond violently.”

Israeli leaflets dropped over Gaza listed dozens of names of gunmen from Hamas and its ally, Islamic Jihad, that the military says it has killed since the start of the offensive.

“This list is part of the names of those who thought they could face the might of the Israeli Defense Forces,” read the leaflet, which included a map to a graveyard where the fighters were allegedly buried.


Thousands of Palestinians in the embattled Gaza Strip showed up early Monday to perform the Eid al-Fitr prayers in defiance of an ongoing Israeli onslaught against the blockaded enclave.

Worshippers flocked to the strip’s mosques for the special prayers, which started 6:25am local time (3:25 am GMT), marking the start of the Islamic holiday.

However, many Palestinians living near the border areas where Israeli troops took positions could not perform the prayers over fears of fresh Israeli attacks.

Children were noticeably absent from the scene as their parents opted not to take their sons and daughters to the mosques for the prayers.

Prayers were also confined mainly to mosques as organizers did not have the chance to prepare open areas that used to accommodate thousands of worshippers who usually gather to perform the ‘Eid prayers and celebrate the start of the feast.

The Palestinian authorities said that around 70 mosques were not open for the prayers because they were damaged in the ongoing Israeli military offensive.

In their sermons, the Palestinian clerics urged their fellow countrymen to show patience and support for the resistance and pray for victory and those fallen during the Israeli attacks.

“This is a holiday of seeing people get martyred, of seeing destruction. What holiday is this? Who has the heart to enjoy the holiday?” said an elderly woman, Um Mustafa Jarbou, tears streaming down her face as she sat on a schoolroom floor.

She came from the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, but, like so many others, had fled ahead of the Israeli advance.

“When we eat food, it tastes like poison. Shame on them. Where is the world? Where is everybody?” she asked, sharing a commonly held view that the outside world, including many fellow Arabs, has turned their back on their plight.

At this time of the year, streets of the Gaza Strip are usually busy with local residents spending the early hours of the first day of ‘Eid al-Fitr outdoors for last-hour shopping or late-night outing. But it is different this year.

With Israeli warplanes flying overhead and the sounds of explosions and shelling echoing through the night, the streets of Gaza appeared gloomy and quiet during the early hours of the ‘Eid day with no activity whatsoever.

“You would not find any Palestinian celebrating the advent of ‘Eid al-Fitr this year,” Hossam al-Ranteesi, a 32-year-old cab driver, told Anadolu Agency.

“Scenes of death and destruction and the smell of blood are everywhere in Gaza’s streets, and the Israeli shelling is still ongoing. There is no celebration for us this year,” he added.

“How should a mother feel when she opens her eyes on the day of Eid and does not see her son next to her?” said Abir Shammaly, whose son was killed during heavy Israeli shelling of the Shejaia district in east Gaza last week.

Instead of celebrating with the living, Shammaly sat next to her son’s freshly dug grave, joining many other Gazans who were paying their respects to more than 1,000 people, many of them civilians, who have died so far in the fighting.

Her young daughter silently pushed pink and white flowers into the mound of freshly dug earth.

“The world is watching us, but they do not feel for us. Why did they waste the lives of the Palestinian people? Why did they do this to us?” said Shammaly, who also lost her house in the bombardment of Shejaia.

The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s ongoing devastating military offensive in the blockaded Gaza Strip rose to 1035 on Monday, a Health Ministry official said.

Three Palestinians on early Monday succumbed to injuries they sustained days ago in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

A fourth Palestinian was killed in an Israeli shelling of eastern Khan Younis in the south, he added.

He added that at least 6233 Gazans had been injured since the beginning of the Israeli onslaught on July 7, which Israel said aims at halting rocket fire emanating from the blockaded strip.

Apart from the human toll, Israel also destroyed 2330 Gaza housing units and partially destroyed 23,160 other apartment blocks, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Works and Housing.

“Life here has stopped by the Israeli war,” al-Ranteesi, who was heading to a western Gaza City hospital to visit his wounded son, told AA.

“Everyone fears that they might be the next target of the Israeli airstrikes. That’s why no one goes out, except for emergency and only during daytime,” he added.

Nearby, a group of Palestinian youths, displaced by the Israeli shelling of Shujaya neighborhood in eastern Gaza City, gathered at the garden of a U.N. school that provides them with shelter for a chat in a bid to forget their woes.

“This is our first time to spend the ‘Eid without any celebration,” Khaled al-Beltagi, 25, told AA. “In the past Eids, we used to spend the night at the markets and cafes until the morning,” he said.

“We don’t feel any joy this year. Everyone here has their share of the grief. Some had their family members killed, others had their homes destroyed,” he went on to say.

“There is a tragedy at every house. How do you expect us to celebrate?”

Israel’s military operation, dubbed operation “Protective Edge,” is the self-proclaimed Jewish state’s third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.

On Saturday, rescue workers managed during a 12-hour humanitarian lull to recover the bodies of 117 Palestinians, including children and women, from the rubble of homes devastated by Israeli strikes on the eastern and southern parts of Gaza.

At Gaza’s largest hospital, a group of youths came to distribute sweets to wounded children, whose small bodies bore the angry red scars of war. Efforts to bring some joy to the packed wards floundered.

I do not know about ‘Eid. Maybe there is an ‘Eid outside. We are all wounded here,” said Inas Ashour, 16, who suffered a head injury during shelling in the eastern Gaza suburb of Zeitoun.

Asked if she was happy, 5-year-old Aya Al-Namla, thought for a while as she lay on her bed. “Yes, before the bombardment.”

Six Palestinians retrieved from under Gaza rubble

Palestinian medics on Monday recovered six bodies from under the rubble of homes in the southern Gaza Strip, which has been reeling under unabated Israeli attacks for three weeks now.

“The six bodies were retrieved from under the rubble in the Khuza’a town,” Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qodra told Anadolu Agency.

He said medics were allowed into the town in coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross to evacuate the victims.

According to eyewitnesses, Israeli forces opened fire on ambulances and barred medics from entering the town.


Related Topics:

A Tragic ‘Eid for Thai Muslims*

Operation Protective Edge: The Dead Have Names*

The Last Day of a Testing Ramadhan Many Muslims Prepare for ‘Eid*

World’s Leading Medical Journal Sends an Open Letter to Gaza*

US Congress: Bill to Outlaw Muslim Brotherhood*

Irish Shops Urged to Remove Produce from Israel*

DEBKA Report: Saudi, Egypt and Israel Orchestrated Palestinian Holocaust*

Deir Yassin, the Beginning of the Palestinian Holocaust. 1948*

A Zionist General’s Son Speaks Out!*

Intelligence Agents amidst UAE ‘Aid Convoy’ to Gaza*

Sacred Activism and the Lighting of the Third Fire*

A Tragic ‘Eid for Thai Muslims*

A Tragic ‘Eid for Thai Muslims*

Thailand’s Muslim south began the ‘Eid holiday tragically when a roadside bomb killed a 12-year-old girl and injured seven others.

Police General Panya Karavanant told the Anadolu Agency on Monday that rangers had been carrying out patrols when ten kilograms of explosives that were buried into the road exploded in Pattani province late Sunday.

The bombing instantly killed Atima Seh-Jeh while also injuring two other girls and two army rangers, who are thought to have been the target.

In another incident, a Thai soldier and three suspected fighters were killed on Monday in a clash in southern Thailand, police said, as security forces in the region were on alert for attacks.

Police said a group of about six gunmen began shooting at a police officer going home from a mosque in Narathiwat.

The officer shot and killed a gunman and soldiers from a nearby army camp came to his help after hearing the gunshots. The soldier was killed in the ensuing shootout in the Rueso district, along with two more militants.

Thailand’s military ruler, General Prayuth Chan-ocha, had warned security officials to be vigilant at the end of Ramadan, when violence often spikes.

Thailand’s three Muslim-dominated southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat have been wracked by fighting since Siam (the name of Thailand pre-1939) took control of what was then a Muslim Malay Sultanate following an Anglo-Siamese treaty in 1909.

The resistance became a full-blown civil war in the 1960s when the Bangkok government tried to control education in the region’s Islamic schools.

The atmosphere has also become more volatile after the Thai junta – which seized power on May 22 – overhauled the region’s administrative structure, putting the main civilian agency managing the region – the Southern Border Provincial Administrative Center – under military control.


Related Topics:

Uyghur Muslims Punished for Fasting in Holy Month*

The Last Day of a Testing Ramadhan Many Muslims Prepare for ‘Eid*

The Persecuted Muslims the World Ignores*

Buddhist Massacre of Rohingya Muslims Continue*

Muslimah Takes Down Leading Islamaphobe*

US Congress: Bill to Outlaw Muslim Brotherhood*


The Last Day of a Testing Ramadhan Many Muslims Prepare for ‘Eid*

The Last Day of a Testing Ramadhan Many Muslims Prepare for ‘Eid*

That was then… Palestinians enjoy a day at a beach during Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of Ramadhan on August 21, 2012 in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

Muslims take part in prayers during the I’tikaf, a spiritual retreat in a mosque that is usually held during the last 10 days of Ramadhan, at the Sanusi Dantata Memorial Jummu’at mosque in Abuja, Nigeria on 31 July. (photo: CNS Afolabi Sotunde, Reuters)

Muslim men read the Quran in their private cubicle at the East London Mosque on August 7, 2013 in London, England. For the last ten days of Ramadhan, some members of the Muslim community are given the opportunity to enter spiritual seclusion called Itikaf. The holy month of Ramadhan ended last night making way for Eid celebrations around the world. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe)

Women pray at Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. Jamia Masjid, Kashmir’s Grand Mosque, was built by Sultan Sikander in 1400 AD, and remains one of the oldest mosques in Kashmir.

Muslims pray during the last day of the fasting month of Ramadhan, in Panama City, capital of Panama, (Xinhua/Mauricio Valenzuela)


Muslim men read the Quran in their private cubicle at the East London Mosque on August 7, 2013 in London, England. For the last ten days of Ramadhan, some members of the Muslim community are given the opportunity to enter spiritual seclusion called Itikaf. The holy month of Ramadhan ended last night making way for ‘Eid celebrations around the world. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Europe)


Dusk on the last day of Ramadhan, Tchit, Mauritania

Masjid-e-Nabawi. Last day in Ramadhan 2012-3. Photo by Naushad Ali (Madina, Saudi Arabia)

By Richard Cosgrove

A Kashmiri Muslim offers Jummat-ul-Vida – the last congregational Friday prayers in the holy month of Ramadhan – at the Shah-i-Hamdaan shrine, Srinagar. On Friday 25 July, Muslims took part in the last communal Friday prayers ahead of Eid.Tauseef Mustafa/AFP/Getty Images


Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Here Pakistani Muslim women shop for jewellery at a market.Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images


A Muslim woman in Indonesia checks for the quality of some ‘ketupat’ (rice cake) shells made with coconut leafs. Ketupat a famous tradition to welcome the festivities of Eid al-Fitr in Jakarta.Bay Ismoyo/AFP/Getty Images


A Pakistani woman displays her hands, decorated with traditional henna designs, at a Karachi mall ahead of Eid. Many Muslims mark the end of Ramadhan by wearing their best clothes and jewellery.Asif Hassan/AFP/Getty Images


A boy from an Islamic commune An-Nadzir looks on during Eid Al-Fitr mass prayer at Mawang Lake, Gowa, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. An exclusive Islamic community, An-Nadzir has 5,000-10,000 followers across Indonesia. In the remote area in Gowa district, the community live a basic life of farming and fishing, condemn militancy of any kind, and believe in salvation without discrimination and living in peace with others. Agung Parameswara/Getty Images


A man from an An-Nadzir commune looks back during preparation Eid Al Fitr mass prayer in Gowa, South Sulawesi, Indonesia. This community’s beliefs are the same as mainstream Muslims, but they pray before breaking their fast, unlike other Muslims who do the opposite. The men dress in dark robes and colour their hair while women are draped in head-to-toe burqas. Agung Parameswara/Getty Images


Hundreds of Indonesian motorists wait to board a ferry at Merak port, western Java, to cross the sea to Sumatra and their home provinces, before the festivities of Eid al-Fitr begin.STR/AFP/Getty Images


Related Topics:

God-consciousness After Ramadhan

The Signs of God’s Existence

Who or What Gave You Life?

Eid Mubarak- final Ramadan Reflection 2011