Germany Considers Expelling Convicted Syrians

Germany is examining if Syrians convicted of crimes in Europe’s biggest economy or who are deemed dangerous can be sent back to their conflict-torn country, Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Friday.

“That is being looked at closely in our ministry,” Seehofer told newspaper group RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND).

Tens of thousands of Syrians have sought asylum in Germany, with the biggest influx taking place in 2015.

A ban on expulsions to Syria has been in place as war rages there, but the restriction runs out at the end of the year.

Germany would then need to consider whether to extend the ban, and the foreign ministry’s assessment of the situation in Syria would be crucial in the decision.

But several high-profile crimes involving migrants have soured the public mood in Germany, prompting interior ministers of several states to push for the expulsion of asylum seekers who have been convicted.

“Once the security situation allows, dangerous individuals and criminals can be sent back to Syria,” Saxony state’s interior minister Roland Woeller told RND.

Idlib and some surrounding areas are the last major rebel bastions in Syria, where the Russian-backed government has in recent months retaken much of the territory it had lost since the civil war erupted in 2011.

Berlin in 2016 signed a controversial deal with Kabul to repatriate Afghans who had failed to obtain asylum, even though Afghanistan remains strangled by violence.

AFP

Wrongly Convicted Man Freed After 23 years In Prison

300 Boko Haram Suspects Remanded In Prison

Surrounded by news cameras and supporters, Lamonte McIntyre hugged his mother Friday for the first time as a free man in 23 years.

The 41-year-old Kansas native was wrongly convicted of a double murder and finally set free after spending more than half of his life behind bars. He was serving two life sentences.

The group Injustice Watch said McIntyre’s first words were: “It’s nice outside.”

McIntyre was originally convicted at the age of 17 on the testimony of witnesses who later recanted. Prosecutors presented no physical evidence or motive to tie him to the 1994 murders.

A judge was reconsidering the case in court hearings that were scheduled to last into next week, when the new prosecutor in the case said Friday in a news release that new information cast doubt on witness identification of McIntyre as the killer, and that a jury might have not convicted him.

“In light of information learned by my office since I began in January,” Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark Dupree said, “my office is requesting the Court find that manifest injustice exists.”

The original investigators of the daytime shooting never issued search warrants nor discovered a link between McIntyre and the victims, according to The Washington Post. He was arrested after less than 20 minutes of interviews.

“The investigation was hasty and superficial,” said the Midwest Innocence Project, which helped free McIntyre.

McIntyre has always maintained his innocence.

His mother Rose McIntyre, who was present when he was arrested decades ago, on Friday thanked “everybody who never gave up on my son,” according to the Kansas City Star, which reported that there were many tears in the courtroom when the man was finally freed.

“He (the judge) said, ‘You’re free.’ I almost hit the floor,” The Star quoted Rose McIntyre as saying.

“I want him to feel the sunlight.”

AFP

 

Court Martial Jails Soldier Over Assault On Minor

Court Martial, Soldier, MinorThe court martial trying offending soldiers of the Operation Lafiya Dole has de-ranked and sentenced an Army personnel to three years in prison over assault on a minor, which led to amputation.

The convict, Umar Sule, a staff sergeant was first arraigned in August 2015 alongside 19 others for various offences.

The two-count charge against him include entertaining an unauthorised person in his guard location as well as unlawful assault causing “grievous bodily harm”.

The 10-year-old boy, simply identified as Mohammed Usman, sat limbless in court on Tuesday as the fate of his assaulter was decided.

Mohammed, as an errand boy to the said soldier, allegedly stole 2,000 Naira from his master’s room.

Giving his ruling, president of the court martial, Brigadier-General Olusegun Adeniyi, said that the court was guided by military laws as enshrined in the Armed Forces Act 2004.

The Defence counsel pleaded for mercy on the grounds that Sergeant Umar was a first offender with clean records.

The victim’s mother, Amina Usman, however, had mixed feelings over the ruling, saying the future of her child hangs in the balance.

On her part, a representative of the National Human Rights Commission, Jummai Mshelia, commended the Nigerian Army and the court martial for the ruling and sought support for the victim.

The judgement is the first since the General Court Martial was inaugurated.

The court has adjourned till October 20 for hearing of the next case.

The 20 soldiers arraigned before the court comprise of four officers and 16 other ranks.

Internal Security: FG To Set Up Committee On Prison Reform

DanbazzauThe Minister of Interior, Abdulrahaman Danbazau, on Monday said that a committee on the reformation of prisons will be soon inaugurated.

This according to him, is part of efforts by the federal government to decongest and secure such facilities across the country.

Mr Danbazzau disclosed this at Kaduna Government House during a meeting with the state governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai.

He explained that the committee will come up with ways of rehabilitating the prisons in line with global best practices.

He also disclosed that the ministry will collaborate with Kaduna State Government on the decongestion and rehabilitation of the Convict Prison that was built more than 100 years ago.

On security, Danbazau said the Ministry of Interior under his leadership, will partner with the state government to tackle the menace of cattle rustling, kidnapping and herdsmen attacks.

On his part, Governor El-Rufai, while commending the support and contribution of para-military agencies in the fight against crime in the state, requested for the relocation of the Kaduna Convict Prison from its present locationto a more suitable place in the outskirts of town.

He also disclosed that his administration has been conducting periodic jail delivery and granting of amnesty to prisoners with minor offenses as part of efforts to decongest the prisons in the state.