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L'ex presidente tunisino Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Tunisian ex-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, pictured in 2010
TUNISIA: MILITARY TRIBUNAL SEEKS DEATH PENALTY FOR BEN ALI

May 23, 2012: A Tunisian military prosecutor demanded the death penalty for ex-president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who is being tried in absentia over killings during last year's popular uprising.
Defence lawyers and the victims' relatives alike were surprised by the decision, as Ben Ali is charged only with "complicity in voluntary homicide" while others are accused of direct involvement.
Aside from seeking the death penalty for Ben Ali, the prosecutor at the military tribunal also sought the "toughest penalties possible" for his 22 co-defendants, a court official told AFP.
They are ex-senior officials being prosecuted for the deaths of at least 22 people during the January 2011 pro-democracy protests in the towns of Thala and Kasserine.
Many of the victims died when security forces fired live rounds.
It is the first time the death penalty has been sought against the ousted longtime dictator, although he has already been sentenced to more than 66 years in prison on a range of other charges including drug trafficking and embezzlement.
Ben Ali was absent for those court cases, having fled Tunisia on January 14 to seek exile in Saudi Arabia.
He and his wife are the subject of an international arrest warrant, but Saudi authorities have not responded to Tunisian extradition requests.
Several lawyers reacted with surprise to the death penalty request.
"Ben Ali isn't the main player in these killings, he's being tried for complicity, yet the prosecutor is asking for a tougher penalty against him than those who've been charged with homicide," said Abderraouf Ayadi, a lawyer for the families of those killed.
"Prosecutors are trying to placate the families of the martyrs, rather than find the true culprits," he said.
Othman Oueslati, a lawyer for another defendant, former interior minister Rafik Belhaj Kacem, said his client had "never received from Ben Ali instructions to kill."
"This trial is lacking in form and substance," he said, according to the news agency TAP.
But former prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, who led the first post-Ben Ali government, has blamed his former boss.
In January this year, he testified that he called on Ben Ali to tell security forces to stop shooting live rounds against residents in Kasserine.
Ben Ali supposedly then said such tactics could be justified as self-defence.
The protest against Ben Ali's autocratic rule triggered what would become the Arab Spring uprisings that swept other strongmen from power across the Arab world.
Among those on trial in the case are former interior ministers Kacem and Ahmed Friaa, as well as former security chiefs Adel Tiouiri and Jalel Bourdiga.
During the trial, none of the defendants has admitted giving the order to open fire on protesters and no one has named names.
Defence arguments are scheduled to get under way in the coming days. (Sources: Afp, 23/05/2012)

IRAN: AT LEAST 9 PRISONERS EXECUTED ONE DAY AFTER EU EXPRESSED CONCERN ABOUT THE ALARMING NUMBER OF THE EXECUTIONS
MALAYSIA: INDIAN NATIONAL GETS THE GALLOWS FOR TRAFFICKING
INDIA: PRESIDENT COMMUTES DEATH SENTENCE OF 3 MORE PRISONERS
INDIA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR RAPIST KILLER
UAE: DEATH SENTENCE OF MURDERER UPHELD
JUDGES SENTENCE CHARLES TAYLOR TO 50 YEARS
KUWAIT: COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE OVER FILIPINA MURDER
DR CONGO: DEFECTORS SENTENCED TO DEATH
NIGERIA: 3 MEN TO DIE BY HANGING FOR ROBBERY
MALAYSIA: 3 FILIPINOS ON DEATH ROW PARDONED
UAE: FIRING SQUAD FOR MAID WHO KILLED MOTHER AND TODDLER
USA: THREE PERCENT OF EXECUTIONS SINCE 1900 WERE BOTCHED, STUDY FINDS
KUWAIT: SPIES' SENTENCES COMMUTED
PAKISTAN: DEATH DECREE OVER WEDDING VIDEO
IRAN: TWO PRISONERS HANGED PUBLICLY
MALAYSIA: FILIPINO MAID TO HANG FOR TRAFFICKING 1126.9 GRAMS OF COCAINE
VIETNAM: LETHAL DRUG SHORTAGE OFFERS DEATH-ROW PRISONERS REPRIEVE
CALIFORNIA (USA): DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS REFUSES TO RETURN SODIUM THIOPENTAL TO FDA
INDIA: THREE SENTENCED TO DEATH IN MURDER CASE
CHINA: SOUTH KOREAN MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
ZIMBABWE: CYANIDE KILLERS GET DEATH PENALTY
IRAN: SEVEN PRISONERS HANGED
TUNISIA: CONSTITUTION TO SEE END OF DEATH PENALTY, ITALY SAYS
USA: REGISTRY TALLIES OVER 2,000 WRONGFUL CONVICTIONS SINCE 1989
CHINA: TYCOON JAILED AFTER DEATH SENTENCE REVOKED
IRAN: 14 HANGED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY: GAZA COURT REJECTS DEATH SENTENCE APPEAL
USA: 15 STATES URGE FEDS TO HELP IMPORT LETHAL INJECTION DRUG
SAUDI ARABIA: TWO PAKISTANIS BEHEADED FOR MURDERS
TEXAS (USA): TEXAS PRISON SYSTEM HAS DRUGS FOR 23 EXECUTIONS

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  IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN, THE HANGING OF THE PROTESTER MOSTAFA SALEHI IS A SHAME FOR THE SO-CALLED DEMOCRATIC WORLD   
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  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
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