Subject: ABC: Horta criticised for death penalty comments

Jose Ramos Horta criticised for death penalty comments

Human rights group Amnesty International has strongly criticised East Timor's foreign minister over his reported comments about convicted terrorists facing the death penalty.

Jose Ramos Horta has been quoted as saying that in cases where a person is found guilty by a credible court of terrorist acts that kill many people, he would not sign a clemency petition.

Mr Ramos Horta was speaking shortly after a truck bomb devastated the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, killing Sergio Vieira de Mello, the top UN official who helped rebuild East Timor.

Amnesty Internation, which opposes capital punishment, says it is sad to hear a Nobel Peace Prize winner defend the death penalty for terrorists.

Mr Ramos Horta was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, along with the Bishop of East Timor, Carlos Belo, for their non-violent resistance to Indonesia's occupation of their homeland.

22/08/2003 12:00:58 | ABC Radio Australia News

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