Showing posts with label Death Penalty News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death Penalty News. Show all posts

Death penalty abolition 'not easy' in Thailand

It is not easy to abolish the death penalty in Thailand, the director-general of the Rights and Liberties Protection Department says. Department chief Pitikarn Pitikarn Sithidej told a meeting held on Tuesday to consider the possibility of abolishing the capital punishment.  Also present was Colin Steinbach, head of the political, press and information office of the EU delegation to

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| October 17, 2017 |

Petition: Free Iranian Youth Sina Dehghan, Sentenced To Death For "Insulting The Prophet'

An Iranian 21-year-old has been sentenced to death after 'insulting the prophet' of Islam on an instant messaging app. Sina Dehghan was 19 when he was arrested by the Iranian revolutionary guard at a military barracks in Tehran in October 2015 for insulting the national religion on the messaging app LINE. Human rights activists claim that Dehghan was fooled into siging his own confession

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| October 17, 2017 |

Justices Won’t Review Florida Death-Penalty Cases

(CN) – Three liberal justices dissented Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of a challenge to Florida’s death-sentencing procedures, saying the high court should have decided whether jurors being told their verdict was merely advisory diminished their sense of responsibility. In March 2010, Quentin Marcus Truehill and two cellmates at the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office in

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| October 17, 2017 |

Virginia: Prosecutors to pursue death penalty against man accused of killing Nabra Hassanen

Fairfax County prosecutors will pursue the death penalty against the man accused in the high-profile killing of a 17-year-old Muslim girl, who was abducted as she walked to her mosque over the summer, authorities said. Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Raymond F. Morrogh (D) made the announcement Monday after a Fairfax County grand jury returned an eight-count indictment against

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| October 17, 2017 |

Execution stayed for Alabama man convicted of killing cop

A federal court granted a stay of execution for Alabama death row inmate Torrey Twane McNabb, who was scheduled to die by lethal injection on Thursday. The order was issued on Monday by Chief U.S. District Judge W. Keith Watkins of the Middle District of Alabama Northern Division. The state has appealed the stay. The execution was scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at the Hollman

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| October 16, 2017 |

16 October 1793, The Day Marie-Antoinette, Queen of France, Was Guillotined

On 21 September 1792, the fall of the monarchy was officially declared and the National Convention became the governing body of the French Republic. The royal family name was downgraded to the non-royal "Capets".  Preparations began for the trial of the king in a court of law. Charged with undermining the First French Republic, Louis XVI was separated from his family and tried in

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| October 16, 2017 |

Malaysia: Scrap death penalty on drugs to start ball rolling, Amnesty tells Putrajaya

PETALING JAYA, Oct 11 — Malaysia should abolish the mandatory death penalty for drug cases at the next Parliament sitting as a pledge to improve human rights here, Amnesty International (AI) said today after the government announced its plans to allow judges a choice in sentencing. AI Malaysia acting executive director Gwen Lee said many drug cases involve people from lower income groups

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| October 16, 2017 |

Zimbabwe: Renewed efforts to abolish death penalty

Human rights groups have re-launched their bid to have the death penalty abolished in Zimbabwe. The country is 1 of 3 southern African nations still upholding the harsh penalty. As Zimbabwe commemorated the World Day Against the Death Penalty last week, Veritas, Amnesty International and the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum canvassed for signatures to petition President Robert Mugabe to

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| October 16, 2017 |

Senior terrorist sentenced to death in absentia in Algeria

Oran, Algeria
ALGIERS, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- An Algerian court on Sunday sentenced in absentia running away senior terrorist, Mokhtar Belmokhtar, alias Belaouar, to death penalty, APS news agency reported.

The sentence has been pronounced by the prosecutor of the Criminal Court of Oran, western Algeria, as Belmokhtar, leader of the terrorist group of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was charged by the creation and management of a terrorist organization, abduction as well as arm detention and trafficking.

The case dates back to April 2011. Detectives concluded that there was a terrorist plot to kidnap foreign nationals, specifically workers in charge of the construction of Oran tramway.

Mokhtar Belmokhtar, was the mastermind of this plot, as he was first tried in absentia in 2012. By then 8 other defendants were also tried, including three in absentia, and 5 others were present at the court.

Among these five defendants, four were sentenced to life prison, while the fifth defendant was set free due to lack of evidence.

The prosecutor of the Criminal Court of Oran has reopened the case and sentenced in absentia Belmokhtar and his three companions to death penalty.

It worth to recall that Mokhtar Belmokhtar, alias Belaouer (the one eyed) claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack that targeted a gas field in the Algerian desert in January 16th 2013.

Al-Qaida linked militants attacked the gas field of Tiguentourine, in Illizi province, 1700 km southeast of Algiers and took some 800 workers as hostages, forcing the Algerian special forces to storm the field and release the hostages.

This rescue operation left more than 37 dead, including 36 foreigners. As many as 29 assailants were killed, while three others were captured alive, according to an official report.

Source: Xinhua, October 16, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


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| October 16, 2017 |

Pakistan moves to narrow down death penalty scope

Pakistan flag
ISLAMABAD - Pakistan has initiated the process to review punishment in 27 crimes carrying death sentence to narrow down the scope of death penalty, The Nation has learnt.

The decision has been taken in the wake of the ‘scathing criticism on the excessive use of this penalty’ by UN Human Rights Mechanisms, Western countries, particularly EU member states as well as NGOs with global outreach, suggest documents exclusively available with The Nation.

In a communication forwarded by Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to UN in Geneva to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in November 2016, the concerns of the international community (UN Human Rights Mechanisms, EU member states, and NGOs) with regard to the death penalty in Pakistan were highlighted.

Keeping in view Pakistan’s review of reports on human rights conventions at the UN level and concerns of the international community, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs moved a summary to the prime minister wherein some recommendations were made with regard to imposition of death penalty in Pakistan which compelled the authorities to review punishment for the crimes carrying death penalty.

It is to mention here that National Action Plan for human rights, approved by the prime minister, has also proposed a review of existing legal framework in line with the national and international commitments related to human rights.

The summary for the prime minister, a copy of which is exclusively available with The Nation, said that the 27 crimes which carry the death sentence in Pakistan may be reviewed to narrow down the scope of the death penalty.

“Like other countries, a longer life sentence may be introduced for some of these crimes. A high-level committee may be constituted to look into the recommendations,” the summary suggested to the prime minister.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in the summary, told the prime minister that after lifting a moratorium on execution of death penalty in December 2014, the country was facing severe criticism on the “excessive use” of death penalty by the UN Human Rights Mechanisms, Western countries as well as NGOs. The summary proposed that under the international humanitarian conventions ratified by Pakistan, the death penalty where permitted should apply to very serious cases.

“There is a need to review the existing provisions of CrPC and PPC to determine if the scope of the death penalty can be narrowed and the duration of a life sentence in certain cases increased,” the summary proposed. It further said that there was a need to clear the doubts of the international community particularly with regard to cases of persons with disabilities (physical or mental) or juveniles.

“At present, there is no provision in our domestic laws regarding prevention of execution or clemency for a disabled person on death row,” reads the summary. It further said that it needs to be ensured that no person below the age of 18 is awarded death sentence and death sentence may be converted to life imprisonment or pardon may be considered. The summary recommended that persons with disabilities, including persons suffering from mental and psychological disabilities, may not be awarded death sentence and their death sentence may be converted to life imprisonment or they may be pardoned. “Provisions for this may be incorporated in national laws as required,” the summary says.

In view of the above, the Ministry of Human Rights has proposed a consultative meeting to discuss a possible review of the 27 crimes. According to sources, a high-level meeting was held on 15 September, 2017, at the Ministry of Law and Justice to discuss the possible review of the 27 crimes. 

The crimes include ‘causing death to a person other than the person whose death was intended’ (Section 301 of PPC), ‘Qatal-e-Amad’ (Section 302 of PPC), ‘dacoity resulting in death’ (Section 396 of PPC), ‘terrorism’ (Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act), ‘airplane hijacking or assisting in hijacking’ (Section 402-B of PPC), harbouring hijacker (Section 402-C of PPC), ‘Zina’ (Section 5 of offences of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979), ‘rape’ (Section 376 of PPC), ‘Zina-bil-Jabr’ (Section 6 of offences of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979), ‘Zina or Zina-bil-Jabr liable to Tazir’ (Section 10 (4) of offences of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979, ‘kidnapping for ransom’ (Section 365-A of PPC), ‘drug trafficking-exceeding 1kg’ (Section 9 of Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997), ‘high treason’ (Section 2 of The High Treason (Punishment) Act, 1973), ‘successful mutiny’ (Section 132 of PPC), ‘waging or abetting war against Pakistan’ (Section 121 of PPC), ‘blasphemy’ (Section 295-C of PPC), ‘hurting persons travelling by railways and damaging property of railways’ (Section 127 of Railways Act, 1890), ‘false evidence resulting death penalty’ (Section 194 of PPC), ‘stripping off women in public’ (Section 354-A of PPC), ‘kidnapping for unnatural lust’ (Section 367-A), ‘kidnapping or abducting in order to subject to unnatural lust’ (Section 12 of The offences of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, 1979), ‘kidnapping child under age of 14’ (Section 364-A of PPC), “punishment of ‘Haraabah’” (Section 17 (4) of the offences against property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance), ‘offences in relation to enemy’ (Section 24 of The Pakistan Army Act, 1952), ‘disclosure of parole or watchword’ (Section 26 of The Pakistan Army Act, 1952), ‘mutiny and insubordination’ (Section 31 of The Pakistan Army Act, 1952) and ‘importing, exporting into and from Pakistan dangerous drugs’, (Section 13 of the Dangerous Drugs Act, 1930).

According to the sources, the ministry of human rights has supported the recommendations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on death penalty keeping in view Pakistan’s international commitments. 

It, however, suggested that the matter be referred to the Law Reforms Committee instead of constituting a new committee as proposed by the foreign office, to review the existing legislation in consultation with stakeholders.

The matter will be discussed at the next meeting of the stakeholders. In 2008, the government had placed a five-year moratorium on executing prisoners on death row which expired in 2013.

Source: The Nation, Tahir Niaz, October 16, 2017

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


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| October 16, 2017 |

Once promised paradise, IS fighters end up in mass graves

Iraq
The Islamic State group once drew recruits from near and far with promises of paradise but now bodies of jihadists lie in mass graves or at the mercy of wild dogs as its "caliphate" collapses.

Flies buzz around human remains poking through the dusty earth in the Iraqi town of Dhuluiyah, 90 kilometres (55 miles) north of Baghdad, at a hastily-dug pit containing the bodies of dozens of IS fighters killed in 2015.

"They should have ended up in the stomachs of stray dogs," local police officer Mohammed al-Juburi told AFP.

"We buried them here not out of love but because we wanted to avoid diseases."

At one stage, IS ruthlessly wielded power over a vast swathe of territory straddling Iraq and Syria, but a military onslaught on multiple fronts has seen its fiefdom shrink to a last few pockets.

Since the launch in 2014 of air strikes in Iraq and Syria against the group, a US-led coalition says around 80,000 jihadists have been killed. 

The overall number of dead is higher if you include those targeted by Russian and Syrian strikes. 

Buried with bulldozers


In agricultural Dhuluiyah on the banks of the Tigris river, residents faced a common dilemma over what to do with the corpses of IS fighters after local Sunni militiamen beat back the jihadists in fierce clashes.

"We could have thrown them into the water, but we love the river too much to pollute it," said the local policeman, who lost his own brother in the violence.

"The people here as well as their animals drink from the Tigris."

Local finally decided to dig a mass grave for the fighters -- but they said they refused to honor them with Islamic rites.

"We buried them with bulldozers. Even in the ground they are still mired in their own filth," said farmer Shalan al-Juburi. 

"They said that they would go to paradise to enjoy the gardens of delights, but this is how they ended up." 

The desolate site is in stark contrast to a nearby graveyard surrounded by a red-brick wall a few hundred metres (yards) away.

There the "martyrs" who died helping to stop the jihadist advance lie in well-tended tombs adorned with their portraits and shaded by trees.  

Elsewhere, in western Iraq's Anbar province, the luckiest among the IS dead appear to be those killed during its offensives against the army in 2015. 

In the centre of Fallujah, the first major city captured by the group in 2014, hundreds of memorials in a makeshift cemetery bear the noms de guerre of foreign fighters buried by their comrades. 

But as Iraqi forces in Anbar now look to oust the jihadists from their final footholds, operation commander Mahmoud al-Fellahi insisted any jihadists killed will end up in mass graves.

A similar fate befell IS members in the city of Mosul, the group's largest urban stronghold in Iraq that it lost in July. 

There, a senior Iraqi commander told AFP, authorities used earthmoving equipment "to bury the jihadists after we collected information on their identities and nationalities".


'Desert dogs are waiting'


Across the border in Syria -- where competing Russia and US-backed offensives are squeezing IS -- the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates some 50,000 IS members have been killed. 

As clashes rage with the jihadists, one Syrian commander said that what happens to dead fighters is not a priority.

It's Payback Time As ISIS Soldiers' Decaying Bodies Found Blind-Folded, Bound, and Shot In Desert"At the moment, we are more interested in what happens above the ground than under it," he told AFP.

Another military source said the identities of the fighters can provide useful intelligence.

"The terrorists try to collect their dead. If we find them, we try to identify the foreigners for a possible information swap with their home countries," the source said. 

In the desert plains that the jihadists once dominated, the bodies of dead fighters are left abandoned, a pro-regime militia head told AFP.

"The desert dogs are waiting for them," he said. "When fighting ends, the jihadists come out of their hiding places to collect the remains."

A spokesman for the US-backed force close to ousting IS from the city of Raqa said the bodies of the group's members were "generally buried" whenever possible.

"But sometimes due to snipers or because they are under rubble, some of the bodies end up rotting," said Syrian Defence Forces representative Mustefa Bali.

While the rank-and-file are often left forgotten, IS appears to have taken care to hide the final resting places of prominent Western jihadists. 

"Figures who were well-known and wanted by the international community are buried at secret locations," said Syrian Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Those include notorious British executioner Mohamed Emwazi, known as "Jihadi John", propaganda chief Abu Muhammad al-Adnani and military leader Omar al-Shishani.

There has been no record of bodies of foreign jihadists being repatriated, said Abdel Rahman.

Source: Agence France-Presse, Ammar Karim and Maher al-Mounes, October 15, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


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| October 16, 2017 |

Iran: Two executed over murder, kidnapping charges

Public execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (Oct 15 2017): A prisoner was executed on murder charges at Rasht Central Prison (Lakan).

According to a close source, on the morning of Saturday October 14, a prisoner was executed at Rasht Central Prison. 

The prisoner, Hamidreza Khoshbakht, was sentenced to death on murder charges.

Close sources told Iran Human Rights (IHR) that Hamidreza was born on 1993. Four years ago, when he was 20, he was arrested for murder.

The execution of this prisoner has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 142 of the 530 execution sentences in 2016 were implemented due to murder charges. 

There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.

Prisoner executed on Moharebeh charges at Kerman Prison


According to ISNA and the Deputy of Public and Revolutionary Prosecutor’s office of Kerman, Mokhtar Shamsuddini, on the morning of Thursday October 12, a prisoner was hanged at Kerman Prison.

The prisoner identified as P.D. was charged with Moharebeh for blocking the road, kidnapping some Afghans, and extorting them.

At least 530 prisoners were executed Last year, 44 of whom were sentenced to death on the charge of Moharebeh and “Spreading corruption on earth”.

Due to the ambiguity of the notions of Moharebeh (waging war against God) and “Spreading corruption on earth”, these two charges are commonly used for a large number of offences.

Source: Iran Human Rights, October 16, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


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| October 16, 2017 |

Why Indonesia Delays Execution of Death Row Convicts

Indonesian flag
Executing death row inmates is currently not a top priority as Indonesia faces the urgency of solving economic, political and social gap issues.

Jakarta, GIVnews.com – A total of 153 convicted death row inmates are yet to be executed in Indonesia, facing undetermined execution timeline. Even Attorney General M Prasetyo could not tell when these convicts people will go to the gallows.

Is an execution delay good or bad? Regardless, some in the public had repetitively questioned such long execution delay faced by these prisoners. On the other hand, human rights groups had ceaselessly sought support from the international community for the abolishment of capital punishment in Indonesia while the government had adamantly defended its use of the death penalty.

Prasetyo said on Wednesday, “On the delay of their execution, I also cannot explain about it now. I can only say that there are still so many problems currently faced by this nation, which should be given a priority. So many things,” Prasetyo said in a parliamentary hearing on Wednesday (11/10) as reported by Detik.com.

The attorney general said the solution of existing economic, social and political problems as well as social gap issues should be given top priority.

Prasetyo said the current law on clemency for death row prisoners had also caused a delay in their execution. Such group of prisoners included former drug dealers.

Indonesia reportedly executed 39 death row convicts, including foreign nationals, in the past 10 years. Out of this total number, 18 went to the gallows under the government of President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo who took up his post in October 2014.

Source: Global Indonesian Voices, Leo Jegho, August 15, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


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| October 15, 2017 |

While The U.N. Condemns Anti-Gay Crackdowns In Egypt, Indonesia And Azerbaijan, The U.S. Remains Silent

Rally against LGBT in Indonesia
Altogether, more than 180 alleged homosexuals have been arrested in the three largely Muslim countries.

The U.N. has issued a stern rebuke against the recent harassment and arrests of LGBT people in three largely Muslim countries.

“We are deeply concerned by a wave of arrests in Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia of more than 180 people perceived to be [LGBT],” said U.N. human rights spokesperson Rupert Colville.

“Arresting or detaining people based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity is by definition arbitrary and violates international law.”

In Azerbaijan, U.N. experts reported, some 80 people thought to be gay or transgender have been arrested in the past month. 

Some reportedly have been subjected to beatings and electric shocks, with the heads of trans women forcibly shaved.

In Egypt, where a conviction on sodomy charges can land you in prison for up to six years, seven people were arrested after rainbow flags flew at a Cairo rock concert. 

In the days that followed, police arrested more than 50 alleged homosexuals, in some cases entrapping them via dating apps and chatrooms. “Arresting and detaining people for legitimately expressing themselves—including by displaying a rainbow flag—is also arbitrary and violates individuals’ right to freedom of expression,” says Colville.

While homosexuality is not illegal in most of Indonesia, the government has banned LGBT representations in the media, including Grindr and queer emojis. 

Last week more than 50 men were arrested in a raid on a gay sauna in Jakarta. While a majority have been released, several were charged with violating the vague “Law on Pornography,” used to arrest people for consensual same-sex relations.

The particulars in these attacks differ, but the pretenses for them are flimsy or outright false: Charges of prostitution, debauchery or “hooliganism.” 

Victims are pressured to reveal the names of other alleged homosexuals and frequently face physical violence and forced anal examinations.

“Azerbaijan, Egypt and Indonesia should take immediate action to release anyone detained on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Colville, calling for discriminatory laws to be repealed.

At the same time, the White House, the State Department, and U.N. Representative Nikki Haley have been largely silent about these atrocities against the global LGBT community.

The last time Haley addressed LGBT rights was two weeks after reports of anti-gay pogroms in Chechnya.

“We continue to be disturbed by reports of kidnapping, torture, and murder of people in Chechnya based on their sexual orientation,” Haley wrote in a statement in April. “We are against all forms of discrimination, including against people based on sexual orientation.”

Guess that’ll just have to hold us for a while, huh?

Source: NewNowNextDan Avery, October 14, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


from Death Penalty News http://ift.tt/2gaLa8t
| October 15, 2017 |

Iran: Young man has hand judicially amputated over jewelry theft

Judicial amputation of a hand carried out in public, Iran (file photo)
NCRI - Iranian attorney general in the Khorasan Razavi province , Gholam Ali Sadeghi, announced the hand-amputation of a person charged with theft, Sadeghi stated: this man had stolen jewelry six years ago, when he was 25 years old in Mashad.

The state run Khorasan press agency reported on October 12 that, according to Sadeghi, the court ruling was hand amputation for the 25 years old youth, and 10 years imprisonment and 74 lashes for his younger brother who was 22 years old.

He added: right after fulfilling the primary procedures of executing the ruling for M. N (initials of the name of convicted youth), in presence of the officials and physicians his hand was amputated.

Sadeghi claimed that to provide security the judiciary has a firm position vis-a-vis the thieves who steal people's belongings.

It is notable that on September 22 the Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in a statement called on all international human rights authorities and organizations, in particular the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, and the reporters on arbitrary executions and torture, to condemn the clerical regime for executions and medieval punishments, such as hand amputation. 

Judicial amputation of a hand carried out in public, Iran (file photo)
It also called on the international community, especially the European Union and the United States, to sanction the mullahs’ regime from committing these brutal punishments.

The leaders of the barbarism ruling Iran, who are the disgrace for contemporary humanity, must be rejected from the family of nations and brought to justice.

The statement further added that resorting to executions and arrest of people on the charges such as smuggling drugs and robbery is happening while the biggest thieves in Iran's history are the leaders of the ruling regime whose astronomical and chain thefts are the constant issues of internal struggle among the factions of this regime, and the drug traffickers in Iran and many countries of the world from Canada and the United States to various European countries to Far East Asia and Australia are controlled by Khamenei, the supreme leader of the regime, and the Revolutionary Guards.

Source: NCRI, October 14, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


from Death Penalty News http://ift.tt/2wXgWN5
| October 15, 2017 |

Iran: 17-year-old boy at risk of imminent execution

Public execution, Iran
The Iranian authorities must urgently stop the execution of a 17-year-old boy who was convicted of murder and rape, and commute his death sentence to imprisonment, said Amnesty International.

Amirhossein Pourjafar is scheduled to be executed in a prison in Tehran on 19 October 2017. He was detained in April 2016 and sentenced to death six months later after being convicted of the rape and murder of a seven-year-old girl, Setayesh Ghoreyshi, from Iran’s marginalized Afghan community.

“There is no question that this was a horrific crime and the perpetrator should be held accountable. Amnesty International supports the demands for justice voiced by Setayesh’s bereaved family and the wider Afghan community in Iran, but executing a 17-year-old boy is not justice,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

“The use of the death penalty against people convicted of crimes committed while they were under 18 is absolutely prohibited by international human rights law. If Iran goes ahead with the execution next week it will be another appalling breach of its international obligations.”

Amnesty International supports the demands for justice voiced by Setayesh’s bereaved family and the wider Afghan community in Iran, but executing a 17-year-old boy is not justice
Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International

In its final verdict the court said that the death sentence against Amirhossein Pourjafar was issued after taking into account “societal expectations and public opinion”.

“The authorities’ rush to send a child to the gallows in order to placate public anger is short-sighted and misguided. The death penalty is a cruel, inhuman and irreversible punishment and there is no evidence that it has a greater deterrent effect than imprisonment. Using it as a means to exact revenge only compounds its brutal effects on society,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.

85 juvenile offenders executed in Iran between 2005 and 2017


This execution was scheduled just two months after the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, repeated Iran’s untruthful claims that it does not execute minors.

In reality, Amnesty International has recorded the execution of 85 juvenile offenders in Iran between 2005 and 2017, including four in 2015, two in 2016, and four so far this year. The organization has also identified 92 individuals who are currently on death row for crimes committed when they were children.

Amirhossein Pourjafar was sentenced to death in September 2016 after a criminal court in Tehran concluded that he had attained “mental maturity” at the time of the crime and understood the nature and consequences of his actions. In reaching its conclusion, the court cited opinions from Iran’s state forensic institute attesting to his “mental sanity” as well as evidence they say pointed to his efforts to conceal the crime.

Outrageously, the court claimed that its reasoning was in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a state party. However, the Convention on the Rights of the Child is unequivocal in its absolute prohibition on the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by people below 18 years of age.

It is well-established in the principles of juvenile justice that individuals under 18 years of age are categorically less mature and culpable, and should never, therefore, face the same penalties as adults.

Instead of resorting to case-by-case ‘maturity’ assessments, which are by their very nature flawed and arbitrary, the Iranian authorities must comply with their international obligations toward children and end the use of the death penalty against all juvenile offenders immediately

Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International

“Instead of resorting to case-by-case ‘maturity’ assessments, which are by their very nature flawed and arbitrary, the Iranian authorities must comply with their international obligations toward children and end the use of the death penalty against all juvenile offenders immediately,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.

Background:


In September 2016, Branch 7 of Criminal Court No 1 in Tehran handed Amirhossein Pourjafar two death sentences, one for murder in accordance with the Islamic principle of “retribution-in-kind” (qesas) and another for rape. He was also sentenced to 74 lashes for mutilating the corpse. The Supreme Court upheld both death sentences in January 2017.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner. The death penalty is a violation of the right to life and the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

Source: Amnesty International, October 13, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


from Death Penalty News http://ift.tt/2ynTcTT
| October 15, 2017 |

Death penalty opponents kick off two-week Texas tour

2017 Texas Journey of Hope from violence to healing
A coalition of death row survivors and murder victim family members is kicking off a two-week tour in Texas opposing capital punishment.

Dubbed the Texas Journey of Hope from Violence to Healing, the effort opens Saturday in Houston with a 7 p.m. screening of "The Gathering," a film focused on death row exonerees. It will be followed by a panel discussion at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory.

"These are the voices of experience on the death penalty," said Abe Bonowitz with Death Penalty Action.

A coalition of death penalty opponents launched the Journey of Hope back in 1993 with a tour through Indiana.

"For 17 days, we barnstormed that state and it actually made a difference," Bonowitz said.

Afterward, they took their tour to other states – anywhere they were wanted or needed.

This visit will be Journey of Hope's fifth swing through the Lone Star State since 1998.

"We feel that our message that the death penalty prevents healing and only creates more victims has helped reduce the desire for executions in Texas," Bill Pelke, Journey of Hope founder, said in a release. "Now, the vast majority of killers in Texas get the alternative sentence of life without parole. One thing we know from experience is that when there is no death sentence in your case, the healing process begins a lot sooner."

On Sunday, there's an 11:30 a.m. restorative justice presentation at First Congregational Church of Houston. Later in the day is a "From Fury to Forgiveness" panel discussion at 3 p.m. at the 6501 Almeda Road residence of the Houston Dominican Sisters.

On Tuesday at 7 p.m. is a question-and-answer session with murder victim family members and representation from the district attorney's office at the First Congregational Church of Houston.

Finally, on Wednesday there's a 5 p.m. film and panel discussion at Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law. The event coincides with a scheduled execution of a Houston serial killer, though the tour was planned long before the death date was set.

Some of the public events will be livestreamed on the group's Facebook page, and afterward the Journey of Hope will move on to Dallas and then San Antonio before ending in Austin.

Source: chron.com,  Keri Blakinger, October 14, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


from Death Penalty News http://ift.tt/2ypbe9R
| October 15, 2017 |

He was one of the Central Park Five. Now he’s talking about Trump and his wrongful conviction.

Yusef Salaam
RALEIGH - When President Donald Trump told media in August that he did not immediately condemn hate groups after the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville because he did not “know all the facts,” Yusef Salaam bristled at the words.

Salaam, a former New Yorker who is speaking at an awards ceremony for the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina on Saturday, recalled a time in 1989 where Trump was not inclined to wait for “all the facts” in another case.

On May 1, 1989, 11 days after an investment banker jogging through Central Park was brutally attacked and raped, Trump took out full page advertisements in four New York newspapers titled “Bring Back the Death Penalty. Bring Back Our Police!”

“I want to hate these muggers and murderers,” Trump’s ad stated. “They should be forced to suffer and, when they kill, they should be executed for their crimes.”

Salaam, who lives in Atlanta now, remembers Trump’s words well and they continue to have a particular sting.

The 43-year-old father of seven daughters was one of the so-called “Central Park Five,” a group of teenagers wrongfully convicted of that high-profile attack despite their insistence that incriminating statements they had made to authorities had been coerced after the young men, all black or Hispanic, had been deprived of food, drink or sleep.

“During our trial, it seemed like every New Yorker had an opinion. But no one took it further than Trump,” Salaam said in a column published in The Washington Post and on other media sites shortly after the Charlottesville rally ended with one dead and 19 injured. “He called for blood in the most public way possible. ... At the time, our families tried to shield us from what was going on in the media, but we still found out about Trump’s ads. My initial thought was, ‘Who is this guy?’ I was terrified that I might be executed for a crime I didn’t commit.”

In a telephone interview earlier this week, Salaam said he plans to talk at the ACLU ceremony in Raleigh about what he’s done since his wrongful conviction. He was 16 when New York law enforcement officers rounded up him and 29 other teenagers in the park the night the jogger was found beaten and left for dead. He served more than five years in prison until a convicted murderer and rapist confessed to the crime and DNA evidence also exonerated the Central Park Five.

“Donald Trump made a rush to judgment in our case,” Salaam said. “You see that he stayed on that same side of history with what he’s doing today.”

Karen Anderson, executive director of the ACLU-NC, called Salaam a “powerful advocate” whose message the organization hopes will “inspire others to fight for justice.”

“The harsh reality is that so many of the injustices Yusef faced are still pervasive threats to due process for people of color and economically disadvantaged people in North Carolina today. At the ACLU, we’re working every day to change this broken system so that justice isn’t reserved solely for the powerful.”

Salaam said this week he had heard about the debate over the Confederate monuments in North Carolina, and he supports taking them down and making sure history is portrayed accurately.

“I think they absolutely should be removed and what should happen is a complete retelling of history,” Salaam said.

At the ceremony where Salaam will talk about questions of race, class, the criminal justice system and legal protections for young people in police custody, the ACLU plans to honor North Carolinians for civil liberty work.

They include:

▪ James E. Williams, Jr., the recently retired public defender for Orange and Chatham counties, who is being recognized for lifetime achievement in civil liberties.

▪ Joaquín Carcaño, Payton McGarry, Angela Gilmore, Hunter Schafer, Madeline Goss and Quinton Harper, LGBTQ residents who are party to the lawsuit challenging House Bill 2 and its replacement, HB 142.

▪ Nan Lund, Robert Voelker and Liesa Montag-Siegel who challenged Rowan County commissioners’ for opening their meetings with prayer, a practice the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unconstitutional. That case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

▪ The UNC Center for Civil Rights, which recently was stripped of its authority to file lawsuits by the UNC Board of Governors.

▪ Elaine Gordon, former capital defender, for her work to end the death penalty, and

▪ Davion M. Washington, Jr., who has made a name for himself talking about what it’s like to be a black male growing up in Charlotte.

Source: The News & Observer, Anne Blythe, October 13, 2017


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde


from Death Penalty News http://ift.tt/2yntu1N
| October 15, 2017 |
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