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Iran Execution Trends Six Months After the New Anti-Narcotics Law

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IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MAY 28, 2018): On Monday, May 10, 2018, Iran Human Rights (IHR) reported the execution of Kiomars Nasouhi, a prisoner sentenced to death for drug offenses. This execution is the first drug-related execution registered by IHR since the latest amendment to the Anti-Narcotics Law was enforced on November 14, 2017.
According to reports by IHR, at least 77 people, among them three juvenile offenders have been executed between January 1. and May 20, 2018. Four were hanged in public spaces. Of the reported executions 62 were sentenced to death for murder, seven for Moharebeh (being an “enemy of God”), seven for rape, and 1 for drug offenses. For comparison, it is reported that during the same period in 2017, at least 203 people were executed, 112 were executed for drug offenses. The significant reduction in the number of executions in 2018 seems to be due to a temporary halt in drug-related executions as the number of executions for murder charges were nearly the same as …

Iran: Six executions in one day

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Iran Human Rights (Jun 18, 2018): Reports suggest that after the execution of Mohammad Salas, five other prisoners who were sentenced to death on murder charges were also hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison today. One of the prisoners was charged with the murder of an eight-month-old baby named Benita.
According to a close source, on the morning of Monday, June 18, six prisoners, including Mohammad Salas, were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison.
According to the official news agency of the Judiciary, Mizan, one of the prisoners who were executed today was charged with the murder of an eight-month-old baby named Benita Qal’enoiy during a car theft.
The state-run news agency, Javan, reported, “The defendant, Mohammad Vafaiy, stole a car that belonged to Benita Qal’enoiy’s father while the eight-month-old baby was in the back seat. Ultimately, he leaves the car in the street which leads to the baby’s death due to high temperature and lack of oxygen.”
The defendant said that he went to the police r…

Iran: Death sentence of Gonabadi Dervish Mohammad Salas carried out despite protests

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Iran Human Rights (June 18, 2018): Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly condemns the execution of Mohammad Salas and calls on the European Union and the countries that have diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran to play a more active role in preventing human rights abuses in Iran.
In spite of all civil society protests and despite the repeated warnings of human rights groups, the death sentence of Mohammad Salas was carried out early the morning of June 18. 
Noting that the death penalty in its entirety is inhumane, IHR insists that the principles of due process have not been implemented in the trial of this Gonabadi dervish.
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR, said: "The Islamic Republic of Iran's judiciary not only failed to investigate the reports of torture under the interrogations and confessions, but also ignored the claims by Mr. Salas’ lawyer and family on the existence of new evidence proving his innocence demanding for new investigations. …

Amnesty International Calls For Urgent Halt To Execution Of Mohammad Salas

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Amnesty International calls for urgent halt to the imminent execution of Mohammad Salas, a member of Iran’s Gonabadi Dervish community.
In its statement issued on June 17, 2018, Amnesty International called on Iranian authorities to to immediately quash the death sentence of Mohammad Salas.
Amnesty International said, it has received information that indicates a huge miscarriage of justice may be carried out if the Iranian authorities go through with this execution.
“We call on the authorities to immediately quash the death sentence of Mohammad Salas and to order a retrial that meets international fair trial standards without recourse to the death penalty,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at ‎Amnesty International.
Amnesty International announced in its statement, “Prison authorities phoned Mohammad Salas’ family on the evening of 16 June and told them to go to Raja’i Shahr prison where he is imprisoned in Karaj, near Tehran, to…

Man who spent 14 years on death row claims prosecutor, detective elicited false testimony

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A man who was accused of murder in 1998 has filed a lawsuit, alleging that a prosecutor and investigator coerced a teen to give false testimony.
NEW ORLEANS – A man who was convicted of murder in 1998 has filed a lawsuit alleging that a prosecutor and investigator coerced a teen to give false testimony.
Michael Wearry was convicted in 2002 in the murder of 16-year-old Eric Walber. Wearry’s attorneys were preparing for a retrial when they were able to find the witness, Jeffrey Ashton, in May 2017.
Jim Craig, representing Wearry with the Roderick and Solange MacArthur Justice Center, said Ashton talked to the criminal defense attorneys and told them what allegedly happened.
“It’s not every day that one accuses a prosecutor, a sitting district attorney, of fabricating witness testimony,” Craig said. “It’s a very serious case and a very disturbing case. I hope it’s unusual. I don’t think anybody wants to think this kind of behavior happens every day.”
Wearry’s lawsuit was filed in federal…

Québec mosque shooting: Bissonnette fights 150-year 'death sentence'

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His lawyers will argue that a sentence exceeding a criminal's lifespan contravenes Charter protections against "cruel and unusual punishment."
Lawyers for the man who went on a murderous rampage in a Quebec City mosque will tell a judge Monday that he should not be sentenced to die in prison.
Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to killing six Muslim men in January 2017, is scheduled to return to a Quebec City courtroom.
Over three days, Bissonnette’s lawyers and the Crown will present arguments to Quebec Superior Court Justice François Huot about the sentence the killer should face.
Bissonnette, 28, could be given life in prison without the possibility of parole for 150 years — consecutive 25-year sentences for each of the six first-degree murder charges.
That would be the harshest punishment imposed in Canada since the death penalty was abolished.
Bissonnette’s lawyers have said they will argue that a sentence that exceeds a criminal’s lifespan is the equivalent o…

Bangladesh: 2 sent to gallows for drug trafficking; 4 to hang for raping girl

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Sylhet Metropolitan Sessions Judge Mujibur Rahman Bhuiyan in Sylhet sentenced two people to death in a drug trafficking case. 
The convicts are: Hossain Ahmed Manik, 51, a resident of Razzakpur village, and Parvez Alam Sumon, 26, a resident of Tikorpara-Uttarbhag village in Bianibazar upazila. 
According to the prosecution, the foreign division of South Surma Post Office in Sylhet received a parcel containing 8.45 kilograms of heroin on March 9, 2014. 
The parcel came from Pakistan's Lahore. Addresses of four recipients written in the parcel were found fake. 
Later, police identified two men-- Manik and Parvez-- through tracing their mobile phone numbers and nabbed them. 
The convicts used to traffic heroin in the UK after bringing from Pakistan.
Four sentenced to death in absentia for raping girl in 2003
A court in Narayanganj today handed death penalty to four people for raping a ten-year-old girl in 2003. 
The four convicted rapists -- Sumon, Alamin, Abul and Shahadat -- all r…

Vietnam: Two sentenced to death for drug smuggling

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VIETNAM - Two men sentenced to death for transporting 16 kilograms of heroin from Son La to Hanoi.
The Hanoi People's Court sentenced Ta Anh Tuan, 41, and Nguyen Hong Quan, 36, to death for drug smuggling.
According to the prosecutors, Tuan confessed that he was hired to transport the drugs from Son La Province near the Laos border to Hanoi, around 400 kilometers to the west, for VND120 million ($5,300) and he asked his friend Quan, to join.
On December 4, 2017, they drove to Son La and received a bag of 15.5 kilograms of heroin and around half a kilo of methamphetamine worth a total of VND7 billion ($307,000). 
Police in Hanoi's Ba Vi District arrested them early the next morning after inspecting their car. 
Tuan confessed that he had accepted to transport heroin for a man named Tho, but he had not been paid. 
Quan denied any involvement, saying he was just Tuan's driver.
Source: VnExpress, June 13, 2018


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Alabama: Capital murder suspect denied youthful offender status; Man's trial set for 2019 in strangling deaths of wife, young son

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A capital murder suspect was looking to make a deal today. 20-year-old Harold Wallace, Jr. accused of shooting and killing innocent bystander Tamara White was in court requesting "youthful offender" status, a scenario where Wallace could have escaped a possible death penalty. 
Cuffed and shackled -- 20-year-old Harold Wallace, Jr. made his way into court Thursday afternoon. He's charged with capital murder in the death of 22-year-old Tamara White in March of 2017. 
By all accounts, the single mother was in the wrong place at the wrong time when she was hit by a bullet while waiting in the parking lot of the Springhill McDonald's. Judge John Lockett heard the case and denied Wallace's request for "youthful offender" status. 
"We are all as Tamara's family pleased with Judge Lockett not to award youthful offender status," said Tammy White, Tamara's mother. 
After the request was denied, Wallace pleaded not guilty to capital mur…

70 Iranian lawmakers hope to amend pardon law, reduce death penalty

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70 Iranian lawmakers have signed a bill to apply for collective pardons for political crimes and political prisoners who were served with harsh sentences. 
"Collective pardons are within the authority of lawmakers. As lawmakers can define a crime, they also can provide pardons for some crimes," Mohammad Javad Fathi, member of the legal and judiciary committee of the Iranian parliament, told ISNA news agency. 
Iran frequently comes under fire for its human rights record. 
The bill covers all politically-related sentences and aims to reduce use of the death penalty. 
The bill comes amid expectations that Ramin Hossein Panahi may be executed shortly. He was arrested in June 2017 on charges of being a member of the Kurdish opposition party Komala. Prosecutors said he had received military training and was carrying a gun and a grenade at the time of his arrest. 
The punishment for those who fight against the Islamic Republic is the death penalty. 
Panahi's lawyer de…