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Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

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"Whether guilty or not, the outcome of the death penalty is the same. In Iran, the death penalty is by hanging, and it takes from several agonising seconds to several harrowing minutes for death to occur and for everything to be over."

Every year several hundred people are executed by the Iranian authorities.
According to reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and other human rights groups, death row prisoners have often no access to a defence lawyer after their arrest and are sentenced to death following unfair trials and based on confessions extracted from them under torture. 
These are issues which have been addressed in IHR’s previous reports. The current report is based on first-hand accounts of several inmates held in Iran's prisons and their families. The report seeks to illustrate other aspects of how the death penalty affects the inmate, their families and, as a consequence, society.
How does a death row inmate experience his final hours?
Speaking about the final ho…

Saudi Arabia to Seek Death Penalty for 5 Accused in Khashoggi Killing

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BEIRUT, Lebanon — Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said on Thursday that he was requesting the death penalty for five people suspected of involvement in the killing of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi at the country’s consulate in Istanbul.
Speaking to reporters in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, a spokesman for the public prosecutor said that the 15-man team sent to confront Mr. Khashoggi had orders to return him to the kingdom, but instead made a decision on the spot to kill him after he resisted and to dismember his body.
The Saudi prosecutor’s account on Thursday appeared to contradict previous statements from both the Saudi government and senior White House officials about Saudi conclusions regarding the killing on Oct. 2 of Mr. Khashoggi, a Virginia resident who wrote columns for The Washington Post that were critical of some Saudi policies.
Before Thursday, the Saudis had most recently acknowledged evidence from Turkey that Mr. Khashoggi was killed in a deliberate, premeditated …

India votes against UN General Assembly draft resolution on use of death penalty

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United Nations: India has voted against a UN General Assembly draft resolution on the use of death penalty, saying it goes against the statutory law of the country where an execution is carried out in the "rarest of rare" cases.
The draft resolution, taken up in the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, Cultural) of the General Assembly Tuesday, was approved with a recorded vote of 123 in favour, 36 against and 30 abstentions.
India was among the countries that voted against the resolution, which would have the Assembly call on all States to respect international standards on the rights of those facing death penalty and ensure that it is not applied on the basis of discriminatory laws or as a result of discriminatory or arbitrary application of the law.
First Secretary in India's Permanent Mission to the UN Paulomi Tripathi, giving the country's explanation of vote, said the resolution sought to promote a moratorium on executions with the aim of abolishing death pe…

Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz assaults detention officer at county jail

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida school shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz attacked a detention officer at the county jail and now faces new charges including use of the officer’s electric stun device, authorities said Wednesday.
Broward Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Veda Coleman-Wright said in an email Wednesday that Cruz assaulted Sgt. Raymond Beltran around 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Jail records show Cruz now is charged with aggravated assault on an officer, battery on an officer and use of an “electric or chemical weapon against an officer.”
The 20-year-old Cruz faces the death penalty in the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland that killed 17 people and wounded 17 others. He’s pleaded not guilty in the shooting, but his lawyers say he would plead guilty in exchange for a life prison sentence.
According to the assault arrest report, Cruz attacked Beltran after he was told to “not drag his sandals around” while walking in a jail dayroom. Cruz responded, the rep…

Texas executes Robert Moreno Ramos

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Lawyers for Ramos had argued that he wasn’t aware of his rights under an international treaty, and therefore didn't receive proper legal counsel during his trial and sentencing.
Texas executed Robert Moreno Ramos by lethal injection on Wednesday evening, amid his lawyers’ continued pleas up until the final hour that the case be re-examined for legal violations from 25 years ago.
Ramos, 64, was convicted of capital murder in March 1993 for the February 1992 killings of his wife, Leticia, 42, and their two children, Abigail, 7, and Jonathon, 3, in Hidalgo County. Ramos, a Mexican national, beat his wife and children with a miniature sledgehammer, and then buried them under the bathroom floor in the family’s Progreso home, according to trial evidence.
Ramos’ case had been a point of contention in both district and federal courts for years, due to requirements of an international treaty. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations mandates that when an immigrant is arrested and held i…

Texas to execute Mexican national on Wednesday, amid pleas for case review

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Lawyers for convicted killer Robert Moreno Ramos have argued that he wasn’t aware of his rights under an international treaty, and therefore didn't receive proper legal counsel during his trial and sentencing.
Texas plans to carry out the execution of Robert Moreno Ramos by lethal injection on Wednesday evening, amid his lawyers’ continued pleas that the case be re-examined for legal violations from 25 years ago.
Ramos, 64, was convicted of capital murder in March 1993 for the February 1992 killings of his wife, Leticia, 42, and their 2 children, Abigail, 7, and Jonathon, 3, in Hidalgo County. 
Ramos, a Mexican national, beat his wife and children with a miniature sledgehammer, and then buried them under the bathroom floor in the family’s Progreso home, according to trial evidence.
Ramos’ case has been a point of contention in both district and federal courts for years, due to requirements of an international treaty. The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations mandates that when a…

Malaysia: 'Abolishing of death penalty is collective decision by Cabinet'

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The decision to abolish the death penalty is a collective one by the Cabinet, said Datuk Liew Vui Keong.
The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said all the ministers would have to accept the decision.
"It is collective responsibility where all the Ministers would have to accept the decision made by the Cabinet.
"We have to be strong, united and stand firm on the decision that we already made," he said.
"At this stage, the decision made on Oct 10 to abolish the death penalty will still stand," the de facto law minister told reporters after a packed town hall session on the issue at UiTM Shah Alam on Wednesday (Nov 14).
He said he has spoken to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail on this earlier Wednesday who told him that the decision made by the cabinet was a collective one.
On Tuesday (Nov 13), Dr Wan Azizah said that the government will reconsider abolishing the mandatory death sentence for those convicted of murder.
When…

Iran: Two Executed for Economic Corruption

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Iran Human Rights (Nov 14, 2018): Two Prisoners were hanged on economic corruption charges in Tehran this morning. They had been sentenced to death by the newly established Special Court on the Economic Corruption. 
Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly condemns today's executions for the charges of economic corruption. Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the Director and spokesperson for the organization, said: "The death penalty is an inhumane punishment, and the international law prohibits death sentence for economic corruption, which is not considered as the most serious crimes.  Besides,  the prisoners were sentenced to death as a result of an unfair trial in an illegal Court. The primary purpose of the execution of these two people is to create fear in society, not to combat corruption. Iranian authorities know that the system, with corrupt organs such as the Judiciary and the Supreme leader who has absolute power and zero accountability, are the main sources of corruption in the count…

Iraqi Citizen Executed in Iran

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); November 12, 2018: An Iraqi citizen was hanged at Zanjan Central Prison on a murder charge.
According to the IHR sources, Soran Rashid Zahedi (Nickname: Soran Holiri), 33, was executed on the morning of November 6, 2018.
The Iraqi national was a resident of Iran for almost three decades. The source who doesn't want to be named, told IHR, “Four years ago, Soran was working in a cement factory in Zanjan city where he killed a person over there. 
The victim owed Soran three million and a half Tomans. On the day of the incident, the victim received seven million Tomans loan but refused to pay his debt to Soran. They fought and the person was killed.”
Soran’s family could not obtain a consent from the victims' families to stop his death sentences. The Penal Code of Iran does not specifically state that convicted murderers are subject to the death penalty, but rather to “qisas” which means “retribution in kind” or retaliation. In this way, the State effecti…

Iran executes 22, alleging links to military parade attack; Woman hanged at Sanandaj prison

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Iran has executed the 22 people it arrested in late September for alleged involvement in a deadly shooting at a military parade in the southern city of Ahvaz, multiple sources told 2 rights groups on Sunday.
"It seems that authorities executed all of them on Thursday," one of the sources told Iran Human Rights (IHR). After the executions, the group said, authorities "told the prisoners’ families" of the hangings in Ahvaz Central Prison (ACO) and warned them "against public mourning."
Multiple activists also told a 2nd group, Iran Human Rights Monitor (I-HRM), that Ahvaz's Ministry of Intelligence Office phoned some of the families of the prisoners and informed them of their relatives' executions.
On Sep. 22, 4 men dressed in military uniform opened fire on a viewing stand where Iranian officials were seated to observe a procession held yearly to mark the start of the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war. The attack resulted in the deaths of 25, 12 of which were…