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USA | Biden to work to end executions as government sets 3 more

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Joe Biden is against the death penalty and will work to end its use, his spokesman said Saturday, as the Justice Department scheduled three more federal executions during before the Jan. 20 inauguration, including two shortly before he is set to take office. The Bureau of Prisons on Thursday carried out the eighth federal execution this year , after a 17-year hiatus, and it is likely to increase pressure on Biden decide whether his administration would continue to schedule executions once he is sworn in.  Advocacy groups have called on the Trump administration to pause all executions until Biden takes office. Biden "opposes the death penalty now and in the future," press secretary TJ Ducklo said. He did not say whether executions would be paused immediately once Biden takes office. Federal executions resumed this year despite the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 250,000 people and is raging inside the nation's prison system

Iran | Fear of Imminent Execution of Scientist Ahmad Reza Jalali Charged with Espionage

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Iranian academic Ahmad Reza Jalali has been transferred out of Evin Prison and faces imminent execution, his wife has said. "Ahmad Reza said in a short phone call that he was to be transferred to Rajaei Shahr Prison and that his sentence would be carried out,” Vida Mehran Nia reported. Amnesty International stated that he was being held in solitary confinement and that Iranian authorities planned to “implement his death sentence no later than a week from 24 November.” “It is appalling that despite repeated calls from UN human rights experts to quash Ahmad Reza Jalali’s death sentence and release him, the Iranian authorities have instead decided to push for this irreversible injustice,” said Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa Diana Eltahawy in a statement. “They must immediately halt any plans to execute Ahmad Reza Jalali and end their shocking assault on his right to life. A group of 149 Nobel Laureates has signed a letter to Supreme Leade

Iraq arrests Islamic State's "administrative chief" at Baghdad airport

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Iraq’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service said on Monday it had arrested the “administrative chief” of the Islamic State group after his arrival at Baghdad airport. The man, known as Abu Naba, was detained in October as he was “getting into a taxi, just after landing in Baghdad”, CTS spokesman Sabah al-Noaman told AFP. Describing him as a “major target”, Noaman said Abu Naba had been steering financial support to IS, organising meetings and relaying messages between jihadist members. “He began his jihadist path in 2003 with Al-Qaeda, before joining various groups that eventually led to IS,” he said. But Noaman declined to reveal Abu Naba’s real name, where he had been flying in from and how he managed to cross through airport security before he was apprehended. In 2014, the ultra-conservative and violent faction seized a third of Iraqi territory, which local troops backed by the US-led coalition only recaptured in late 2017. More than a year later, in 2019, IS lost its last foothold in ne

Pakistan | Court awards death sentence to child rapist, killer

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Court awards death sentence to accused in child abuse case A court of law on Monday awarded death penalty to convict Qari Abdul Hai for sodomizing and murdering a 7-year-old boy in a village of Fateh Jhang. The court also handed rigorous life imprisonment and Rs150,000 fine to convict. The convict has to spend 9 months before bars in case of non-payment of fine.  Additional and Sessions Judge (ASJ) Dr Sajida Ahmed Chaudhry announced the verdict after recording the statement of the accused under section 342. A case of child abuse and murder was registered against the accused in Police Station (PS) Fateh Jhang under charges of 377/302 and 201 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC).  It may be noted that a 7-year-old child was enjoying ice cream in the evening at the corner of his street near Masjid Bibi Anaran when Qari Abdul Hai grabbed him and took him to his mansion inside the mosque.  The accused sodomized the child and later on suffocated him to death and threw his dead body in a well near th

Parliament of Kazakhstan starts abolition of capital punishment

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Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty was signed on September 28, 2020 in New York, said Chairman of the Committee on International Affairs, Defense and Security of the Mazhilis Mukhtar Yerman. RELATED |  Political reform in Kazakhstan: Government to begin process of signing international treaty to end capital punishment The protocol aims at the adoption of international commitments by Kazakhstan to cancel death penalty.  The committee is ready to adopt this bill by June 23, 2021, he said. RELATED |  Kazakhstan abolishes death penalty Kazakhstan joined the international protocol on the abolition of the death penalty, the document was signed at the headquarters of the United Nations Permanent Representative of Kazakhstan to the UN. Death penalty in Kazakhstan was suspended by president in 2003. Source:  lakipress.com, Staff, November 24, 2020 đźš© | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest

Malaysia | Bar renews call to abolish death penalty

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The Malaysian Bar is pleased to note that Malaysia – together with an overwhelming number of countries – has continued to support the UN’s call for a moratorium on executions. This was evident during the 3rd committee of the UN General Assembly on 17 November 2020 where countries considered a draft resolution on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty. The Malaysian Bar has consistently, during its annual or extraordinary general meetings over the past 30 years, passed resolutions advocating the abolition of the death penalty. It was reported that during the 3rd committee of the UN General Assembly, 120 UN member states voted in favour of the proposal, 39 voted against, and 24 abstained from voting. RELATED | 11 Asian Nations Reject UN Vote Against Death Penalty Back in December 2018, Malaysia cast its vote and joined a record number of UN member states in favour of an earlier UN General Assembly resolution seeking the abolition of the death penalty. The Malaysian Bar takes this

11 Asian Nations Reject UN Vote Against Death Penalty

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11 Asia-Pacific Governments Oppose 120 States on Capital Punishment Moratorium 11 countries from the Asia-Pacific region were among the small minority that voted against a United Nations resolution opposing the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said today.  On November 17, 120 UN member states voted in favor of a resolution in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly reiterating a call for a moratorium on the use of capital punishment. In December, the General Assembly plenary is expected to adopt the resolution, which shows the world’s rejection of this inherently cruel and irrevocable form of punishment. Only 39 countries voted against the resolution. The 11 from the Asia-Pacific region were: Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, China, India, Japan, the Maldives, North Korea, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and Tonga. “It’s no surprise the governments that voted against a death penalty moratorium include some of the most serious rights violators in the world,” said Phil Rober

Pakistan | Cop awarded death penalty for 2018 fake encounter in Karachi

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Police party had shot dead 27-year-old Muhammad Maqsood at Sharae Faisal An anti-terrorism court (ATC) in Karachi has sentenced a Sindh police officer to death in a case pertaining to the killing of a citizen in a dubious encounter in 2018. ATC-6 judge Rashid Solangi on Saturday convicted the prime accused, ASI Tariq Khan, under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code for the murder of Muhammad Maqsood, but dropped terrorism charges. The court also ordered Tariq to pay a fine of Rs200,000 to the deceased’s family and issued an arrest warrant for absconder Ashiq Hussain Chachar. Maqsood, a tailor by profession, was shot dead near the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) base on the city’s main artery Sharae Faisal on January 20, 2018. The police party, which had encountered Maqsood, initially claimed he was a criminal and was killed during a shoot-out. However, a few hours later, the police retracted their initial claims and issued another statement, saying an innocent citizen was killed in an excha

U.S.: Barr's Justice Department Prepares To End Trump's Term With an Execution Spree

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The Department of Justice has scheduled three more federal executions as America prepares for a new administration, two of them just days before President-elect Joe Biden will take office. On Friday, Attorney General William Barr announced that the Bureau of Prisons will execute three more inmates currently on death row in December and January. The last execution is scheduled for January 15, just five days before Biden will be inaugurated to succeed President Donald Trump. Assuming all currently scheduled federal executions take place, the Trump administration will have put a total of 13 inmates to death, all over the course of just seven months. No presidential administration in modern history has come anywhere close to executing this many inmates in such a short period. You'd have to go back to the 19th century to see anything like this. RELATED |  Execution rescheduled for Lisa Montgomery, only woman on federal death row Earlier in the month, a group of Democratic lawmakers who

Donald Trump refuses to defer executions to Biden administration

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Donald Trump is breaking “normal rules of civility” when it comes to the upcoming executions of three death row inmates, experts say. If Joe Biden gets his way, there will never again be the need for the federal execution chamber at Terre Haute, Indiana. The incoming President has made it clear that after his inauguration, he will eliminate the death penalty for federal death row inmates and encourage states still carrying out capital punishment to do the same. But Donald Trump is still in power. And he is the first outgoing president in 100 years to reject the “normal rules of civility” which dictate all executions cease after election day. It means he will add two more names to the list of Americans executed under his watch since he resumed death row executions after a 17-year hiatus in July. RELATED |  Execution rescheduled for Lisa Montgomery, only woman on federal death row RELATED | 3 new federal execution dates set It is a departing blow to Mr Biden from the Trump campaign – on

U.S. | Execution rescheduled for Lisa Montgomery, only woman on federal death row

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government now plans to execute the first female inmate in almost six decades just days before President-elect Joe Biden, an opponent of the death penalty, takes office. Attorneys for Lisa Montgomery said Monday that the Justice Department rescheduled her execution for Jan. 12. Biden’s inauguration comes Jan. 20. A federal judge in Washington had delayed the December execution of Montgomery, 49, because her lawyers tested positive for the novel coronavirus after visiting her behind bars. The delay was meant to allow her attorneys to recover from the virus and file a clemency petition on her behalf. Montgomery’s attorneys, Kelley Henry and Amy Harwell, said they both tested positive for COVID-19 after they flew from Nashville, Tennessee, to visit her at the federal prison in Texas where she is serving her sentence.  In court papers, they said each roundtrip visit from Nashville involved two flights, hotel stays and interaction with airline and hotel staff, as