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Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

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Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

China drops death penalty for 13 nonviolent crimes

BEIJING (AP) — China dropped the death penalty Friday for more than a dozen nonviolent crimes and banned capital punishment for offenders over the age of 75 in a bid to rein in abuses in the justice system.

China executes more people every year than any other country and critics say too many crimes are punishable by death.

Thirteen economic, nonviolent offenses will be removed from the list of 68 crimes punishable by the death penalty, said Lang Sheng, who heads the legal committee of the Standing Committee to the National People's Congress, China's legislature. The 13 crimes include forging and selling invoices to avoid taxes and smuggling cultural relics and precious metals such as gold out of the country.

The move would not bring down the number of people executed because it targets crimes that have rarely, if ever, had capital punishment applied to them, said Joshua Rosenzweig, research manager for the U.S.-based human rights group Dui Hua Foundation.

Capital punishment can still be used to punish other economic crimes such as corruption.

"The big obstacle, I think, is corruption. Because there still is a very strong sense that corrupt officials must die, among the Chinese population at large," Rosenzweig said. "The revulsion for that offense is so strong that there would be a potential political cost to eliminating the death penalty for corruption."

Legal authorities have sought to stamp out abuses of the death penalty, particularly by demanding that all death sentences be reviewed by the nation's supreme court. They have called also for the penalty to be imposed only in the most extreme cases, although the punishment has wide public support in China.

Source: AP, February 25, 2011
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