Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

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

Malaysia: Really time to drop mandatory death penalty

Earlier this week, our attention was drawn to the image of a mother embracing her 3 children tightly as her face portray the ordeal she had gone through. Rosna Shariff was finally reunited with her children after 4 long and trying years due to the efforts of Putera 1Malaysia and Berita Harian who sponsored her flight home.

Rosna who was tricked by a man into becoming a drug mule was arrested in Santa Monica, Lima in 2007 with 5kg of cocaine. She was sentenced to 2 years and eight months in jail. After being released in October last year, she found herself stranded in Peru and could not afford her way home.

Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM) congratulates Putera 1Malaysia for their continued assistance in bringing home victims of similar cases as Rosna. Their work in providing help to Malaysians who have stumbled in their lives is crucial but Rosna is hardly an isolated case.

In February 2011, police statistics revealed that between 2007 to 2010, 239 Malaysians who had been lured into being drug mules were being detained in prisons of several countries. 120 of them were men and the remaining were women.

Throughout 2011, media continues to publish stories of Malaysians suspected to be drug mules being caught and detained overseas. The International Narcotic Control Board (INCB) stated that there is a current trend which targets Southeast Asia and East Asia in drug mule recruitment drives.

Those detained came from wide ranging background including students, professionals, graduate, uneducated, young and matured. As human beings, we have been moved by the plight of some of our fellow countrymen.

Nur Dhiya Ain Rosman, Christina Anak Luke Niju, Yong Vui Kong are amongst the few whose stories we remember. We also were informed of P Jayakumar, a 37 year old disabled man with a history of mental condition. He was deceived into collecting a table lamp in Brazil and was later nabbed on suspicion of being a drug mule in Buenos Aires. Through cooperation with Interpol, Jayakumar was located and returned to his family.

Despite having death penalty for drug crimes in Malaysia, there are Malaysians and government linked NGOs who are willing to provide assistance to Malaysians who have been found guilty for drug related offences overseas.

While it is extremely positive to see various public interest bodies coming together in ensuring the welfare of Malaysians especially those who have been taken advantage of, perhaps it is also time for us to check our reflection.

According to Amnesty International's report, Death Sentences and Executions in 2010, the number of countries that are abolitionist in law or practice has substantially increased from 108 in 2001 to 139 in 2010.

The Global Overview on the Death Penalty for Drug Offences 2010, conducted by International Harm Reduction Association, found that there remain 32 states which provide for the death penalty for drug related offences. Out of these 32, 13 have the mandatory death penalty. Malaysia is one of them.

It is important to understand the gravity of what 'mandatory death penalty' means. Mandatory means 'compulsory' or 'obligatory' and when a judge has decides on the guilt of the accused, he has only 1 punishment to give – death.

Mandatory death penalty removes the discretion of judges to consider external factors such as accused's level of maturity and intelligence, life's background, circumstances leading to the commission of the offence and other mitigating factors.

In relation to the cases mentioned above, it would mean that although these individuals may have been tricked into carrying drugs and are but mere pawns in a far more elaborate syndicate, they will be facing the noose.

Further concerns which arise out of the imposition of the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia are the way in which our drug laws are framed. The Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, states in Section 36, that “It shall not be necessary in any proceedings against any person for an offence against this Act to negative by evidence any licence, authorisation, authority, or other matter of exception or defence, and the burden of proving any such matter shall be on the person seeking to avail himself thereof”.

Section 37 outlines legal presumptions which amongst others assume that accused who was proven to be in possession of drugs at a certain weight is guilty of trafficking. The accused have to prove his innocence.

While the efforts of the likes of Putera 1Malaysia, rescuing Malaysians who are overseas in need of help, are much commended, we still need to address and assist the many more Malaysians and individuals who have to face the mandatory death penalty in Malaysia even when they experienced similar circumstances with their fellow citizens. They could not escape the gallows because our laws refuse to allow judges discretion and continue to impose mandatory death penalty.

Amnesty International Malaysia calls upon Malaysian government to adopt a moratorium on all executions and for all laws carrying the mandatory death penalty to be repealed. We welcome the recent efforts by parliamentarians who had chosen to work together despite being in different political parties to pass a resolution in Parliament to seek abolition of mandatory death penalty.

Many Malaysians have spoken out against death penalty and AIM received supports in our campaign towards its abolition. As a developed nation we have no further need of this discriminatory, inhumane and degrading punishment. Although there are many who would argue for its existence, as a civilised nation, we have to respect, adhere and uphold human rights which value human's life.

We also ask that in the light of Singapore's presidential elections today, all Malaysians will join civil society in solidarity and continue to call for the death sentences of Yong Vui Kong and Cheong Chun Yin to be commuted. Since justice has turned a blind eye, let mercy not show us its cold shoulder too.

Source: Nora Murat is executive director of Amnesty International Malaysia (AIM); Malaysia Kini, August 28, 2011

Malaysia: Appeal court upholds death sentence for drug peddling

August 24, 2011: Datuk Wira Low Bop Bing, Datuk Clement Allan Skinner and Justice Sangau Gunting of the Malaysian Court of Appeal affirmed the death sentence of Chung Ngee Hong, 39, for trafficking 85.37g of ecstasy pills on April 25, 2003.

The High Court sentenced him to death on February 15, 2008.

Source: Borneo Post, August 25, 2011

Malaysia: Three sentenced to death for drug trafficking

ALOR SETAR, Aug 21 (Bernama) -- The High Court here today sentenced two foreigners, an Indonesian and a Thai, to death after they were found guilty of trafficking in 222,028g of cannabis three years ago.
Justice Datuk Zakiah Kassim handed down the sentence on Effendi, 25, and Sakri Yadam, 24, after finding that the prosecution had succeeded in establishing the case beyond reasonable doubts.
Effendi, from Indonesia, and Sakri, a Thai national, were charged with committing the offence at 4.4 nautical miles off Kuala Kedah about 12.30am on Jan 17, 2008.
In her judgment, Zakiah said the defence by both the accused were merely fictitious and a denial.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Wan Nor Hasnita Wan Daud prosecuted, while lawyer Ranjit Singh Dhillon represented Effendi and Sakri.
Also in the same court, judge Datuk Mohd Azman Hussin sentenced electrician M.Vijay Kumar to death after finding him guilty of trafficking in 211.62g of heroin and 12.20g of monoacetylmorphines two years ago.
Vijay Kumar was charged with trafficking the drugs in front of the Park Avenue Hotel, Taman Sejati Indah, Sungai Petani, at 9.05pm on Aug 26, 2009.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Norhayati Ibrahim prosecuted, while Vijay Kumar was represented by lawyer RSN Rayer.

Source: Mysinchew.com, August 21, 2011

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