California: With state executions on hold, death penalty foes rethink ballot strategy

California advocates of abolishing the death penalty got a jolt of momentum in March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would not allow any executions to take place while he was in office.
But after trying twice this decade to persuade voters to end capital punishment, they have no plans to go to the ballot again in 2020. Rather than seeking to build on Newsom’s temporary reprieve for Death Row inmates, activists are taking their own pause.
Grappling with the legacy of their two failed initiatives, advocates are reassessing their strategy and retooling their message. Natasha Minsker, a political consultant who has long been involved with abolition efforts, said the governor’s moratorium has given advocates the opportunity to do long-term planning.
“There’s this excitement and energy in our movement that we haven’t had in a long time,” Minsker said.
Newsom’s executive order caught many Californians by surprise. Although he supported the unsuccessful ballot measures to abolish t…

New details of Iranian regime torturing Reyhaneh Jabbari revealed by her uncle

Reyhaneh Jabbari
NCRI – In the first public remarks from a close relative of Reyhaneh Jabbari, new details of the Iranian regime torturing her physically and psychologically, starting immediately after her arrest in 2009, have been revealed.

During a press conference in Berlin on Wednesday, Ms. Reyhaneh Jabbari’s uncle, Fariborz Jabbari, described her execution as "state terror".

He said, "Reyhaneh was physically and psychologically tortured by security officers a number of times during her imprisonment and forced her to make coercive confessions."

He said that even moments before her hanging "prison officials asked Reyhaneh to say in front of the camera that Morteza Abdullali Sarbandi [the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security official who was killed] did not try to sexually assault her, but she refused to do so until the last minute."

Fariborz Jabbari stressed that "Numerous cases of violations of human rights have taken place since Reyhaneh was arrested up until she was executed and even continued during her burial,” according to German broadcaster, Deutsche Welle .

He added: "Although Reyhaneh’s case was not political, the way judges and security authorities handled the case was suspicious, especially since the girl was tortured in solitary confinement since the early days of her arrest, in order to exert pressure on her to make false confessions."

Jabbari stressed that "there were no relationship between Reyhaneh and the man killed, and she met him only three times during her work as a decorator when he asked her to do design work at his medical office."

He added, "Although Sarbandi was a doctor, he was not working in that field, but was in the business of trading instruments and medical devices."

He said it was not clear to the family if Sarbandi had still been working for the intelligence ministry.

Reyhaneh’s uncle said her family was not informed about the timing of Reyhaneh’s execution and her lawyer was not allowed to meet with her before execution.

Her mother Mrs. Sholeh Pakravan was only allowed to see her face for a moment after she had been executed, he said.

Source: NCRI, October 31, 2014

Iranian official blames Western media for woman's execution

Iranian Human Rights Commissioner Mohammad Javad Larijani named Western media campaigns as one of the chief reasons that the Iranian judiciary failed to obtain consent from the family of the victim in the Reyhaneh Jabbari case.

Larijani, who is in Geneva to attend the Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review, told CNN on October 30 that Reyhaneh Jabbari's case was investigated for 7 years. The case was brought before several judges who were never convinced by her claim of self defence.

"All the judges that sat on her case in the past 7 years have ruled that she has committed premeditated murder and her claims of self defence were not convincing," Larijani said.

Jabbari was arrested at the age of 19 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi. She was hanged last Saturday after a series of mediation sessions with the family of the victim failed to yield a consent from the deceased's kin to forego their right to Qesas and release her from execution.

Human rights activists had launched a campaign to stop her execution, drawing widespread media attention to Jabbari's case.

Source: Radio Zamaneh, October 31, 2014

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