Oklahoma | I went inside death row, what I saw made me sick - Henry McLeish

The evolution of civilised behaviour, indicating a retreat from barbarism, has become a distinctive feature of most modern western democracies, but America often disappoints, retaining practices that shock, sadden, and in my case, nearly made me physically sick.
My visit to death row at McAlester State Penitentiary, Oklahoma, brought home to me, how the final setting for government sponsored killings, combined with execution by lethal injection, brought a brutal end to lives. And made a mockery of the idea of justice, offering instead a violent, humiliating, and inhuman act of revenge, with no serious pretence that any of these end of life dramas, provide any deterrence in criminal justice terms. Formerly known as “Indian Territory”, and home of the Cherokee Nation, Oklahoma, with a population of over 4 million, became a state in 1907. Located in America’s “Bible” belt, where there is a strong fundamentalist Christian tradition and powerful Republican politics, Oklahoma remains a pro…

Iran: Secret Mass Executions of Drug Convicts in Kerman Prison

Tens of prisoners have been executed in the past few months in the prison of Kerman (Southeastern Iran) and their executions have not been announced by the official media. Most of the prisoners have been convicted of drug-related charges. It is not known how long these executions have been going on but it is certain that the executions are not limited only to the past few months. Iran Human Rights (IHR) is investigating further details of the executions.

Iran Human Rights, December 28, 2014: At least 33 prisoners have been executed in the prison of Kerman since August 2014, according to sources Iran Human Rights(IHR) has been in contact with. 

The prisoners have often been executed in groups of 6-8 at a time, according to these sources. Except for one prisoners who was charged with murder, all the other prisoners had been sentenced to death for drug-related charges. No executions in the prison of Kerman has been reported by the official Iranian sources in this period.

Human rights groups have reported secret mass-executions of prisoners convicted of drug-related charges in several Iranian prisons in the pas few months. These prisons include Ghezelhesar Prison of Karaj, prison of Bandar Abbas, prison of Zahedan, prison of Urmia and Adelabad prison of Shiraz.

IHR strongly condemns executions and urges the international community to react. Mahmood Amiry- Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR said: “These executions are in violation of international law since drug-related charges are not considered as “the most serious crimes” and many of the prisoners have been subjected to unfair trials, torture and forced confession. We ask the United Nations to conduct an independent investigation on the secret mass-executions in the Iranian prisons.”

The following are the dates and names of some of those executed in the period of August 26 to November 14, 2014:

5 executions on August 26: Hossein Shahriari, Abbas Pouryazdanpanah, Hamid Mir , Mohammad Hosseini and one unidentified prisoner (reported by HRANA).

8 executions on September 18: Mohammad Javad Hasan Abadi, Jalil Shahiki, Mohammad Afshar, Alireza Nouroz Mahani, Hasan Sarhadi, Rouhollah Khaleghi, Gholizadeh, Mehdi Zabolizadeh

6-8 executions on October 7: One of the prisoners was identified as Mohammadreza Mazloumi (24 year old), convicted of murder (Picture, lower panel, right), the others not identified by name.

2 executions on October 23: None of the prisoners identified by name (reported by HRANA)

6-8 executions on November 4: None of the prisoners are identified by name

6-8 executions on November 14: Mohammadreza Gholampour Bami (picture, lower panel, left) , the others not identified by name. 4 of the prisoners were Iranian Turks (Northwestern Iran).

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 30, 2014

Iran: Executions As Usual on Christmas Day

The clerical regime in Iran refused to halt its cycle of atrocities and executions even during Christmas. The regime henchmen hanged at least seven prisoners in the Adelabad Prison in Shiraz at dawn on Christmas day.

On December 18 and 14, ten other prisoners were secretly hanged in same prison that it is known for being one with most appalling condition.

Likewise, on Christmas Eve (December 24), two other prisoners were transferred to solitary confinements in the quarantine section of Zahedan’s central prison to await their execution.

Source: NCRI, September 27, 2014

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