Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MARCH 13, 2018): The 10th annual report on the death penalty in Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM shows that in 2017 at least 517 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
This number is comparable with the execution figures in 2016 and confirms the relative reduction in the use of the death penalty compared to the period between 2010 and 2015. 
Nevertheless, with an average of more than one execution every day and more than one execution per one million inhabitants in 2017, Iran remained the country with the highest number of executions per capita.
2017 Annual Report at a Glance:
At least 517 people were executed in 2017, an average of more than one execution per day111 executions (21%) were announced by official sources.Approximately 79% of all executions included in the 2017 report, i.e. 406 executions, were not announced by the authorities.At least 240 people (46% of all executions) were executed for murder charges - 98 more than in 2016.At le…

Malaysia: Vietnamese Mom Escapes Gallows, Jailed 20 Years for Drug Trafficking

Meth bust at Malaysian airport (File photo)
Meth bust at a Malaysian airport (File photo)
March 28, 2016: A Vietnamese woman shed tears of joy in court after she was spared the gallows in Malaysia for allegedly trafficking in 2.1kg methamphetamine at the Penang International Airport in 2011.

Nguyen Thanh Ngoc Tuyet, 28, in red and white prison clothes, who was sitting in the dock was seen sobbing when the Federal Court announced its verdict to set aside her conviction for drug trafficking.

However, the mother of a child, would have to spend 20 years in jail after the Federal Court’s five-man panel chaired by Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif convicted her for possession of the drugs.

He, however, ruled that on totality of evidence, the court was satisfied that Nguyen Thanh was in custody of a bag in which the methamphetamine was concealed.

Nguyen Thanh was found guilty by the George Town High Court on July 18, 2012 for trafficking in the drugs at the arrival hall of the Penang International Airport in Bayan Lepas at 10.10am on June 26, 2011 and was sentenced to death.

She lost her appeal at the Court of Appeal on March 20, last year to set aside her conviction and death sentence even though two Vietnamese police officers had testified that they had recorded statements from a woman named Tran Tranh Tam who had said that she had did not tell Nguyen Thanh that the goods she was transporting was drugs but instead told her they were clothes.

Nguyen Thanh was allowed by the Court of Appeal to bring in new evidence in the form of two police statements and oral evidence of three Vietnamese witnesses including Tran Tranh.

However, Tran Thanh who was serving an eight-year jail sentence in Vietnam for selling drugs chose not to come to Malaysia to testify.

In her defence, Nguyen Thanh claimed that she had picked up the bag (in which drugs were found) belonging to her friend Tran Tranh and she had no knowledge of the contents of the bag.

In mitigation for a lenient jail sentence, her counsel K. Simon Murali said Nguyen Thanh was an innocent victim who was manipulated by her friend and African boyfriend to act as drug mule.

He said his client has yet to see her daughter who was only one month old when she (Nguyen Thanh) was arrested in 2011.

Source: Bernama, March 28, 2016

Malaysia: Home Ministry says 12 executed in last 6 years

Malaysia has executed 12 out of a total 829 people who were sentenced to death since 2010, the Home Ministry said today.

In a written parliamentary reply to Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo, the ministry added that 95 others have received either a royal pardon or had their death sentence commuted.

"The sentence has been handed out due to the offences of murder, drug trafficking, smuggling firearms, and also kidnapping," the ministry said.

Gobind had asked the government to give a breakdown on the death sentences meted out since 2010.

Last week, prison authorities came under criticism for what was described by Amnesty International as the "secretive" hanging of a 34-year-old man at the Taiping prison.

This was because Gunasegaran Pitchaymuthu was reportedly given very short notice regarding his execution.

Discussions and debates to abolish death penalty in Malaysia, especially under the Dangerous Drugs Act (DDA) had been taking place in Malaysia since 2011, but no legislative amendments had been proposed to date.

Source: themalaymailonline.com, March 30, 2016

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