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Anthony Ray Hinton Spent Almost 30 Years on Death Row. Now He Has a Message for White America.

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Anthony Ray Hinton was mowing the lawn at his mother's house in 1985 when Alabama police came to arrest him for 2 murders he did not commit. One took place when he was working the night shift at a Birmingham warehouse. Yet the state won a death sentence, based on 2 bullets it falsely claimed matched a gun found at his mother's home. In his powerful new memoir, "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row," Hinton describes how racism and a system stacked against the poor were the driving forces behind his conviction. He also writes about the unique and unexpected bonds that can form on death row, and in particular about his relationship with Henry Hays, a former Klansman sentenced to death for a notorious lynching in 1981. Hays died in the electric chair in 1997 - 1 of 54 people executed in Alabama while Hinton was on death row.
After almost 30 years, Hinton was finally exonerated in 2015, thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI. On April 27…

5 prisoners in Iran await to be judicially blinded, made deaf with acid

Iran: A medieval theocracy, barbaric and nightmarish punishments
Iran: A medieval theocracy, barbaric and nightmarish punishments
NCRI - At least five prisoners in Iran’s notorious Gohardasht (Rajai-Shahr) Prison in Karaj are awaiting sentences which would see them be blinded or made deaf with acid under the Iranian regime’s fundamentalist law of retribution (qisas).

According to reports from inside the prison, some 40 kilometers from the Iranian capital Tehran, the Iranian regime’s judiciary is pushing for the sentences to be implemented quickly; however prison doctors have thus far refused to carry out the draconian procedures.

Mojtaba Saheli (Yasaveli), 31, who was previously blinded in his left eye by the regime, was recently informed by prison officials that he is to be blinded in the right eye with acid.

On March 3, 2015 he was blinded in one eye with acid in Gohardasht Prison in the presence of the regime’s deputy prosecutor in Tehran Mohammad Shahriari and prison officials after the draconian sentence was upheld by the regime’s Supreme Court.

On August 3, 2009 he allegedly blinded a driver in Qom, south of Tehran, with acid. The regime’s court in Qom sentenced Mr. Saheli to be blinded in both eyes with acid, pay blood money and serve a 10-year prison term as part of the regime’s inhumane law of retribution.

Mr. Saheli is currently imprisoned in Ward 2 of Hall 4 of Gohardasht Prison. He had been told to pay blood money to avoid the new blinding sentence from being implemented on his right eye.

According to one report, Mr. Saheli recently enquired from the prison’s office of implementations about his sentence and was informed that the implementation order for his sentence had been received, but until now no physician had been willing to break their doctor’s oath to carry out the sentence.

He was furthermore informed that the regime’s judiciary is pressing for the sentence to be carried out and that at any moment one of the doctors may decide to set aside their oath and carry out the blinding sentence.

Five prisoners are currently awaiting to be administered acid on to their eyes and ears. They are:

  • Mojtaba Saheli (Yasaveli), 31, whose left eye has already been blinded, and who is awaiting implementation of a sentence to be blinded in the right eye.
  • Fatollah Khojasteh, sentenced to be blinded in one eye and made deaf in one ear with acid.
  • An unnamed prisoner, sentenced to be blinded in both eyes with acid.
  • An unnamed prisoner, sentenced to be blinded in one eye and made deaf in one ear with acid.
  • An unnamed prisoner, sentenced to be blinded in one eye with acid.

Dr. Sanabargh Zahedi, chairman of the Judicial Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), earlier this month said: “The inhumane law of retribution (qisas) has been implemented against the Iranian people for the past 37 years. These punishments date back to the medieval ages and show the clerical regime’s reactionary nature. These inhuman punishments are clear violations of all principles and norms of a modern judiciary, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and all civil and political covenants. Such punishments undoubtedly constitute a savage form of torture and should be condemned by any freedom-seeking person. The Iranian Resistance and NCRI members have since 1980 condemned the regime’s qisas law as anti-human.”

“According to the logic of the Quran and modern democratic Islam the first principle which applies to the penal code is dynamism. Thus the Islamic penal provision should be interpreted within the context of social and economic conditions and scientific progress. The clerical regime is centuries away from this logic, and as such it is clear that there is no possibility of reform within this regime,” he added.

Amnesty International in a statement on March 5, 2015 condemned the Iranian regime for blinding Mr. Saheli in his left eye two days earlier.

“Punishing someone by deliberately blinding them is an unspeakably cruel and shocking act," said Raha Bahreini, Amnesty International's Iran Researcher.

"This punishment exposes the utter brutality of Iran’s justice system and underlines the Iranian authorities' shocking disregard for basic humanity. Meting out cruel and inhuman retribution punishments is not justice. Blinding, like stoning, amputation and flogging, is a form of corporal punishment prohibited by international law. Such punishments should not be carried out under any circumstances.”

Source: NCRI, May 28, 2016

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