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States to try new ways of executing prisoners. Their latest idea? Opioids.

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The synthetic painkiller fentanyl has been the driving force behind the nation’s opioid epidemic, killing tens of thousands of Americans last year in overdoses. Now two states want to use the drug’s powerful properties for a new purpose: to execute prisoners on death row.
As Nevada and Nebraska push for the country’s first fentanyl-assisted executions, doctors and death penalty opponents are fighting those plans. They have warned that such an untested use of fentanyl could lead to painful, botched executions, comparing the use of it and other new drugs proposed for lethal injection to human experimentation.
States are increasingly pressed for ways to carry out the death penalty because of problems obtaining the drugs they long have used, primarily because pharmaceutical companies are refusing to supply their drugs for executions.
The situation has led states such as Florida, Ohio and Oklahoma to turn to novel drug combinations for executions. Mississippi legalized nitrogen gas this s…

Iran publicly executes five Kurdish rights activists in Urmia

ERBIL – Authorities of the Islamic Republic of Iran executed five Kurdish rights activists in the northwestern Urmia city, officials and local activists confirmed on Friday.

The Kurdish rights activists Naji Kiwan, Ali Kurdian, Haidar Ramini, Nadir Muhamadi and Ruhman Rashidi were arrested on Wednesday on charges of “conspiring against the Islamic Republic of Iran”.

They were publicly hanged to death in central Urmia in front of hundreds of people, including their families who have been obliged by the Iranian authorities to witness the execution.

“The victims were human rights activists who used to document violations by Iranian security forces against civilians in the Kurdish city of Urmia,” member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party in Iran Dara Natiq told ARA News.

“By executing those activists, the Iranian government tries to prevent any reporting about its violations against human rights,” he said.

The Kurdish official added that Iran is executing an average of seven civilians and activists every week.

“Public executions have become a common scene in the main cities of Iran, mainly conducted on baseless charges,” Natiq told ARA News. “The Kurdish people have been for long suppressed and persecuted by the Iranian Islamic government. However, our activists will keep documenting those violations with a hope that the international community would ever take action and stop such barbaric acts by this tyrannical government.”

Source: aranews.net, Sozbin Cheleng, May 21, 2016

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