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In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

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To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

Iran pushes ‘Islamic human rights’ excluding LGBT people

Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal.
"Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal."
"Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal." -- Kazem Gharibabadi, International Deputy for the Iranian High Council for Human Rights.

The Iranian government plans to host an international human rights conference in the city of Qom in August to discuss Islamic Human Rights principles, which will exclude LGBT rights and other issues “that are based on Western cultural standards and lifestyle,” as well as issues that ” are not universally accepted.”

The announcement about the upcoming conference was made [June 29] by Mr. Kazem Gharibabadi, the International Deputy for the Iranian High Council for Human Rights, affiliated with the Iranian Judiciary. During his comments, Mr. Gharibabadi’s was specifically critical of the inclusion of LGBT rights in various human rights treaties:

“Some countries refuse to acknowledge that the principles of human rights should be, at times, implemented based on the culture and dominant values of each country. For example, these countries consider homosexuality as a human rights issue, which is not accepted by Islamic countries. Those countries pressure others to follow their standards and seek the universality of human rights.
“Of course, we do not deny the universality of some aspects of human rights, but not everything that those countries want to promote should be considered as a human rights issue. Not all human rights principles are necessarily universal. We need to see if the prevailing culture of each country allows such issues to be seen as a human rights issue or not.”

In his interview with the the official website of the Iranian Parliament, Mr. Gharibabadi clarified that Iran’s ongoing effort to promote the Islamo-centric human rights values is done through research, documentation, and facilitated discourse through a partnership with the Iranian Foreign Ministry. According to Mr. Gharibabadi, “The Council has commissioned several research and publication projects to various academic centers, and is expecting to launch one or two of these reports in multiple languages by March 2017.”

According to Mr. Gharibabadi, there are currently consultations with other Islamic countries underway on how to use Islamic Human Rights doctrines in interpreting and drafting international human rights documents, so that Islamic human rights principles can become universally acceptable.

For more information in Persian, read the full text of that story in Icana.ir.

Source: Erasing 76 crimes, Colin Stewart, July 1, 2016

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