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Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

Iran: 4 Prisoners Hanged on Drug Charges

Iran: Medieval and barbaric punishments
Iran: Medieval and barbaric punishments
On the mornings of Monday January 23 and Wednesday January 25, 4 prisoners were hanged in 2 different prisons on drug related charges.

According to close sources, at least 2 prisoners were hanged at Karaj's Ghezel Hesar Prison on January 25 on drug related charges. 

The prisoners have been identified as Majid Askari and Rahman Nourian. They were reportedly transferred from their prison cells to solitary confinement two days before their execution.

"Majid was arrested 6 years ago for one kilogram and 100 grams of crystal meth, and he was sentenced to death by the revolutionary court," a source close to Mr. Askari tells Iran Human Rights.

Iran Human Rights had warned about the imminent executions of Mr. Askari and Mr. Nourian.

Close sources also report on 2 executions which were carried out at Maragheh Prison on January 23 on drug related charges. The prisoners have been identified as Iraj Ghafouri and Hossein Fatemi.

"Iraj Ghafouri was arrested approximately 4 years and 7 months ago for 800 grams of crystal meth and some opium. Hossein Fatemi was also arrested in 2012, he was sentenced to death for the charge of trafficking 500 grams of crystal meth and 700 grams of crack," a close source tells Iran Human Rights.

Executions for drug related charges are increasing in Iran while the Iranian Parliament has proposed a law to limit the use of the death penalty for drug charges. The law must first be approved by Iran's Guardian Council, and it is not clear whether it would actually lead to a reduction in the number of drug related executions. Additionally, members of parliament recently wrote a letter to the head of the Judiciary calling for a halt to the execution sentences of about 5,000 prisoners who are on death row for allegedly committing drug related offenses.

Source: Iran Human Rights, January 26, 2017

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