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Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

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"Whether guilty or not, the outcome of the death penalty is the same. In Iran, the death penalty is by hanging, and it takes from several agonising seconds to several harrowing minutes for death to occur and for everything to be over."

Every year several hundred people are executed by the Iranian authorities.
According to reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and other human rights groups, death row prisoners have often no access to a defence lawyer after their arrest and are sentenced to death following unfair trials and based on confessions extracted from them under torture. 
These are issues which have been addressed in IHR’s previous reports. The current report is based on first-hand accounts of several inmates held in Iran's prisons and their families. The report seeks to illustrate other aspects of how the death penalty affects the inmate, their families and, as a consequence, society.
How does a death row inmate experience his final hours?
Speaking about the final ho…

Hamas sentences 3 to death for spying for Israel, upholds 3 more rulings

Hamas militants executing alleged collaborators with Israel in August 2014
Hamas militants executing alleged collaborators with Israel in August 2014
All were convicted of treason, and some charged with causing the death and injury of Gazans

Authorities in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip have sentenced 6 men to death for "collaborating" with Israel, the Palestinian Safa press service reports. 

3 of the sentences were new while the other 3 were sentences that were upheld following appeal. 

The Associated Press reports that Sunday's sentences bring the number of people on death row to 10, and several others are appealing the same conviction. 

According to the Safa report, all were convicted of treason, and some of the men were charged with causing the death and injury of Gazans through their actions. 

Hamas authorities believe that 1 of the convicted, born in 1968, began working with Israel in 1991, said Safa. 

3 of the accused were from Jabalya, in the northern Gaza Strip, and the others were from Gaza City and Khan Younis. 

Under Palestinian law, those convicted of collaboration with Israel, murder and drug trafficking face the death penalty. 

Execution orders must be approved by the Palestinian president before they can be carried out, but Hamas no longer recognizes the legitimacy of Mahmoud Abbas whose 4-year term ended in 2009. 

In the past, Hamas has come under fire from human rights groups for executing suspected collaborators without a trial. 

Sometimes Gazans are accused of being collaborators based on mere rumor and at other times those who fall out of favor with Hamas are deemed collaborators and executed. 

Source: 124news.tv, February 19, 2017


Gaza court sentences to death 6 Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel


Hamas militants carrying out an execution in Gaza City in October 2013
Hamas militants carrying out an execution in Gaza City in October 2013
A military court in the besieged Gaza Strip sentenced 6 Palestinians to death on Sunday after they were found guilty of collaborating with Israel.

The Gaza Ministry of Interior said in a statement that a Gaza City court upheld the death sentences of 3 defendants, rejecting a final appeal, while 3 other defendants also found guilty of collaboration could still appeal their death penalty.

7 other defendants were handed down prison sentences of up to 17 years with hard labor.

Under Palestinian law, willful premeditated murder, treason, and collaboration with the enemy -- usually Israel -- are punishable by death. However, all death sentences must be ratified by the Palestinian president before they can be carried out.

Despite this, Hamas' de facto administration in Gaza has carried out executions periodically without receiving approval from President Mahmoud Abbas since 2010.

Following a decision by Gaza-based legislators last year which made death sentences "obligatory after all possible appeals against them are completed" and reportedly to be held in public, human rights group Amnesty International, EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah, and the UN all admonished the practice of the death penalty and urged the the legislators to reverse the decision.

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nikolay Mladenov said at the time that "Palestine is one and Gaza and the West Bank are its 2 integral parts. I urge Hamas not to carry out these executions and I call on President Abbas to establish a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty."

Hamas officials maintain that due to the indefinite postponement of presidential and parliamentary elections in the Palestinian territory, and the failure of the Palestinian Authority to assume most of its functions in the besieged coastal enclave, authority for ratifying death sentences lies with the legislative council in Gaza.

Source: Ma'an News Agency, February 20, 2017

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