FEATURED POST

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Image
The fire moved quickly through the house, a one-story wood-frame structure in a working-class neighborhood of Corsicana, in northeast Texas. Flames spread along the walls, bursting through doorways, blistering paint and tiles and furniture. Smoke pressed against the ceiling, then banked downward, seeping into each room and through crevices in the windows, staining the morning sky.
Buffie Barbee, who was eleven years old and lived two houses down, was playing in her back yard when she smelled the smoke. She ran inside and told her mother, Diane, and they hurried up the street; that’s when they saw the smoldering house and Cameron Todd Willingham standing on the front porch, wearing only a pair of jeans, his chest blackened with soot, his hair and eyelids singed. He was screaming, “My babies are burning up!” His children—Karmon and Kameron, who were one-year-old twin girls, and two-year-old Amber—were trapped inside.
Willingham told the Barbees to call the Fire Department, and while Dia…

Iran: Annual Report on the Death Penalty 2016

The 9th annual report by Iran Human Rights (IHR) on the death penalty in Iran shows that in 2016 at least 530 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although this number is significantly lower than the annual execution numbers from the past five years, Iran remained the country with the highest number of executions per capita.

Commenting on the relative decrease in the 2016 execution figures, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, IHR’s Director and spokesperson, said: “We welcome any reduction in the use of the death penalty. But, unfortunately, there are no indications that the relative decrease in the number of the executions in 2016 was due to a change in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s policy. Our reports show that the Iranian authorities have executed at least 140 people in the first two months of 2017 alone.”

In violation of its international obligations, Iran continued to execute juvenile offenders in 2016. According to our report, at least five juvenile offenders were executed in 2016 in Iran. Two of the juvenile offenders were reportedly sentenced to death for drug offences. Iranian authorities also carried out public executions and other barbaric punishments such as amputations, and blinding of eyes. According to IHR’s reports, 33 people were hanged in public spaces, in front of hundreds of citizens including children.

This 2016 annual report is being published only a few months before the end of Hassan Rouhani’s first presidential period. A review of Mr. Rouhani’s 3.5 years as President shows that, despite good diplomatic relations and dialogue with the EU, the number of executions under his presidency was significantly higher than the annual executions under the previous two periods under Ahmadinejad.

To launch the 2016 annual report on the death penalty in Iran, Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM (Ensemble contre la peine de mort) call on Iran’s European dialogue partners to push for a moratorium on use of the death penalty in Iran and for major reforms in the country’s judicial system which does not meet minimum international standards.

The report focuses particularly on the role of the Revolutionary Courts as a major source of arbitrariness and violations of due process in the Iranian judicial system. The Revolutionary Courts are responsible for the vast majority of the death sentences issued and carried out over the last 37 years in Iran. According to IHR’s 2016 report, at least 64% of all executions in 2016 and more than 3,200 executions since 2010 have been based on death sentences issued by the Revolution Courts. The Revolution Courts are less transparent than the Public Courts and Revolutionary Court judges are known for abusing their legal powers. Trials lasting less than 15 minutes, lack of access to a chosen lawyer, and sentences based on confessions extracted under torture are the hallmarks of the Revolutionary Courts.

Revolutionary Courts also play a key role in the crackdown against human rights defenders and the abolitionist movement. In 2016 the Revolutionary Courts sentenced the human rights defenders Narges Mohammadi and Atena Daemi to 10 years and seven years in prison respectively for their activities against the death penalty.

On the issue of the lack of due process, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam said: “A sustainable reduction in use of the death penalty is impossible as long as there is no due process. Revolutionary Courts which sentence hundreds of people to death every year are among the key institutions responsible for Iran’s violations of due process and must be shut down.”

ECPM’s Executive Director, Raphaël Chenuil-Hazan, said: “We call on every democratic State and all Iran’s European partners to make serious efforts to reduce the death penalty in Iran, and to include human rights, especially the situation of the death penalty in Iran, in their bilateral and multilateral dialogues. A good outcome can only be achieved through constant and permanent pressure in the dialogue with Iran.”

IHR and ECPM also call on the Iranian authorities to release Narges Mohammadi and Atena Daemi immediately. These human rights groups also call for an end to the crackdown on civil society and the prosecution of peaceful civilian activists.

➤ Click here to download the full report (pdf)

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 3, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Iran: Three Hand Amputations, Four Hangings Carried Out in Qom

Iran: Woman Asylum Seeker Lashed 80 Times After Being Deported From Norway

Iran: Three executions carried out, two in front of large crowds

Gambia: President Barrow Signs Abolition Of Death Penalty Treaty

Texas Child Killer John Battaglia Found Competent for Execution

Trial by Fire - Did Texas execute an innocent man?

Two Myanmar migrants make final appeal in Koh Tao murder case

Kenya: Man to hang for stealing toothpaste and toothbrush

Seventeen Hanged in Various Iranian Prisons, One in Public

Judge warns death row inmate to keep Nevada's execution manual secret