Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MARCH 13, 2018): The 10th annual report on the death penalty in Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM shows that in 2017 at least 517 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
This number is comparable with the execution figures in 2016 and confirms the relative reduction in the use of the death penalty compared to the period between 2010 and 2015. 
Nevertheless, with an average of more than one execution every day and more than one execution per one million inhabitants in 2017, Iran remained the country with the highest number of executions per capita.
2017 Annual Report at a Glance:
At least 517 people were executed in 2017, an average of more than one execution per day111 executions (21%) were announced by official sources.Approximately 79% of all executions included in the 2017 report, i.e. 406 executions, were not announced by the authorities.At least 240 people (46% of all executions) were executed for murder charges - 98 more than in 2016.At le…

Executions Increase in Somalia

Firing squad execution in Somalia (file photo)
Firing squad execution in Somalia (file photo)
In Somalia, a country long troubled by deadly violence, there's a disturbing new trend: an increase in summary executions.

Somali military courts and the militant group al-Shabab have each executed about a dozen people so far in 2017, all of them killed in public settings as crowds of between 30 and 300 people looked on. 

While executions in Somalia are nothing new, the sudden increase has drawn the attention of human rights groups like Amnesty International as well as the local European Union delegation, which has asked Somali authorities to enact a moratorium on the death penalty. 

Activists have been particularly critical of executions carried out by military courts, which they say are trying cases beyond their jurisdiction and failing to give defendants fair legal process. 

Military courts put to death 11 people in April alone, including a policeman convicted of murdering a civilian, a soldier convicted of killing a civilian, and 4 al-Shabab militants sentenced for explosions that killed some 80 people in the town of Baidoa. 

The execution of 5 young men by firing squad in the semi-autonomous Puntland region on April 8 sparked the most controversy. Amnesty International says the defendants, all accused of murdering officials in the town of Bossaso, were too young to be tried as adults, never given access to a lawyer and coerced into giving false confessions. 


The rights group says that according to family members, the boys confessed to the killings only after being beaten, raped, subjected to electric shocks and burned with cigarettes on their genitals. 

"These horrific allegations of torture must be fully and independently investigated and those found responsible held to account," said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty's deputy regional director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes. 

The head of Puntland Military Appeals Court, Salah Liif, said the court does not force confessions and denied the allegations about the defendants being underage. 

"Puntland Administration does not execute children and will never do that," he told VOA's Somali service. "It was a propaganda spread by elements playing human rights groups against Puntland." 

Al-Shabab gives defendants virtually no legal process at all. On the morning of May 6, residents of tiny Quar'a Madobe village were going about their business when al-Shabab militants ordered them to assemble. Dozens gathered to see the militants holding 2 men in civilian clothes at gunpoint. 

"They brought the men in front of a tea restaurant, and told the residents they were captured enemy soldiers," said a witness who spoke to the Somali service. One militant then recited a Quranic verse, he said, and 2 others used large knives to slice off the men's heads, as those watching gasped and screamed. 

A Somali National Army colonel identified the men as Mowlid Hussein and Ahmed Ya'qub, and said they were driving to the town of Jowhar to tend to family emergencies when al-Shabab intercepted their vehicle. The colonel said they were "off duty, uniformed and unarmed." 

On May 1, al-Shabab executed 2 other men - Ahmed Ibrahim Ragow, 29, and Yusuf Ali Bajin, 22 - for allegedly raping a girl and killing her brother in the city of Beledweye. 1 was shot by firing squad; the other was publicly stoned. 

Hassan Shire Sheikh is chairperson of the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (EHAHRD). In an interview with VOA Somali, he called for a complete stop to the executions. 

"Carrying out executions abruptly won't help the nation as it can cause the death of innocents," said Shire. "The current executions represent retrogressive and unjustifiable [policy], as there is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishment." 

Cleric backs death penalty 

Sheikh Bashir Ahmed Salad, an influential cleric and the chairman of the Council of Religious Scholars of Somalia, said his council backs use of the death penalty, which describes as "a strong principle in our Islamic law." 

The cleric, who survived a car bomb in Mogadishu in 2013, is one of the few Somali clerics to publicly criticize al-Shabab's extreme ideology and terrorist attacks. He supports any harsh sentences against the militant members. 

"We generally believe that al-Shabab militant members disrespect human life, kill innocent people indiscriminately and destabilizes people's peace and norm, so we support any iron hand dealing with them," he said. 

Source: New Delhi Times, May 16, 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 30 Days)

Texas: Reginald Blanton executed

Thomas Whitaker 'given new life' after death penalty commuted, his dad says

After a Massacre, a Question of One More Death: The Gunman’s

Ohio: Death row inmate Alva Campbell has died

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Florida executes Eric Branch

Alabama has set executions for 2 men, including one who asked for it

Alabama executes Michael Eggers

Singapore: Drug trafficker from Ghana hanged after clemency plea rejected

Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017