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…

Prominent Chinese rights lawyer Xie Yang released on bail, but may not be free – Amnesty

Xie Yang reading his final statement during his trial
Xie Yang reading his final statement during his trial.
Chinese human rights lawyer Xie Yang has been released on bail after he admitted to his crimes in what critics called a “show trial” on Monday, according to Amnesty International.

Xie has worked on cases considered politically sensitive by the Communist Party, including defending mainland activists who supported the Hong Kong democracy movement. He was detained in China’s crackdown on legal staff and activists in 2015.

Xie was charged with “inciting subversion of state power and disrupting court order.” He admitted to his crimes in court and pleaded guilty. When asked if he was tortured, he said no, contradicting his previous claims that police used long interrogations, beatings, and sleep deprivation on him.

He was apparently released on bail even though a verdict has not been announced, Amnesty said.

“While on bail, Xie Yang is likely to experience constant surveillance and severe restrictions to his freedom of movement as we have witnessed in other such cases,” said the NGO’s China researcher Patrick Poon. “Such tactics appear to be the authorities’ modus operandi against those defending human rights.”

His wife Chen Guiqiu, who has fled to the US with their two daughters, wrote in an article for Amnesty on Wednesday that her husband was still under surveillance by authorities.

She said in a statement on Thursday that she was able to speak to him over the phone three days ago.

“I asked him why he had to go to the mountains, and not go back to live [with his parents], or at his own home – he said he needed to do physical training in the mountains,” she said.

She said that he spoke very little to his daughters and ended the conversation even though she wanted to continue to talk, saying that the villa he was staying at was closing.

“This is completely unlike the behaviour of someone who had not heard the voices of their wife and daughters for two years,” she said, adding that she feared that drugs had been administered to him.

Chinese state media has called Xie’s claims of torture “fake news.” The EU has expressed concern over his case.

Source: HKFP, Catherine Lai, May 11, 2017

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