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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: More than One Execution Every Four Hours in July

Public execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (JULY 13 2017): Following a pause in executions during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, executions in Iran have dramatically increased since Saturday July 1.

In the past twelve days, Iran Human Rights has reported on 56 executions carried out in Iran. 31 of the 56 prisoners were reportedly hanged on drug related charges. Only seven of the 56 executions were reported by official Iranian sources, including the Judiciary and state-run media.

Iran Human Rights considers the volume of executions in Iran inhumane and calls for their immediate halt. "In the past twelve days in Iran, we have witnessed more than one execution every four hours. This is unprecedented, even for the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is crucial that the international community reacts to this," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

"It is incomprehensible that the death sentences for prisoners with drug related charges are being hastily carried out at the same time that a bill is being reviewed by the Iranian Parliament to stop the death sentences for many prisoners with drug charges. It is possible that the Iranian authorities intend to carry out the death sentences for as many prisoners with drug related charges as possible before passing the bill. If this is the case, then we will be witness to a massacre."

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam calls on the international community and civil societies inside and outside Iran to help prevent a massive human tragedy before it is too late by reacting to the wave of executions in Iran.

Previously, Iranian parliament members had requested from the Iranian Judiciary to stop drug related executions for at least five thousand prisoners pending further investigation. However, the request has not stopped the Judiciary from carrying out death sentences for prisoners with drug related charges.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 12, 2017

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