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Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

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For the past 3 months, Christopher Anthony Young has awoken in his 10-by-6 foot concrete cell on death row and had to remind himself: He's scheduled to die soon.
As the day crept closer, the thought became more constant for Young, who's sentenced to die for killing Hasmukh "Hash" Patel in 2004.
"What will it feel like to lay on the gurney?" he asks himself. "To feel the needle pierce my vein?"
Mitesh Patel, who was 22 when Young murdered his father, has anxiously anticipated those moments, as well. He wonders how he will feel when he files into the room adjacent to the death chamber and sees Young just feet away through a glass wall.
For years, Patel felt a deep hatred for Young. He wanted to see him die. Patel knew it wouldn't bring his father back. But it was part of the process that started 14 years ago when Young, then 21, gunned down Hash Patel during a robbery at Patel's convenience store on the Southeast Side of San Antonio.
3 mont…

Outrage of UN Rights Expert at Iran Regime's Execution of a Young Man Sentenced as a Child

Iran: A corrupt theocracy, a medieval justice system.
Iran: A corrupt theocracy, a medieval justice system.
GENEVA (11 August 2017) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran, Asma Jahangir, has expressed outrage at the execution of a young man who received the death penalty as a child.

Alireza Tajiki was arrested at the age of 15 in 2012 and sentenced to death in 2013 at the age of 16.

He was executed on August 10 despite repeated interventions by UN human rights experts, who said the death penalty should never be used against a child, and noted that Mr. Tajiki had reportedly been tortured and had not received a fair trial.

“I am distressed in the extreme to learn that this execution has gone ahead despite twice being postponed on previous scheduled dates,” said the Special Rapporteur.

The human rights expert stressed that Mr. Tajiki’s death penalty was upheld following judicial procedures which did not meet acceptable international standards of a fair trial or due process.

“I am deeply concerned that the court relied on the use of forced “confessions”, which were reportedly extracted using torture, including beatings, floggings and suspension by the arms and feet,” she said. “There has been no investigation into these torture claims.”

“Mr. Tajiki also suffered violations of his rights to a defence, for example by being denied access to a lawyer throughout the entire investigation process and being held in solitary confinement for 15 days without access to his family.”

Ms. Jahangir added: “This treatment would be unacceptable for an adult, but for a child suspect to have been convicted after such grave rights abuses, and then to be executed despite all interventions, is truly shocking.”

The death sentence against Mr. Tajiki was quashed in 2014 but the Supreme Court, but he was resentenced to death by the Provincial Criminal Court of Fars, which ruled that he had sufficient “mental maturity” for an understanding of his alleged crime to be executed. This verdict was later upheld by the Supreme Court.

Children watching a public hanging in Iran
Children watching a public hanging in Iran
“I note that Iran has ratified both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, both of which commit the country to protecting and respecting children’s right to life,” the Special Rapporteur noted.

“These Conventions also unequivocally forbid the passing and carrying out of the death penalty on anyone below 18 years of age.”

The human rights expert recalled that Iran has already executed three other juvenile offenders since January and at least 86 are known to be on death row, although the exact figure may be higher.

“The Government of Iran must immediately and unconditionally stop sentencing children to death,” said Ms. Jahangir. “It must also commute all existing death sentences imposed on children, in line with its international commitments.”

Ms. Asma Jahangir (Pakistan) was designated as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran by the Human Rights Council in September 2016 Ms. Jahangir was elected as President of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and as Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Over the years, she has been recognized both nationally and internationally for her contribution to the cause of human rights and is a recipient of major human rights awards. She has worked extensively in the field of women’s rights, protection of religious minorities and in eliminating bonded labour. She is a former Special Rapporteur on summary executions, and on freedom of religion.

The Special Rapporteurs and Working Groups are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Source: NCRI, August 12, 2017

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