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Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

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"Whether guilty or not, the outcome of the death penalty is the same. In Iran, the death penalty is by hanging, and it takes from several agonising seconds to several harrowing minutes for death to occur and for everything to be over."

Every year several hundred people are executed by the Iranian authorities.
According to reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and other human rights groups, death row prisoners have often no access to a defence lawyer after their arrest and are sentenced to death following unfair trials and based on confessions extracted from them under torture. 
These are issues which have been addressed in IHR’s previous reports. The current report is based on first-hand accounts of several inmates held in Iran's prisons and their families. The report seeks to illustrate other aspects of how the death penalty affects the inmate, their families and, as a consequence, society.
How does a death row inmate experience his final hours?
Speaking about the final ho…

UAE: Man who raped, killed eight-year-old boy Obaida executed

Obaida Sedqi
Dubai: Nidal Eisa Abdullah, the convict who raped and killed eight-year-old boy Obaida in May 2016, was executed this morning, Gulf News has learnt.

In February, Dubai’s Cassation Court rejected the appeal lodged by the Jordanian convict, Nidal Eisa Abdullah, 48, and upheld his death sentence given by lower courts.

“Today (Thursday) morning, the convict was taken from his confinement at Dubai Central Jail, where he had been waiting for the rulers approval to have the death sentence executed ... a special execution team carried out the sentence in the presence of high ranking officers, senior prosecutors and other involved law enforcement bodies. Justice has been served and the ruling was carried out,” a chief prosecutor confirmed to Gulf News Thursday morning.

When contacted for further confirmation, the convict’s court-appointed lawyer Ali Musabbah Dahi, who represented Abdullah before the Courts of Cassation and Appeal, also confirmed to Gulf News that the sentence has been carried out.

The Cassation Court had convicted Abdullah of kidnapping the Jordanian boy Obaida Sedqi from his father’s auto repair shop in Sharjah on May 20 of last year and driving him to Al Mamzar beachside where he raped him and then strangled him with a red ghutra to death in his car.

The convict, who was under the influence of alcohol, then took Obaida’s body and threw it under a tree in the outskirts of Dubai.

During his trial, the convict pleaded not guilty. 

Source: Gulf News, November 23, 2017


Obaida’s killer referred for psychiatric examination


Dubai: A man on death row for kidnapping, raping and killing an eight-year-old boy will be examined by a special panel of psychiatrists to evaluate his mental condition.

Having intentionally refused to attend his third hearing before the Dubai Appeal Court in a row, the sanity of 49-year-old Jordanian, Nidal Eisa Abdullah, will be assessed at Rashid Hospital to decide whether he was aware of his actions when he kidnapped, raped and killed eight-year-old Jordanian, Obaida Sedqi, on May 20.

In August, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted Abdullah and sentenced him to death.

“The convict will be referred to Rashid Hospital where a special committee of psychiatrists will examine his saneness to decide whether he was mentally ill when the incident happened [May 20] and whether he was aware of his behaviour and actions. Meanwhile prosecutors will have to bring the accused using legal force on November 13,” decided the Appeal Court’s presiding judge Eisa Mohammad Al Sharif on Sunday.

The appellate court referred the accused to the medical committee in response to the request of his court-appointed lawyer, Ali Musabbeh Dahi in court.

Upon summoning Abdullah, the accused failed to show up in the court while the prison warden handed presiding judge Al Sharif a written paper confirming that the accused refuses to attend.

The reasons behind his refusal to stand trial before the Appeal Court remained ambiguous.

“The defendant had requested the primary court to refer him to a psychiatrists’ committee to examine his sanity after claiming that he suffers a mental illness. He also claimed that he was not aware of his mental sickness that he claimed he was being treated for. The primary court rejected his request … hence that is way, today, the defence would like to renew that same request. I want the accused’s sanity to be examined to be able to know whether he suffered any mental illness or instability at the time the crime happened,” lawyer Dahi mentioned in his written request.

When he showed up before the appellate court, Abdullah admitted that he killed Obaida but denied kidnapping and raping the victim.

According to the primary judgement, Abdullah kidnapped Obaida on May 20 from his father’s garage in Sharjah and then raped and killed him in Al Mamzar. He admitted before the primary court that he raped and murdered Obaida but denied kidnapping the victim, who he said willingly sat with him in the car. He also admitted that he drank liquor and drove his vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

Specialists urged to expedite sanity test of Obaida’s killer


 A psychiatrists’ panel has been ordered by a court for the second time to expedite the psychiatric evaluation of a man on death row for kidnapping, raping and killing an eight-year-old boy.

For the second time in November, the Dubai Appeal Court renewed its call to prosecutors to urge the special panel of psychiatrists at Rashid Hospital examine the 49-year-old Jordanian, Nidal Eisa Abdullah, to decide whether he was aware of his actions when he kidnapped, raped and killed eight-year-old Jordanian, Obaida Sedqi, on May 20.

“We call on prosecutors to urge the panel to expedite the process of examining the convict and providing the court with the report by December 18,” said presiding judge Eisa Mohammad Al Sharif in courtroom 20.

Obaida’s killer was aware of his actions, psychiatrists say


Nidal Eisa Abdullah, the man on death row for kidnapping, raping and killing eight-year-old Obaida Sedqi on May 20 has “antisocial personality disorder with alcohol dependence”, but was aware of his actions when he committed the crime, a psychiatric evaluation report has revealed.

The panel of psychiatrists tasked by the Dubai Appeal Court to evaluate Jordanian convict Abdullah’s mental health examined him between November 15 and 20. They sought to decide whether Abdullah was aware of his actions when he committed the crime. Abdullah was examined clinically by psychiatrists, according to the report, and the results have shown that Abdullah is a cognitive person and is capable of understanding and realising and has full insight of what he does.

In August, the Dubai Court of First Instance convicted Abdullah and sentenced him to death for kidnapping eight-year-old Jordanian boy Obaida Sedqi from his father’s garage in Sharjah on May 20, before raping and killing him in Al Mamzar.

On Sunday, Abdullah’s court-appointed lawyer Ali Musabbeh Dahi requested presiding judge Eisa Al Sharif to obtain a copy of the examination report and a copy of his client’s criminal records in the UAE.

Dahi told the appellate court that Abdullah’s sanity has to be examined to be able to know whether he suffered any mental illness or instability at the time of the crime.

Speaking to Gulf News on Thursday, Dahi said: “The mental examination results have come out. I have already lodged an official request before the Public Prosecution to review the details. I will be discussing the details of the results during my defence on January 8. I visited the defendant last Thursday at his detention centre and today [December 22] and we had detailed discussions.”

The results of the psychiatric evaluation follow three consecutive hearings before the appellate court that had urged a special panel of psychiatrists at Rashid Hospital to expedite the process of examining Abdullah and providing the court with the report.

Abdullah had missed three consecutive hearings before presiding judge Al Sharif ordered jail wardens to use force and produce him in court. Since then he has not missed a hearing.

Earlier, Dahi told the court: “The defendant had requested the primary court to refer him to a psychiatrists’ committee to examine his sanity after claiming that he suffers a mental illness. The primary court rejected his request. The defence want the accused’s sanity to be examined to be able to know whether he suffered any mental illness or instability at the time the crime happened.”

Abdullah admitted before the appellate court that he killed Obaida, but denied kidnapping and raping him.

According to records, Abdullah kidnapped Obaida on May 20 from his father’s garage in Sharjah and then raped and killed him in Al Mamzar. He admitted before the primary court that he raped and murdered Obaida, but denied kidnapping the victim, who he said willingly sat with him in the car. He also admitted that he drank alcohol and drove under the influence.

Appeals court upholds death sentence in Obaida murder case


The Dubai Appeals Court on Sunday upheld a capital punishment against Nidal Eisa Abdullah, who kidnapped, raped and killed eight-year-old Jordanian boy Obaida Sedqi.

A crowd present in the court shouted ‘Allah take your soul’ after announcement of the verdict by the Dubai Appeal Court’s presiding judge Eisa Al Sharif

At 10,35am in the courtroom 20, the judge announced that the Jordanian convict, Abdullah will be executed for kidnapping and murdering the eight-year-old Jordanian boy on May 20, 2016. The boy was abducted from his father’s garage in Sharjah before he was raped and killed in Al Mamzar, Dubai.

Sunday’s ruling remains subject to automatic appeal before Cassation Court within 30 days.

The judge read out 15 rulings before he called on jail wardens to bring into the courtroom Abdullah, who was shackled, to listen to the judgement.

“The court has dismissed the convict’s appeal and unanimously upheld the death sentence against him. Due to jurisdictional purposes, he will be referred to the Dubai Misdemeanours Court to be tried for charges number four and five [drinking alcohol and driving under the influence of alcohol],” said presiding judge Al Sharif.

Source. Gulf News, January 2017, December-October 2016


Man who sexually assaulted, killed 8-year-old Obaida executed


A 49-year-old man convicted of killing and sexually assaulting an 8-year-old child was executed on Thursday morning after the death sentence had been approved by the Dubai Ruler.

The trial of the Jordanian man, Nidal Eissa Abdullah, came to an end in February after the Dubai high court upheld the capital punishment that was given by the 2 lower courts. He was found guilty of kidnapping and sexually assaulting Obaida, also from Jordan.

Defense lawyer Ali Musabeh, confirmed the execution on his Twitter page. "Today morning Dubai police executed the death sentence issued by Dubai courts, after it had been approved by Dubai Ruler, on the defendant Nidal Eissa, killer of Obaida, in Al Ruwayya area in Dubai," Musabeh said in a tweet.

The boy went missing on May 20, 2016, and his body was found 2 days later on the side of a road in Al Warqa.

The convict Nidal Eissa Abdullah was found guilty of kidnapping, sexually assaulting and killing the Jordanian child under the influence of alcohol.

The Dubai public prosecution has been pushing all along for the court to inflict the death penalty against the accused.

Musabeh pleaded earlier for the court to exert leniency towards his client on the grounds that he was showing regret over what he did. He said his client was under the influence of alcohol and could not recall what happened that night. He also cited his client's claims of being rejected by his own family which contributed to his alcohol abuse, as the accused claimed.

A psychiatric report concluded Abdullah was mentally stable and sane and thus could be held responsible for his actions and behavior.

The court ruling states that the convict's body be repatriated to his home country after the execution.

A death penalty ruling that comes out of the Dubai Court of Cassation, has to be approved by the Dubai Ruler before it can be executed, as per article 67 of the UAE Federal Penal Code.

Convicts sentenced to death are executed in Dubai by a firing squad.

Execution of 2011


In February 2011, Rashid Rubaih Al Rashidi, 31, was executed at 8:35 am by a firing squad in the shooting square of Al Ruwayyah in the presence of Eissam Issa Al Humaidan, Dubai Attorney-General, Dr Ahmed Al Haddad, Dubai Mufti, a prosecutor, a forensic physician, a representative from the penitentiary establishment and the victim's parents and relatives.

The Ruler of Dubai approved the execution order after Al Rashidi had been convicted and sentenced to death by Dubai's top court.

Al Rashidi, an Emirati fisherman, was found guilty of raping and murdering a 4-year-old Pakistani boy in a mosque in Al Qusais on the 1st day of Eid Al Adha. He had lured Mousa to a washroom with the promise of an Eid gift, where he forcefully sodomised the boy and killed him by sitting on his back, squeezing his neck and banging his head on the floor.

On June 7, 2010, the Court of Cassation upheld a verdict that sentenced the convict to death by a firing squad.

On February 10, 2011, Al Rashidi was shot to death by a firing squad.

Commenting on the execution, the victim's father Mukhtar Ahmed Khudabaksh had said "justice is done''.

According to the Federal Penal procedures law, executions are carried out in the presence of a prosecutor, a representative of the Ministry of Interior, an official from the Penitentiary Establishments and a forensic physician.

A cleric may also be allowed to attend.

The family of the victim has the right to attend and should be notified earlier to make arrangements to be present. Others may attend upon authorization from the Attorney-General.

Source: khaleejtimes.com, November 23, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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