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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.
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U.N. warns Japan against hanging Aum cult figures currently seeking retrial

Gallows at Tokyo Detention Center
The U.N. Human Rights Office has called into question Japan's possible execution of Aum Shinrikyo cult figures on death row who are seeking a retrial.

"We do note that some of the defendants in this case are reportedly requesting a retrial," Ravina Shamdasani, spokeswoman for the office, said in a written interview with Kyodo News.

"Execution of individuals with appeals or other proceedings still pending is against the U.N. Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty," she said.

Death sentences have been finalized for 13 members of the cult, including Aum founder Shoko Asahara, 63, who masterminded the 1995 sarin nerve gas attack on the Tokyo subway system that killed 13 people and left over 6,000 people ill.

Earlier this month, the Justice Ministry transferred 7 of the 13 on death row from the Tokyo detention center to other facilities across the country, likely bringing them a step closer to execution.

Japan has long tended to avoid executing death-row inmates while their retrial pleas were pending, but last year then-Justice Minister Katsutoshi Kaneda said such a plea does not impede an execution.

All 13 inmates sentenced to death for crimes committed while members of the doomsday cult, including Asahara, whose real name is Chizuo Matsumoto, had been housed in the Tokyo detention facility. Asahara remains in the facility, government sources said earlier.

The U.N. safeguards, adopted in 1984, partly stipulate that capital punishment "shall not be carried out pending any appeal or other recourse procedure or other proceeding relating to pardon or commutation of the sentence."

"The U.N. Human Rights Office advocates for full abolition of the death penalty, and we have in our discussions with the Japanese government urged them to consider abolition," the spokeswoman said.

Source: Japan Times, March 28, 2018


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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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