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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: Juvenile Offender Mohammad Kalhor at Imminent Danger of Execution

Mohammad Kalhor
Iran Human Rights (Mar 3, 2018): Mohammad Kalhor’s Lawyer, Mohammad Aqakhani, declared that his client who is sentenced to death for murdering his teacher at the age of 15, might be executed soon. 

According to a close source, Mohammad Kalhor is a student from Boroujerd city who stabbed his 43-year-old physics teacher, Mohsen Khashkhashi, on November 22, 2014, when he was 15.

Mohammad Kalhor’s lawyer, Mohammad Aqakhani, told IHR that the Head of the Judiciary approves the verdict and the case is sent to the Sentence Implementation Branch; therefore, Mohammad might be executed soon. 

According to the forensic report which was delivered in January 2016, Mohammad Kalhor was mentally immature at the time of the crime. However, Branch 1 of the Criminal Court of Lorestan sentenced him to death. The verdict was rejected by the Supreme Court and was processed again in a parallel court in Lorestan. The second court also sentenced him to death in January 2017 which was approved by the Supreme Court.

Mohammad Kalhor’s lawyer confirmed that his client was only 15 at the time of the crime and said, “Mr. Boroujerdi, Head of the National Security Commission and Boroujerd’s representative, wrote a letter to the Supreme Court and asked for special attention to this case. Consequently, the Supreme Court approved Mohammad’s verdict.”

Mohammad Aqakhani continued, “We asked for a retrial for the third time, but the Supreme Court hasn’t replied to our request yet. Since our request has been denied twice before, the sentence might be implemented anytime which worries us.”

He concluded, “We are worried about Mohammad’s condition. He shouldn’t be held at adults’ prison. Besides, he needs to see a doctor and a psychiatrist.”

It should be noted that Mohammad Kalhor was transferred from Lorestan’s Correctional Center to Boroujerd Central Prison in February 2018 because he is 18 years old now and his case was sent to the Sentence Implementation Branch around the same time.

It is worth mentioning that the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Iran has signed, clearly bans execution and life imprisonment of juveniles. 

In 2017, at least five juvenile offenders were executed in Iran. Furthermore, at least three juvenile offenders were executed in January 2018 in Iran.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April, 4 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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