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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: Man sentenced to death for “insulting prophet Muhammad" requests retrial

Iran: A medieval justice system
Iran Human Rights (Apr 9, 2018): Sina Dehghan (Dehqan), who has been sentenced to death for “insulting prophet Muhammad,” has requested a retrial and his lawyer hopes the request will be approved.

According to a close source, Sina Dehghan, who has been sentenced to death for “insulting the prophet” and his verdict has been approved by the Supreme Court, has requested a retrial.

Mehdi Shakibafar, a lawyer who has accepted Sina Dehqan’s case, told IHR, “Sina Dehqan’s case was processed by a judicial authority in Arak who issued the ruling. Afterward, the defendant objected to the ruling and his family appointed me as their son’s lawyer. I requested a retrial after reading the case, and now it’s being studied by the Supreme Court. We hope to achieve the desired result.”

He continued, “Sina Dehqan and Mohammad Nouri are serving time in Arak Central Prison, so we hope the execution sentence will be rejected.”

Sina Dehqan, a resident of Tehran, was arrested on October 21, 2015, by Ministry of Intelligence agents from the city of Arak. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Dehqan was only 19, and he was reportedly just finishing up his mandatory military service at a base in Tehran operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Before his arrest, Sina Dehqan along with Mohammad Nouri, Sahar Elyasi, and an individual under the age of 18 used the messenger app "Line" to share content that the judicial and security authorities in Iran consider offensive to Islam.

Branch 1 of the criminal court in the Markazi province, presided by Judge Mohamad Reza Rahmati, reportedly sentenced Sina Dehqan and Mohammad Nouri to death and Sahar Elyasi to seven years in prison. The individual under the age of 18 has reportedly not received a sentence yet and was released on bail.

In February 2017, Iran's Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences for Sina Dehqan and Mohammad Nouri and reduced Sahar Elyasi's sentence to three years in prison. Additionally, these three individuals were sentenced by a Revolution Court to 16 months in prison on the charge of insulting the Supreme Leadership.

IHR has not been able to contact Mohammad Nouri’s lawyer or his family so far. We ask those who are in touch with his family to contact us.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 9, 2018


Medieval death sentences for free speech


Iranian courts have sentenced three individuals, including a woman, to death for the expression of their opinion.

Iran Human Rights (MAR 27 2017): Three prisoners by the names of Sina Dehghan, Mohammad Nouri and Marjan Davari have reportedly been sentenced to death by Iranian courts based solely on opinions or beliefs they expressed.

"Verdicts like the ones issued to Sina Dehghan, Mohammad Nouri and Marjan Davari are reminiscent of the ones issued in the medieval times. The international community must speak out about their death sentences. We call for global condemnation," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

According to close sources, Sina Dehghan, a resident of Tehran, was arrested on October 21, 2015 by Ministry of Intelligence agents from the city of Arak. At the time of his arrest, Mr. Dehghan was reportedly just finishing up his mandatory military service at a base in Tehran operated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. Close sources say that prior to his arrest, Sina Dehghan along with Mohammad Nouri, Sahar Elyasi, and an individual under the age of 18 used the messenger app "Line" to share content that the judicial and security authorities in Iran consider offensive to Islam.

Branch 1 of the criminal court in the Markazi province, presided by Judge Mohamad Reza Rahmati, reportedly sentenced Sina Dehghan and Mohammad Nouri to death and Sahar Elyasi to seven years in prison. The individual under the age of 18 has reportedly not received a sentence yet and was released on bail.

In February 2017, Iran's Supreme Court confirmed the death sentences for Sina Dehghan and Mohammad Nouri and reduced Sahar Elyasi's sentence to three years in prison. Additionally, these three individuals were sentenced by a Revolution Court to 16 months in prison on the charge of insulting the Supreme Leadership.

Sina Dehghan was reportedly physically beaten at the time of his arrest. And when he was held in Arak's Ministry of Intelligence detention centre, he was reportedly mistreated and subjected to torture and pressured to give forced confessions.

"Sina Dehghan, who is 21 years old, is currently held in a ward with prisoners charged with dangerous crimes, and he is experiencing many challenges there," a source close to Mr. Dehghan tells Iran Human Rights. 

MARJAN DAVARI


Marjan Davari was reportedly arrested on September 24, 2015 in Karaj by Ministry of Intelligence agents for holding a class and translating a book about "Eckankar". She was sentenced to death by branch 15 of Tehran's Revolution Court, presided by Judge Salavati, on the charge of "Spreading corruption on earth".

"In order to issue the Corruption on earth charge, the court cited the topics that Ms. Davari translated and the lecture she gave - in addition to using the following accusations against her: apostasy, illegitimate relationships, gathering and colluding against the state, and membership in Eckankar," a close source tells Iran Human Rights.

Marjan Davari was detained in Ward 209 of Evin Prison where she was not allowed any contact with her family or lawyer for four months. She is currently held in Gharchak Varamin Prison located in the city of Rey (Tehran province). In February 2017, she was transferred to this prison from Evin's women's ward.

Source: Iran Human Rights, March 27, 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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