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Anthony Ray Hinton Spent Almost 30 Years on Death Row. Now He Has a Message for White America.

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Anthony Ray Hinton was mowing the lawn at his mother's house in 1985 when Alabama police came to arrest him for 2 murders he did not commit. One took place when he was working the night shift at a Birmingham warehouse. Yet the state won a death sentence, based on 2 bullets it falsely claimed matched a gun found at his mother's home. In his powerful new memoir, "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row," Hinton describes how racism and a system stacked against the poor were the driving forces behind his conviction. He also writes about the unique and unexpected bonds that can form on death row, and in particular about his relationship with Henry Hays, a former Klansman sentenced to death for a notorious lynching in 1981. Hays died in the electric chair in 1997 - 1 of 54 people executed in Alabama while Hinton was on death row.
After almost 30 years, Hinton was finally exonerated in 2015, thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI. On April 27…

Latest Report Finds Human Rights in Iran Are Abysmal


Medieval punishments: Public flogging in Iran
The Iran Human Rights Monitor has released its report into the state of human rights in Iran during March 2018 and, as always, it makes for unpleasant reading, with many instances of executions, arbitrary murders, torture, corporal punishment, abuse of political prisoners, and lack of a just legal system. 

Here, we will provide a summary of the key topics raised in the report, but for more information, please visit the site itself. As always, these numbers cited here are believed to be lower than the actual number of people who have been executed/killed/punished by the Regime, due to the Regime's attempts to hide their abuses. 

Executions 


There were 12 registered executions in March, with two unnamed men executed in public. This included some people who were suffering from mental illness and some who may have been children when the crime was committed. 

Here are the names of the 10 that Iran HRM could identify: 

1. Hamid Imani 

2. Masoud Vakili 

3. Keyvan Rashkhar 

4. Ramin Razavi 

5. Mehdi Sarabi 

6. Ayoub Babakhani 

7. Ehsan Yaqubi 

8. Javad Golniat 

9. Mohammad Rostami 

10. Rahim Salimi 

There are a further 86 inmates currently on death row in the notorious Gohardasht Prison. 

Arbitrary murders 


On March 26, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) opened fire and killed Ibrahim Soleimani, a porter and father of 5. 

Deaths in custody 


In March, 3 prisoners in Iran were tortured to death and 2 more died because the authorities refused to allow them urgent medical care. 

The 3 tortured include: 

-- Ghobad Azimi, who was killed under torture just 2 days after he was detained by the Javanroud Intelligence Agency, but his family were told that he committed suicide. This is a favoured tactic by the Regime to cover up their wrongdoing. 

-- Mohammad Raji, a member of the Dervish Gonabadi community, who was arrested during a protest against the Regime's abuses against members of his faith. 

-- Ali Savari, whose body shows signs of torture, was tortured to death by a notorious prison guard in Sheiban Prison, called Hamidian. 

The HRM report only named one of the prisoners who died through a lack of medical attention. He was Vahid Safarzehi who reportedly swallowed a razor blade and could have been save if he'd been seen by a doctor. 

Medieval punishments: Public hanging in Iran

Inhuman treatment and cruel punishments 


The report cited 2 instances of public flogging in Bushehr and Sirjan in early March, but the victims are unnamed. 

Arrests 


At least 2,100 people were arrested in March, with 889 people arrested during the Persian fire festival celebrations and another 30 arrested during Persian New Year celebrations. 

Some of those arrested were trade unionists, some were attending a mixed-gender party, some were rallying on International Women's Day, and some were simply holding New Year celebrations. The linking factor is that these people who were rallying together for a political reason or even holding mass celebrations pose a threat to the Regime, which is incredibly weak. 

Abuse of political prisoners 


At least 5 political prisoners have been on hunger strike in March to oppose their own mistreatment/imprisonment or that of others. The Iranian Regime's authorities have reacted with violence, the refusal of urgent medical treatment (medical terrorism), or even transferred them to wards where violent or dangerous criminals are kept. 

One man, Hamidreza Amini, was beaten in front of his wife and children while handcuffed and shackled to a hospital bed, while Soheil Arabi was beaten by prison guards and is now suspected of brain damage. 

Prison conditions 


The prisons in Iran are remarkably poor, far below the minimum standards laid out by the UN. As has been mentioned before, there are problems even getting drinking water for the prisoners let alone food, clean quarters, and working facilities (i.e. lights, doors). 

This poses a hygiene risk and means that many prisoners are getting seriously ill. Some are even forced to pay for fixing facilities or bottled water. 


Source: NCRI, April 3, 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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