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

"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…

India: Punjab adopts death penalty for rape of below-12 girls

Indian flag
Besides death penalty for rape of a girl under 12 years of age, the criminal law ordinance amended the Indian Penal Code to enhance minimum punishment for rape from the existing 7 to 10 years

The Punjab cabinet on Wednesday decided to extend to the state 2 ordinances relating to cases involving rapes and fugitive economic offenders, as recently promulgated by the Union government.

The meeting approved republication of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance 2018 of the centre, to make the law on rape more stringent, in the Punjab gazette. Further, in consonance with the finance ministry's proposal of promulgating the Fugitive Economic Offenders Ordinance 2018, the state cabinet gave its nod to republish the aforesaid ordinance in the official gazette of the state.

Besides death penalty for rape of a girl under 12 years of age, the criminal law ordinance amended the Indian Penal Code to provide for enhancement of minimum punishment for rape from the existing 7 to 10 years. The minimum punishment for the offence of rape of a girl child under 16 years of age has been fixed at life imprisonment, as against the earlier provision of 20 years.

The Code of Criminal Procedure has also been amended under the ordinance to ensure mandatory completion of investigation in rape cases within 2 months. Trial of rape cases is also required to be completed in 2 months, with a total limit of 6 months fixed for disposal of appeals in all rape cases. The provision of anticipatory bail to the person accused of rape or gangrape of a girl under 12 years or 16 years of age has also been done away. Further the high court or the court of sessions, before deciding the regular bail applications, will give notice of 15 days to the public prosecutor to appear for hearing of the application, where presence of a person authorised by victim shall be mandatory.

As far as the fugitive economic offenders are concerned, the ordinance empowers the authorities to attach and confiscate properties and assets of economic offenders, such as loan defaulters, who flee the country. The ordinance was promulgated by the Centre in the wake of the recent financial frauds, especially the Rs 13,000-crore loan scam wherein Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi fled the country.

Source: Hindustan Times, June 27, 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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