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America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Iran: Death sentence of Gonabadi Dervish Mohammad Salas carried out despite protests

Mohammad Salas
Iran Human Rights (June 18, 2018): Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly condemns the execution of Mohammad Salas and calls on the European Union and the countries that have diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran to play a more active role in preventing human rights abuses in Iran.

In spite of all civil society protests and despite the repeated warnings of human rights groups, the death sentence of Mohammad Salas was carried out early the morning of June 18. 

Noting that the death penalty in its entirety is inhumane, IHR insists that the principles of due process have not been implemented in the trial of this Gonabadi dervish.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of IHR, said: "The Islamic Republic of Iran's judiciary not only failed to investigate the reports of torture under the interrogations and confessions, but also ignored the claims by Mr. Salas’ lawyer and family on the existence of new evidence proving his innocence demanding for new investigations. Mohammad Salas was executed innocently since he was not provided a fair trial and he insisted on his innocence. The responsibility for this execution lies with the authorities of the Islamic Republic, especially its leader Ali Khamenei, and they must be held accountable for this crime."

IHR also calls on the European governments, especially the EU and Norway, to play a more active role in dealing with human rights abuses in Iran.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam emphasized: "Perhaps more international pressure could have saved Mohammad Thallath from execution. The international community, especially the European countries, should recognize their role and responsibility and must work harder to stop executions and other human rights abuses in Iran."

Source: Iran Human Rights, June 18, 2018


Strong Condemnation of the Brutal Execution of Mohammad Salas by Iran Regime


The office of Mr. Gérard Deprez, MEP, Chair of the Friends of a Free Iran in European Parliament has issued this statement today.

Brussels-18 June 2018. It is with great regret and outrage that we heard this morning, Monday 18 June 2018, Islamic Republic of Iran executed an innocent man from the country’s Sufi religious minority.

Mohammad Salas, 51, a Gonabadi Dervish (Sufi), was arrested in February 2018 during the protests in Tehran. He was tortured, had his teeth, nose and ribs broken; needed 17 stitches on his head, lost his vision and consciousness, and was forced to sign a false "confession" which was later used to sentence him to death.

Amnesty International had called on the international community to “Do everything in their power to stop the execution.”

Mr. Salas had repeatedly announced that he had been forced under torture to accept charges which he was not involved in. According to witnesses who were not allowed to testify to the court, Salas had been arrested and beaten up hours before the incident for which he was later accused of.

Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament which enjoys the support of many MEPs from all political groups, had campaigned to stop the execution of Mr Salas.

We call on the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and the European Parliament President Antonio Tajani to immediately condemn this brutal act of barbarity that has been carried out by the Iranian regime.

In recent weeks, while the EU officials seem to have been only focused on the Iranian nuclear deal, the Iranian regime has been persecuting dissidents and civil society activists, handing them harsh sentences.

We keep insisting that any advancements of EU’s relations with Iran must be conditional to a clear improvement of human rights, women’s rights and a halt to the executions.

Source: NCRI: Gérard Deprez, June 18, 2018. G. Deprez, MEP. Chair, Friends of a Free Iran in European Parliament


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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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