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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: Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh Arrested

Nasrin Sotoudeh
Iran Human Rights, June 13, 2018: Prominent lawyer and human rights defender, Nasrin Sotoudeh, was arrested at her home on Wednesday, June 13. She was previously imprisoned for her professional and HR activities. 

Nasrin's husband, Reza Khandan, confirmed the arrest on his Facebook page. 

During the past years, Mrs.Sotoudeh represented many Iranian activists in the courts. Recently, she represented Girls of Revolution Street, who took off their hijab in public to protest compulsory hijab.

A couple of days ago, in an interview with IHR's legal magazine, HoghogheMa, Nasrin Sotoudeh spoke out against state-approved list of lawyers and said that the Judiciary’s approach is political and this way “political prisoners are surrounded only by people who are loyal to the regime”.

She explained, “Some of those [pro-regime] people act as plaintiffs because in these cases the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards are mostly the plaintiffs. Some others are judges or interrogators who issue verdicts at Evin’s court. They are usually forced to issue verdicts by Ministry of Intelligence agents. And now based on Article 48, we have “state lawyers”. Those lawyers are so prejudiced and determined to bolster the regime that they cannot defend political defendants properly”.

She advised political defendants, “Do not accept the state-approved lawyers at all.”

Iran Human Rights (IHR) strongly condemns this arrest and demands her immediate and unconditional release. The spokesperson and director of IHR, Mahmoud Amiry-Moghaddam, said, “Iran is probably one of the few countries where defense lawyers are persecuted for doing their job”. He added, “We ask the world community to play a more active role in defending the Iranian human rights lawyers and to ask for immediate release of the detained lawyers and end persecuting them."

Source: Iran Human Rights, June 13, 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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