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

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"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…

Chinese court sentences man to death over school stabbings

Zhao Zewei
A Chinese court sentenced a man to death Tuesday for a knife attack that killed 9 children and wounded another 11 as they returned home from school in northern China.

Zhao Zewei, 28, was arrested in April following the killings that he said were in response to a long-held grudge against the school.

The attack was "premeditated murder," the Yulin Intermediate Court said in a statement, adding that the circumstances warranted the death penalty.

"The goal of the crime was clear, the murderer's methods were despicable, and the consequences were extremely grave," it said on a statement on its website.

After his arrest, Zhao said he had been bullied when he attended the school, "hated" his classmates and decided to use a "dagger" to kill people, the court said in its verdict.

In preparation for the crime, he purchased 5 knives online. He carried 3 of them to the school, where he waited outside the gate for classes to finish before "rushing headlong into the stream of students and ... stabbing wildly," the court said.

9 students died, another 4 were seriously wounded and 7 others received light injuries from the assault, it said.

Zhao was subdued by teachers, security guards and students and then handed over to the police.

Photos from the trial show an emaciated Zhao being held by 2 police officers in the dock as he received his sentence.

Knife attacks are not uncommon in the country.

2 boys were stabbed to death outside a Shanghai elementary school in June.

In February, a knife-wielding man with a personal grudge killed a woman and injured 12 others in a busy Beijing shopping mall - a rare act of violence in the heavily policed capital.

In the southern city of Shenzhen, a man armed with a kitchen knife killed 2 people and wounded 9 others in a supermarket last July.

Source: Agence France-Presse, July 11, 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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