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“River of Fire”: In New Memoir, Sister Helen Prejean Reflects on Decades of Fighting Executions

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The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to resume the death penalty after a more than 15-year moratorium. This week Attorney General William Barr proposed fast-tracking executions in mass murder cases, and last month ordered the execution of five death row prisoners beginning in December. The federal government has executed just three people since 1963 — the last being in 2003. The death penalty is widely condemned by national governments, international bodies and human rights groups across the world. Experts say capital punishment does not help deter homicides and that errors and racism in the criminal justice system extend to those sentenced to death. We speak with Sister Helen Prejean, a well-known anti-death-penalty activist who began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. …

Iran's FM affirms right to execute gays

No gays in Iran
In response to questions today in Tehran from a reporter for the mass circulation German paper Bild, the Islamic Republic of Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif reiterated his country's lethal homophobic law and its opposition to the Jewish state and the US.

Paul Ronzheimer, a reporter for the Bild, wrote on Twitter that he asked Zarif two questions: "1. Where do you stand regarding Israel's right to exist? 2. How do you deal with the executions of gays?"

Ronzheimer wrote that Zarif answered: "The problem is the aggressive policies of Israel and the USA."

Regarding Iran's execution of gays, Zarif said that: "Our society has moral principles, and according to these principles we live. These are moral principles regarding the behavior of people in general. And that's because the law is upheld and you abide by laws."

Richard Grenell, the US ambassador to Germany, told The Jerusalem Post on Monday: “The UN’s Declaration of Human Rights makes clear that these answers from the Iranian regime are violating basic UN principles. UN members should agree with the Declaration in order to be members. Criminalizing homosexuality violates the Declaration, plain and simple.”

Tehran's (secret) Gay Pride
Volker Beck, a German Green party politician and LGBT activist, told the Post: "Zarif makes clear what Iran stands for: contempt for the human rights of homosexuals, women and religious minorities."

Beck, who is also a lecturer at the Center for Studies in Religious Sciences (CERES) at the Ruhr University in Bochum, added whoever supports the mullahs knows what they represent. He said that "The hanging of homosexuals and stoning of women is considered a moral principle by the Islamists in Tehran."

The Post reported in January that Iran's clerical regime publicly hanged a man based on an anti-homosexual Islamic law. The unidentified man was hanged on January 10 in the southwestern city of Kazeroon.

According to a 2008 British WikiLeaks dispatch, Iran’s mullah regime has executed “between 4,000 and 6,000 gays and lesbians” since the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

In 2016, the Post reported that Iran’s regime had executed a gay adolescent that year – the 1st confirmed execution of someone convicted as a juvenile in the Islamic republic.

Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Arak Prison in Iran’s Markazi Province on July 18, 2016, after he was convicted of “forced male-to-male anal intercourse” in early 2015.

Source:  Jerusalem Post, Staff, June 10, 2019


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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