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California: With state executions on hold, death penalty foes rethink ballot strategy

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California advocates of abolishing the death penalty got a jolt of momentum in March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would not allow any executions to take place while he was in office.
But after trying twice this decade to persuade voters to end capital punishment, they have no plans to go to the ballot again in 2020. Rather than seeking to build on Newsom’s temporary reprieve for Death Row inmates, activists are taking their own pause.
Grappling with the legacy of their two failed initiatives, advocates are reassessing their strategy and retooling their message. Natasha Minsker, a political consultant who has long been involved with abolition efforts, said the governor’s moratorium has given advocates the opportunity to do long-term planning.
“There’s this excitement and energy in our movement that we haven’t had in a long time,” Minsker said.
Newsom’s executive order caught many Californians by surprise. Although he supported the unsuccessful ballot measures to abolish t…

European Bar Associations Award 2019 Human Rights Prize to four Iranian Lawyers

Public execution in Iran
Iran Human Rights (IHR); November 29, 2019: The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE) on Thursday, November 29, 2019, announced that its human rights award for 2019 goes to the four Iranian lawyers Abdolfattah Soltani, Amirsalar Davoudi, Mohammad Najafi and Nasrin Sotoudeh.

Lawyers Nasrin Sotudeh, Mohammad Najafi and Amirsalar Davoudi are imprisoned in Iran solely for expressing their opinion and for defending their clients, including civil activists, human rights defenders and ethnic minorities. 

Lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani was released from prison last year after almost a decade of imprisonment.

“I am delighted to inform you that you have been selected as the winners of the CCBE Human Rights Award 2019 for your outstanding and tireless commitment in favour of human rights in Iran.  The CCBE believes that your courage, determination and commitment to defending human rights in Iran - where all forms of opposition, be it ideological or political, are not tolerated - deserve the recognition of the European legal profession,” says a statement by CCBE president.   

Iran Human Rights (IHR) congratulates the four Iranian lawyers for the award, and calls for the release of all imprisoned lawyers and an end to the persecution and harassment of the independent lawyers in Iran. 

IHR director, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, said: “Iranian human rights lawyer are in the frontline of combatting the violation of human rights by the Islamic Republic. They have been subjected to severe repression in recent years. We hope the CCBE award leads to more international solidarity with the Iranian people who are struggling for their most fundamental rights.”

The Council of Bars and Law Societies of Europe (CCBE), founded in 1960, is an international non-profit association which has been, since its creation, at the forefront of advancing the views of European lawyers and defending the legal principles upon which democracy and the rule of law are based.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, November 29, 2019


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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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