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The Leader of Europe's 'Last Dictatorship' Is Facing an Unprecedented Challenge. Here's What It Could Mean for Belarus

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Europe’s longest serving leader Alexander Lukashenko has long worked hard to seem invincible. He has dominated past elections that the U.S. has deemed neither free nor fair and brokered no dissent and suppressed protests. Now, he is facing an unprecedented challenge as he runs for a sixth term as president of Belarus in elections on August 9. A former teacher and political novice, Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, has emerged as his main rival, pledging to topple Lukashenko’s regime and restore democracy.
Tens of thousands have rallied across Belarus in some of the country’s biggest opposition protests in a decade, amid mounting frustration over the government’s mishandling of the COVID-19 crisis, combined with grievances about the economy. Referring to Lukashenko, protestors chanted ‘stop the cockroach’ and held placards reading ‘change!’.
“For the first time in his 26-year rule, Lukashenko knows the majority don’t support him,” says Aleksandr Feduta, a former aide to the incumbent, who was i…

Iran: Rape victim who killed man in self defense hanged in Ahvaz

Somayeh Shahbazi Jahroei
Iran Human Rights (December 4, 2019): An Iranian woman who according to her family was a rape victim, was hanged at Sepidar Prison in Ahwaz (Ahvaz) this morning. 

According to IHR sources, Somayeh Shahbazi Jahroei (33) who was sentenced to death for murdering a man six years ago, was executed at Ahwaz prison on December 4, 2019. 


According to one of Somayeh's relatives, "the murder victim had tried to rape Somayeh. When the man died, Somayeh was scared and took the body out of the town and set it on fire".

In qisas cases, the plaintiff has the possibility to forgive or demand diya (blood money). 

In many cases, the victim's family are encouraged to put the rope is around the prisoner's neck and even carry out the actual execution by pulling off the chair the prisoner is standing on.

According to the Iranian Islamic Penal Code (IPC) murder is punishable by qisas which means “retribution in kind” or retaliation. 

In this way, the State effectively puts the responsibility of the death sentence for murder on the shoulders of the victim’s family. 

Out of the 110 people who were executed in the first half of 2019, 83 were sentenced to qisas (retribution in-kind) for murder.

There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing a death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, December 4, 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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