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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: Man Executed At Mashad Prison, Mohammad Javanmard Secretly Executed in Khorramabad

Iran Human Rights (IHR); July 6, 2020: A man sentenced to "retribution in kind" for premeditated murder has been executed in Mashhad Central Prison.

According to Khorasan newspaper, on the morning of July 4, a 32-year-old man on death row was executed in Mashhad Central Prison. The prisoner who has only been identified as Ahmad F had been sentenced to “retribution in kind” (qisas) for premeditated murder.

Ahmad, who was 27 years old at the time of his arrest, was accused of shooting one of his fellow villagers in the head with a shotgun during a long quarrel between two groups of villagers in 2015.

In reconstructing the crime scene, Ahmed had said: "Mehdi Kh had wounded my father and another relative by firing a shotgun, and they were hospitalised, but the doctors had not yet removed the bullets from their bodies when I saw that Mehdi Kh had been released. I went to the interrogation branch and protested his release, but they said that he had been released on bail according to the law! I was very angry when I heard this sentence because it hurt my pride and I felt humiliated! So I picked up my gun and asked one of my relatives to take me to the village in a car, and came across Mehdi Kh on the way and in my anger, I shot him but if he had only been kept in prison for 10 or 20 days, I would have cooled off and this would not have happened."

According to Iran Human Rights Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder."

As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran, those charged under the umbrella term of “premeditated murder” will receive the death penalty regardless of intent (mens rea) and the circumstances.

Prisoner Mohammad Javanmard Secretly Executed in Khorramabad


Iran Human Rights (IHR); July 5, 2020: A male prisoner, convicted of “premeditated murder" was secretly executed in Khorramabad Central Prison on April 18, 2020.

According to Iranian Human Rights, on April 18, a prisoner was executed in Khorramabad Central Prison. The prisoner has now been identified as Mohammad Javanmard, who had been on death row for "premeditated murder".

Javaneh-ha website, which first reported the news, quoted an informed source as saying: “Mohammad Javanmard, 38, was married and had two young daughters. He was a farmer and had gone to fetch water for his sheep on the day of the incident, he was involved in an altercation with three people by the water source, they were trying to take his gun when it was accidentally fired and one of them was killed. Mohammad Javanmard really did not intend to kill anyone, and the person was killed involuntarily.”

Despite the fact that 75 days have passed since the execution of Mohammad Javanmard, there has been no news of his execution by the Iranian media or official sources.

After 75 days, news of Mohammad Javanmard’s execution has still not been announced by the media inside Iran or official sources.

According to Iran Human Rights’ annual report, at least 225 of the 280 of those executed in 2019 were charged with "premeditated murder."

As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran, those charged under the umbrella term of “premeditated murder” will receive the death penalty regardless of intent (mens rea) and the circumstances.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, July 6, 2020


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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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