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"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty

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The following text is excerpted from  Death Row Diary , by William Van Poyck. William Van Poyck -- who maintained his innocence -- was executed by the state of Florida on June 12, 2013.  The 58-year-old, convicted of the 1987 murder of Glades Correctional Institution guard Fred Griffis outside a West Palm Beach doctor’s office, offered his views on everything from prison food to movies to the blood lust of politicians who support the death penalty via letters he posted online with the help of his sister.  After his conviction, Van Poyck, with a reform school education, authored three books, one of which won first-place honors in the memoir category in Writer’s Digest 2004 Self-Published Book Awards.  Locked up with what the courts have deemed the worst of the worst, Van Poyck opened the doors to a secret world few can imagine... The following piece is excerpted from William Van Poyck’s dispatches written during the last two years prior to his own execution. "Robert Waterhouse was

Iran postpones execution of young man arrested aged 17: rights groups

Arman Abdolali
The execution is now postponed to Saturday, 16 October. He remains at risk of imminent execution

Iran has postponed the internationally criticised planned execution of a man arrested for murder when he was 17, but he remains at imminent risk of being hanged, Amnesty International and other rights groups said Wednesday.

Arman Abdolali, now 25, was given the verdict after a trial that rights groups described as unfair. His scheduled execution had renewed international criticism of Iran’s use of capital punishment.

Abdolali had been moved to solitary confinement in the Rajai Shahr prison in Karaj, west of Tehran, in preparation for his execution on Wednesday, and held a final meeting with his parents on Tuesday.


But the execution did not go ahead, although there are fears it may take place on Saturday, said Amnesty and the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights (IHR).

The “execution is now postponed to Saturday, 16 October. He remains at risk of imminent execution in Iran. He was just 17 when arrested,” Amnesty said on Twitter.

IHR, which monitors the use of the death penalty in Iran, said Abdolali was still being held in solitary confinement, and quoted sources as saying the execution would take place on Saturday.

Amnesty says Abdolali was sentenced to death in December 2015 after being convicted of murder following his girlfriend’s disappearance the year before, but in “a grossly unfair trial” by a court that “relied on torture-tainted ‘confessions’.”

IHR said Abdolali confessed to the murder at the time of his arrest, but the body was never found and he later withdrew his confessions.

Rights groups say international conventions signed by Iran prohibit it from executing anyone for a crime committed while aged under 18.

Iran executes more people each year than any nation except China. IHR said at least 64 juvenile offenders have been executed in Iran over the past 10 years, with at least four executed in 2020.


In a sign of the international concern over the case, Germany’s human rights commissioner Baerbel Kofler said carrying out the execution would be an “unacceptable breach of international law”.

“Arman Abdolali was a minor at the time of the alleged crime. There is credible evidence that his confession was obtained under torture and that the conviction thus contradicts fundamental principles of the rule of law,” she said in a statement released by the German foreign ministry.

Source: Agence France-Presse, Staff, October 13, 2021


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"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty