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Q&As: Kirsten Han, anti-death penalty advocate in Singapore

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In the third of the DPRU's (Death Penalty Research Unit, University of Oxford, Faculty of Law) series of Q&As with death penalty experts from around the world, Kirsten Han, an anti-death penalty advocate in Singapore, tells DPRU Research Officer Jocelyn Hutton about her current work and about her involvement in the case of the recently executed Nagaenthran Dharmalingam . Can you tell us a little bit about the work that you do in relation to the death penalty? A lot of my contribution to the campaign to abolish the death penalty in Singapore has to do with storytelling, since that fits with the skills that I have as a writer and journalist, and because abolitionist perspectives, or any in-depth coverage of capital punishment, are missing from the local government-controlled mainstream media. I write about death row prisoners and the experiences of their families, try to humanise this issue. For many Singaporeans, it’s so distant and so abstract that it’s very easy to dismiss; so

Iran | Baluchi woman hanged in Zahedan, Man Executed for Murder in Sabzevar

The number of women executed in Iran since the summer of 2013 reaches 132

The authorities of the Central Prison of Zahedan hanged a Baluchi woman on the morning of May 7, 2022.

The Baluchi woman was executed along with 3 other men on drug-related charges. The news indicates that she shared the same case with 1 of the executed men. 

The woman has not been identified.

The political prisoners detained in ward 3 of the Central Prison of Zahedan have reported, “There are reliable reports that the death sentences for another 83 prisoners have been sent to the Bureau for Implementation of the Verdict of Zahedan Prison.”

The Baluchi woman had been transferred to solitary confinement to prepare her for the implementation of the death verdict. With the execution of this Baluchi woman, the number of women executed in Iran under the clerical regime since the summer of 2013 reaches 132.

A woman was hanged among 19 people executed between March 9 and 17, 2022, in the Central Prison of Shiraz, also known as Adelabad Prison. 

The woman’s identity has not been disclosed.

The world’s chief executioner of women


With this latest execution in Shiraz, the number of women executed in Iran since the summer of 2013, reaches 131.

Iran holds the world’s top executioner record, with the highest number of citizens executed per capita. It is also the world’s chief executioner of women. The executions are grossly unfair.

The actual number of executions, particularly the number of women executed, is much higher. The clerical regime carries out most executions in secret and out of the public eye. No witnesses are present at the time of execution but those who carry them out.

The Iranian regime open-handedly uses the death penalty as a form of punishment. In a discriminatory manner, this punishment is carried out against religious and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, and women.

Many of the women executed in Iran are themselves victims of domestic violence and have acted in self-defense.

According to Amnesty International, more than two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished or halted the death penalty. However, in Iran, the killing machine is taking up speed under Ebrahim Raisi, the notorious henchman of the 1988 massacre, and Gholam Hossein Mohseni Eje’i, another notorious judge involved in the genocide.

Source: women.ncr-iran.org, Staff, May 13, 2022

Unnamed Man Executed for Murder in Sabzevar


An unnamed man sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, was executed in Sabzevar Prison.

According to the local Asre Sabzevar website, a man was executed in Sabzevar Prison on May 10. 

The unnamed man was arrested for murder charges on 22 September 2018 and subsequently sentenced to qisas.

Speaking about the details of the case, Sabzevar Prosecutor, Jafar Tayar Saberi said: “The scene was staged to look like the victim had been killed by the thieves in the course of an armed robbery. But investigations and the use of police tactics showed a different story. A young man had an illegitimate affair with the victim’s husband, the landlord, and decided to kill him.” (sic)

There are 2 other co-defendants in the case who have been sentenced to 13 years and 25 years imprisonment.

According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 183 people were executed on murder charges in 2021, including 12 women and two juvenile offenders. 

Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law. 

Once a defendant has been convicted, the victim’s family are required to choose between death as retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness.

đź’¬ Click here to read more about the law, practices and cases of executions in Iran (pdf).

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, May 13, 2022






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