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Showing posts from November, 2023

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‘A Short Film About Killing’: The movie that brought an end to the Polish death penalty

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The most intellectually challenging film I have ever seen about capital punishment. Definitely a must-see. DPN review and YouTube trailer available in our 'Films & Documentaries' section — DPN editor As far as European cinema goes, there are few figures quite admired in critical circles as the inimitable Krzysztof Kieślowski. Known for his Dekalog series of 1989, as well as The Double Life of Veronique and the Three Colours trilogy, Kieślowski embodied everything so extraordinary about the power of European cinema and that of his native Poland in turn.

USA | What happens during a typical 3-drug lethal injection

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Since its advent more than 40 years ago, lethal injection has become by far the most common method of enacting capital punishment in the United States, accounting for the vast majority of executions since the penalty was reinstated in 1976. The US government and 27 states reserve the death penalty for those deemed the worst of the worst. Convicted of particularly heinous crimes, inmates are typically put to death after their appeals run out, often a yearslong process that regularly reaches the US Supreme Court – which has found lethal injection constitutional and not a violation of Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment.

Ohio | Execution Vacated for Elwood Jones Ahead of December 6, 2023

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Elwood Hubert Jones was scheduled to be executed at 10 am local time, on Wednesday, December 6, 2023. His execution date has been vacated pending retrial. 71-year-old Elwood was convicted of murdering 67-year-old Rhoda Nathan in the Embassy Suites Hotel in Blue Ash, Ohio. Elwood spent 26 years on Ohio’s death row before being released on bond, pending a new trial.

China | Child trafficker Yu Huaying appeals death sentence

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High-profile human trafficker Yu Huaying appealed for leniency in sentencing for the abduction of 11 children in the 1990s, as she pleaded guilty during her 2nd trial for the crime held by the High People's Court of Guizhou province on Tuesday. Yu, her defense lawyer and prosecutors expressed their opinions on the facts of the case and sentencing, she also gave a final statement to the court. The court will issue its verdict at a later date.

Iran | At least 10 Inmates Executed Over Two Days

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The Iranian authorities executed at least 10 prisoners over the past two days, a human rights group says, as the country’s clerical rulers are increasingly using capital punishment.  According to the Norway-based Iran Human Rights Organization, Ayoub Karimi, a Kurdish prisoner who spent 14 years in prison, was executed early on November 29 in Karaj’s Ghezelhesar prison, near Tehran. Six other inmates, whose names were not disclosed, were hanged at the same prison on the same day, according to the group.

USA | Execution still planned for Thursday in Oklahoma City double-murder case

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The Oklahoma Department of Corrections was preparing Wednesday to carry out the state's 11th execution since lethal injections resumed two years ago. Phillip Dean Hancock was set to be executed Thursday morning for fatally shooting two men in Oklahoma City in 2001. The execution was set for 10 a.m. at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester unless Gov. Kevin Stitt intervened.

Pakistan | Father, three relatives held for 'honour killing' of teenage daughter who posted photo on social media

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PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Pakistani police have arrested four people, including a man who killed his teenage daughter on instructions from family elders because she had appeared in a picture on social media, police said on Wednesday. The police said the 18-year-old woman was shot dead by her father last week in the northwestern Kolai-Palas valley near the Afghan border after her relatives advised him to do so.

Iran | Executions in Karaj, Ahvaz

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 29, 2023: Eghbal Fathollahi and Mohsen Amrayi were executed for drug-related charges in Ghezelhesar Prison, Karaj. Two other men were returned to the general population after obtaining last minute extensions in their case. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, at least two men were executed in Ghezelhesar Prison on 28 November. Their identities have been established as Eghbal Fathollahi and Mohsen Amrayi who were sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

Japan | Same-day execution notification violates Constitution: Osaka Court

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The following article was Google translated from the Japanese. Read the original article here .   On the 28th, a lawsuit was concluded at the Osaka District Court in which two death row inmates demanded a total of 22 million yen in damages from the government, alleging that the practice of announcing executions on the same day violates the constitution.  The verdict will be handed down on April 15 next year. The plaintiffs pointed out that until the mid-1970s, there were several cases in which notice was given up to the previous day. 

Iran | Executions in Shiraz, Chabahar, Ilam

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNG); November 27, 2023: Reza Rastkhiz who was on death row for drug-related charges, was executed in Shiraz Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Shiraz Central Prison (Adel Abad) on 26 November. His identity has been established as 37-year-old Reza Rastkhiz. Informed sources told IHRNGO that Reza was arrested for drug-related charges three years ago and sentenced to death by the Revolutionary Court.

Malaysia | Murder of 73-year-old employer - Indonesian couple awaits verdict

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JOHOR BAHRU: The High Court has fixed Dec 11 to deliver its verdict on a maid and her husband who are accused of murdering their employer three years ago. Judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar made the decision after Indonesian nationals Ekalia and Bartolomeus Fransceda, both 23 years old, changed their pleas to guilty today. The accused are jointly charged with the murder of 73-year-old Lau Yen Na at her home in Palm Resort, Senai, Kulai, around 2pm on March 17, 2019.

USA | Death penalty remains an option for Buffalo mass shooter

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There’s still no decision on whether the federal government will seek the death penalty for the man who shot and killed 10 Black people at a Buffalo Tops grocery store on May 14, 2022. In a status conference Tuesday morning, prosecutors said the question of the death penalty has recently moved to the Office of the U.S. Deputy Attorney General.  That’s the next step before it goes to the attorney general, who makes the final decision on seeking the death penalty. 

Iran | Father of Executed Protester Arrested

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The family of a young Iranian man executed last week over the alleged killing of a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during nationwide protests continues to face harassment and intimidation from the authorities. According to reports published on social networks, Milad Zohrehvand’s father was arrested and taken to prison following his son's funeral on November 24.

Iran | New Details Emerge About Iranian Rapper’s Mock Execution in Prison

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A fellow inmate of Iranian rapper Saman Yassin has given harrowing details of a mock execution by hanging that the artist was subjected to in Tehran’s Evin prison. Yassin was a vocal critic of the Islamic Republic before his arrest 14 months ago and supported the anti-government protests that swept the country last year.  In September, he was transferred from Evin to Ghezalhesar prison in Karaj, near the capital.

2 men executed in West Bank for allegedly spying for Israel, as mob cheers

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Men’s bodies hung on an electricity pole and later dumped in the trash as crowds call ‘traitors’ and ‘Allahu Akbar’ Members of a Palestinian armed group executed two men in the West Bank city of Tulkarem Friday night accused of collaborating with Israel, as a mob cheered them on, according to Palestinian reports. A Palestinian journalist in the camp, speaking on condition of anonymity, said residents of the camp beat and stomped on the corpses after the two were shot and killed in the streets. Videos show hundreds of Palestinians flocking to the entrance of the camp, gawking and filming with their phones as men try to hang the mutilated corpses from an electrical tower.

Iran | 17-Year-Old Juvenile Offender Hamidreza Azari Executed in Sabzevar Prison

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 25, 2023: Newly obtained information shows that Hamidreza Azari was 16 years old at the time of the alleged murder he was executed for in Sabzevar Prison. According to newly obtained documents witnessed by Iran Human Rights, Hamidreza Azari who was executed in Sabzevar Prison on 24 November, was a juvenile offender and 17 at the time of execution. He was born on 27 July 2006 and was alleged to have committed the murder on 28 April 2023, when he was 16 years and 8 months old.

U.S. | Derek Chauvin, ex-officer convicted in George Floyd's killing, stabbed in prison

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Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer convicted of murdering George Floyd, was stabbed by another inmate Friday at a federal prison in Tucson, Arizona, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press.  Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said in a statement to CBS News: "I am sad to hear that Derek Chauvin was the target of violence. He was duly convicted of his crimes and, like any incarcerated individual, he should be able to serve his sentence without fear of retaliation or violence."

South Africa | Oscar Pistorius to be released on parole after nearly a decade

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Oscar Pistorius, the South African-born Paralympic sprinter convicted in his girlfriend’s murder, has been granted parole after nearly a decade behind bars. The 37-year-old, who fatally shot Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, meets the requirements for parole in South Africa and will be released from prison on Jan. 5, 2024, according to the Department of Correctional Services.

Iran | Executions in Mashhad, Ghezelhesar, Tabriz

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 23, 2023: Rasoul Gorgij and Shahmorad Davoudi, two Baluch men on death row for drug-related charges, were executed in Mashhad Central Prison. According to Haal Vsh, two Baluch men were executed in Mashhad Central Prison (Vakil Abad) on 23 November. Their identities have been reported as 34-year-old Rasoul Gorgij (photo) and 44-year-old Shahmorad Davoudi, both Zahedan natives.

Iran | Unidentified Teenager Executed in Sabzevar

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 24, 2023: State media have reported the execution of an unnamed 18-year-old man for murder in Sabzevar. According to the judiciary’s Mizan news agency, a young man was executed in Sabzevar on 24 November.  The exact location of the unnamed man’s execution has not been specified.  He was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.

Iran | 8th Protester Executed; Milad Zohrevand Secretly Executed in Hamedan

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 24, 2023: Milad Zohrevand, a Malayer protester arrested during the “Woman, Life, Freedom” nationwide protests, was secretly executed for murder charges in Hamedan Central Prison. At least 684 people have been executed in Iran in 2023. Executions have surged since the start of the war in Gaza, with at least 152 executed by the Islamic Republic since 7 October 2023. IHRNGO condemns Milad Zohrevand’s execution in the strongest terms and urges an appropriate response by the international community.

Iran secretly executes man over 2022 anti-government protests

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Iran has secretly executed a man sentenced to death in connection with last year's anti-government protests, informed sources have told BBC Persian. Milad Zohrevand, 21, was put to death on Thursday morning at a prison in the western city of Hamadan, they said. Human rights group Hengaw also said it had received reports of the execution.

South Africa | Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius up for parole

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CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Oscar Pistorius could be granted parole on Friday after spending nearly 10 years in prison for murder. It’s the latest turn in the story of the double-amputee Olympic runner who was one of the world’s most admired athletes before he killed his girlfriend by shooting her multiple times through a toilet door at his home.

Khamenei’s Agenda: Execution in Iran, Massacre in Gaza

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Khamenei’s regime stands as not only one of the world’s major violators of human rights but also as a leading state supporter of global terrorism. In the midst of the tragic scenes of violence and bloodshed unfolding in Gaza, a parallel and systematic effort is taking place in Iran, where the clerical dictatorship is orchestrating a series of large-scale executions. These state-sanctioned murders not only showcase the regime’s brutality but also highlight its willingness to use every opportunity to maintain its hold on power. Disturbingly, the regime’s Judiciary recently authorized the execution of 25 prisoners during the month of Shahrivar (August 23- September 22). As tensions escalated in Gaza during Mehr (September 23- October 22), the tally of executions surged to a distressing 81. As of Aban month (October 23- November 21), the count stands at a chilling 106.

Ohio | Doerman case: 41 motions filed in case of father accused of killing his 3 sons

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A Clermont County judge is considering 41 motions in the murder trial for Chad Doerman, the man accused of executing his three sons at their family home. A pre-trial hearing was held Monday in Clermont County Common Pleas Court before Judge Richard Ferenc. Prosecutors said Doerman lined up the boys, ages 3, 4 and 7, at their home and executed them with a rifle on June 15 as part of a plan he had been thinking about for months.

Israel | How will captured October 7 terrorists be tried, and on what charges?

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The Hamas terrorists who perpetrated the Oct. 7 atrocities could be charged with mass terrorism, murder with exceptional cruelty, assisting an enemy in war, but likely not genocide In the immediate wake of the savage October 7 massacres committed by Hamas and amid the IDF’s operations to liberate Israeli towns and communities overrun by the terror group, Israeli security forces captured several dozen of the 3,000 terrorists involved in the atrocities. These terrorists participated in the massacre of 1,200 Israelis — mostly civilians including babies, children, and the elderly — and also committed acts of torture, rape, and other severe crimes.

Cop killer sentenced to death in south Taiwan

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Lin Hsin-wu stabbed two police officers when they tried to arrest him for stealing scooter TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man convicted of stabbing two police officers to death in Tainan City last year has been given the death penalty. During a trial that lasted more than a year and despite Lin Hsin-wu (林信吾) expressing remorse to the families of the two police officers who died, his apology was not accepted. On Wednesday morning (Nov. 23), the first-instance verdict was issued, and the judge sentenced Lin to death, reported FTV News.

India | Is Same Day Sentencing In Death Penalty Cases Proper? Supreme Court To Hear The Matter In January 2024

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The Supreme Court today (22.11.2023) decided to list in January 2024 the petitions pertaining to whether same-day sentencing could be permissible in the cases of capital punishment or death penalty.  The bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud stated that the registry shall notify the exact date of hearing in the matter in January 2024. It may be recalled that earlier, a bench comprising the then CJI UU Lalit, Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Sudhanshu Dhulia had noted that there were conflicting judgments regarding the grant of hearing to an accused before imposing death sentence on him. 

Florida | The stuff of nightmares

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Vatican Media presents a story by Dale Recinella, a former Wall Street finance lawyer who, along with his wife Susan, acts as a chaplain for prisoners in Florida. It is not possible to be prepared to witness the execution of a man I believe is innocent. But that is exactly what happens in 2006. The man’s death warrant is signed. He asks me to be his spiritual advisor. He claims innocence and alleges that the state’s star witness is in fact the one who committed the murder.

Iran | Kurdish Man Executed in Ardabil

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 20, 2023: Siamand Bukani, a Kurdish man sentenced to death for drug-related charges, was executed in Ardabil Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a Kurdish man was executed in Ardabil Central Prison on 20 November. His identity has been established as 40-year-old Siamand Bukani (Ostovar) from the village of Dangaz.

Alabama inmate asks judge to block first nitrogen gas execution

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Lawyers for the first inmate scheduled to be put to death using nitrogen gas said Monday that Alabama is seeking to make him the “test case” for an experimental execution method Lawyers for the first inmate scheduled to be put to death with nitrogen gas argued in Monday court filings that Alabama is seeking to make him the “test case” for an experimental execution method and asked a federal judge to the block the January execution.

Ohio | Father accused of murdering his 3 young sons appears in court

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BATAVIA, Ohio (WKRC) - A Clermont County father accused of killing his three young sons was back in court Monday morning. Chad Doerman of Monroe Township could face the death penalty if convicted. Clermont County Common Pleas Judge Richard Ferenc is considering more than two dozen motions filed by the prosecution and defense attorneys. They include everything from whether Doerman will have to wear restraints during the trial, to a motion that would instruct the jury to consider mercy.

Iran | Executions in Bandar Abbas, Shiraz, Jiroft, Zahedan, Ramhormoz

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 20, 2023: Abdolghafour Mahmoudi, Mohammadhossein Tashtzar and Ali Payam were executed for drug-related charges in Bandar Abbas Central Prison. According to Haal Vsh, three men including two Baluch minorities, were executed in Bandar Abbas Central Prison on 19 November. Their identities have been reported as Abdolghafour Mahmoudi and Mohammadhossein Tashtzar, two Baluch minorities from Kahnuj, and Ali Payam (Maleki) from Bandar Abbas.

Ohio | "I've judged, prosecuted death penalty cases. Only way to restore fairness is to repeal it"

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Retired Judge James Brogan began his legal career in 1967 as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Montgomery County. He was elected in 1980 and served five terms on the Ohio Second District Court of Appeals before retiring in 2011. My involvement with the death penalty runs deep. I dealt with capital punishment cases as a prosecutor and judge in Montgomery County. In 2011, I was appointed by the then-chief justice of the Ohio Supreme Court to serve as chairman of the Joint Task Force on the Administration of Ohio’s Death Penalty. I do not oppose the death penalty in concept, but because it fails as an effective public policy, I support current legislation to repeal Ohio’s capital punishment statute. When Ohio reinstituted the death penalty in the late 1990s, both the electric chair - 'Old Sparky" - and a bed for lethal injection were available in the death chamber at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility outside of Lucasville. Now both methods have been ruled out, leaving st

USA | Meet Louisiana’s Execution-Happy New Governor

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Voters in Louisiana elected a new governor last week. For 56 of the state’s residents, the stakes of that contest were especially high: The elevation of Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, a rabid defender of the death penalty, dramatically increases the odds they will soon be executed. Earlier this year, the dozens of inmates on Louisiana’s death row had a glimmer of hope: In April, Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, used his last state of the state address to call on the legislature to abolish executions. He declared them exorbitantly expensive, difficult to administer, and often wrong, pointing to more than 50 reversals of sentences and six full exonerations of death row inmates in the last 20 years. The death penalty, Edwards said, “doesn’t deter crime; it isn’t necessary for public safety; and more importantly, it is wholly inconsistent with Louisiana’s pro-life values as it quite literally promotes a culture of death.” All but one of Louisiana’s 57 death row inmates petitione

'Blood money' only way to save Kerala nurse from death sentence in Yemen: Lawyer

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Priya's appeal to the Supreme Court of Yemen for remission of her sentence has been rejected. Lawyer Subhash Chandran said that under the Sharia law prevalent in Yemen, direct talks with the victim's family are now the only way to move forward towards remission of sentence. But it is not as easy as it seems. The Kerala nurse, who has been given death sentence in Yemen, can be saved only by paying ‘’Blood Money’’ says a lawyer. The lawyer says the only way to save the nurse from the death penalty is to negotiate "blood money" with the victim's family. 

Fear mounts for Saudi's youngest death-row detainees

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Dubai (AFP) – Abdullah al-Derazi's family describes him as a sensitive bird-lover who once cared for dozens of canaries, but the Saudi courts see him differently: as a terrorist who must be executed. The 28-year-old is one of at least nine Saudis on death row for alleged offences committed while they were minors, according to human rights activists who routinely condemn the Gulf kingdom's prolific use of capital punishment.

Iran | Executions in Kerman, Gonbad Kavous, Tabriz, Hamedan, Kermanshah, Ghezel Hesar, Bandar Abbas, Salmas

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 16, 2023: Two unidentified men including a Baluch minority, were executed along with Zarkhatoun Mazarzehi in Kerman Central Prison. According to Haal Vsh, two men including a Baluch minority were executed in Kerman Central Prison on 15 November. The unidentified men were sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court. Zarkhatoun Mazarzehi, a Baluch woman also on death row for drug charges, was previously reported to have been executed at the prison that day.

Alabama executes Casey McWhorter

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ATMORE, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama inmate convicted of killing a man during a 1993 robbery when he was a teenager was executed Thursday by lethal injection. Casey McWhorter, 49, was pronounced dead at 6:56 p.m. at a southwest Alabama prison, authorities said. McWhorter was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for his role in the robbery and shooting death of Edward Lee Williams, 34, on Feb. 18, 1993.

Texas executes David Renteria

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David Renteria, 53, was pronounced dead at 7:11 p.m. CST following an injection at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the killing of Alexandra Flores. Renteria prayed, sang and asked for forgiveness before his execution. “I’m sorry for all the wrongs I have done. And for those who have called for my death, who are about to murder me, I forgive you,” he told those present in a loud, clear voice. He was pronounced dead 11 minutes later after receiving a lethal dose of pentobarbital, a powerful sedative.

Russia | Putin pardons convicted killer of famed Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya

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Russian dictator Vladimir Putin pardoned the convicted killer of famed Russian opposition journalist Anna Politkovskaya after his military service in Ukraine, Russian state-controlled media RBC reported on Nov. 14. Former Russian police officer Sergei Khadzhikurbanov was convicted of his role in Politkovskaya's murder in 2014 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He has been imprisoned since then but went to fight in Ukraine as part of the Kremlin's drive to recruit prisoners.

Israel must try Hamas terrorists for their crimes against humanity

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Israel will likely be victorious in its war of self-defense against the Hamas terrorists who perpetrated the Oct. 7 massacre. But the expected victory will not truly resolve the situation. There will have to be further medical and psychological support for the displaced and resilient but traumatized Israelis. It will take time to rebuild devastated communities, homes and families. Israel will have to work to fortify its borders.

Iran | Death Sentence Against Iranian Protester Upheld

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Iran's Supreme Court has confirmed the death sentence of a protester convicted over the killing of a member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) during nationwide protests last year, a prosecutor says.  The prosecutor in the central city of Hamadan did not disclose the defendant's name, but the activist Telegram channel 1500 Tasvir identified the man as Milad Zohrehvand.  There has been no information about Zohrehvand’s condition since his reported arrest on October 26 last year. 

A century later, U.S. Army overturns convictions of 110 Black soldiers

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The U.S. Army on Monday set aside the court-martial convictions from a century ago of 110 African American soldiers, including 19 who were executed, saying they were denied fair trials in a landmark acknowledgement of official racism in America. The Army Board for Correction of Military Records overturned the convictions, restoring their service records as having concluded honorably and making their descendants eligible for military benefits, the Army said in a statement.

Malaysia commutes death penalty, life terms of 11 drug convicts

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Malaysia's top court on Tuesday commuted the death sentences and natural-life prison terms of 11 people convicted of drug trafficking, including two Thai nationals, following capital punishment reforms passed earlier this year, state news agency Bernama reported. All 11, including seven death row inmates, had their sentences reduced to life imprisonment of 30 years each, in the first batch of cases being reviewed by the Federal Court following the reforms, Bernama reported.

Iran | Executions in Saravan, Isfahan, Shiraz, Zahedan, Zanjan, Gorgan

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Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); November 13, 2023: Amin Barakzehi, a Baluch man sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, was executed in Saravan Prison. According to Haal Vsh, a man was executed in Saravan Prison on 11 November. His identity has been reported as 40-year-old Amin Barakzehi (Nourzehi) who was sentenced to qisas for murder. He was arrested for murder in Saravan around five years ago. At the time of writing, his execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

China | Former Primary School Principal Executed For Child Rape

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BEIJING, Nov 13 – A former principal of a primary school in Gansu province was executed through lethal injection on Nov 7, following a death penalty sentence for rape and sexually molesting minors. Jiupai News, a Hubei province-based news portal, reported on Sunday that Zhang Longji, the former principal, was sentenced to death for raping five girls aged 8 to 12 and sexually molesting 17 girls aged 8 to 14. These crimes occurred during his tenure as a director of teaching and discipline and later as principal in a local primary school in Jingning county, Gansu province.