[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Jun 1 09:18:06 EST 2006
Ahwazis face arrest, deportation and execution
6 Ahwazi Arabs have been sentenced to death this week at Section 3 of the
Ahwaz Revolutionary Court.
They were convicted of involvement in bomb attacks in the city, although
the names of those sentenced have not been confirmed. Reports suggest that
3 of those facing execution are among the 6 sons of moderate Ahwaz tribal
leader Hajj Salem Bawi who have been the subject of an intense campaign
for their release. The Bawi brothers are believed to be among the victims
of the government's retribution against the Ahwazi population for unrest
that has gripped the province of Khuzestan, the Ahwazi Arab homeland.
However, reports from Ahwaz are unclear as the proceedings of the
Revolutionary Courts are held in private, with defendents denied access to
defence lawyers. In a recent report, Amnesty International has listed 11
men threatened with execution, including Zamal and Imad Bawi.
Meanwhile, a number of Ahwazi refugees are being held in custody in Syria
while their fate is decided by the Syrian government, an ally of the
Iranian regime. Saeed Saki, an Ahwazi refugee registered with the Office
of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, has already been extradited to
Iran by Syria and human rights groups have expressed concern over his
treatment. Syria's extradition of registered Ahwazi refugees contravenes
the Geneva Convention on refugees and Ahwazi activists have appealed to
the Syrian government to release the refugees. The refugees' UNHCR
registration documents state that they should be "protected from forcible
return where he/she would face threats to his or her life or freedom." The
British Ahwazi Friendship Society (BAFS) has obtained proof of the UNHCR
refugee registration for Jamal Obeidi, a 34-year-old student and Chair of
Ahwazi Student Union in Syria.
Dutch national Faleh Abdullah al Mansouri (60), who leads the Ahwaz
Liberation Organisation (ALO), is also being held by Syria. The Iranian
regime claims all those arrested in Syria are Salafists, followers of a
Sunni Islamist sect. However, the ALO has never propagated any religious
views and has a secular nationalist ideology.
(source: Al-Ahwazi News)
Hopes rise for Iranian woman on death row
An Iranian teenager may be spared the hangman's noose.
Amnesty International is investigating a news report in an Iranian paper
that the death sentence of an 18-year-old woman, convicted of killing a
man who was trying to rape her, has been overturned and sent for retrial.
"If this is true, this is such amazing news," said Nazanin Afshin-Jam, a
former beauty queen in Vancouver who launched an international campaign to
save the life of Nazanin Fatehi, a poor, uneducated ethnic Kurd.
Her campaign was featured on the front page of yesterday's Globe and Mail.
John Tackaberry, of Amnesty International Canada, said Amnesty's Iran
researchers say that the newspaper Hamshahri reported yesterday that
following a request by the head of the Iranian judiciary, the country's
supreme court has stayed Ms. Fatehi's earlier sentence.
"We are trying to get the full details, but at this point I understand
that the supreme court rejected the death sentence against her, apparently
on the orders of the head of the judiciary, Ayatollah Shahrudi," Mr.
Ms. Afshin-Jam said she is trying to confirm the report through the
German-based International Committee Against Executions, headed by an
Iranian exile, and through Ms. Fatehi's lawyer.
"This is amazing, if true. I hope they free her altogether," she said.
Ms. Afshin-Jam, 26, came to Canada as an infant after her family fled Iran
during the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Schooled in political science and
international relations, she was Canada's representative at the 2003 Miss
World competition and came in 2nd place.
She spearheaded a campaign to free Ms. Fatehi after learning about her
plight. In her appeal, Ms. Afshin-Jam got the support of high-profile
figures such as Liberal MP Belinda Stronach and former Liberal foreign
minister Lloyd Axworthy.
According to information compiled by Amnesty International, three men
tried to rape Ms. Fatehi and her niece. In defending herself, Ms. Fatehi
stabbed and killed one of the men.
(source: Globe and Mail)
UN human rights experts call on DPR Korea to suspend scheduled execution
United Nations human rights experts today called on the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to suspend the scheduled execution for
alleged treason of a prisoner reportedly tortured and then sentenced to
death without a trial.
The four experts expressed dismay at the Governments refusal to "respond
in any meaningful way" to their concerns over the scheduled execution of
Son Jong Nam, noting that he was reportedly tortured by the National
Security Agency and sentenced without the benefit of any of the procedural
safeguards required by international human rights law.
"We are profoundly dismayed by this response and deplore the failure of
the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to cooperate with the special
procedures established by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights,"
In late April the experts called upon the Government to postpone the
execution and review the conviction.
But on 5 May the Government replied by characterizing the experts' letter
as a "a product of conspiracy undertaken in pursuit of the ill-minded aim
of spreading fabricated information while following the attempts of those
hostile forces to defame, disintegrate and overthrow the state and social
system of the DPRK on the pretext of human rights."
The experts are: Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial,
summary or arbitrary executions; Leila Zerrougui, Chairperson-Rapporteur
of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Manfred Nowak, Special
Rapporteur on the question of torture; and Vitit Muntarbhorn, Special
Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the DPRK.
Special Rapporteurs are unpaid experts serving in an independent personal
capacity who received their mandate from the now defunct UN Commission on
Human Rights and will report to the newly established and enhanced Human
(source: UN News Centre)
Senate to rush approval of death penalty abolition
The Senate will rush the approval of the bill seeking the abolition of the
death penalty in the Philippines, Senator Joker Arroyo said on Thursday.
Arroyo, who chairs the committee on justice and human rights, said he
would sponsor the bill for plenary debates in the afternoon. He said he
was optimistic it would be approved before Congress adjourns next week.
Already, he said, the bill has 17 signatories.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Wednesday said there was an "urgent
need" to repeal the law as its imposition was "shown to have not served
its principal purpose of effectively deterring the commission of heinous
(source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Arroyo gov't stands for death penalty abolition
"This (Arroyo) Government is for the abolition of the death penalty and is
against taking of human life extra-judicially."
Thus said Press Secretary and Presidential Spokesman Ignacio Bunye on the
death sentence issue, adding that the present administration stands for
democracy, human rights and criminal justice.
"Respect for human rights is enshrined in the constitution."
Bunye, who is also the chair of the Presidential Communication Group,
believes that the situation speaks for itself -- the atmosphere of
political freedom and the untrammeled media -- and can be seen and felt by
Meanwhile, the Secretary stressed that those who perpetrated the recent
killings will not go far as law enforcement authorities are on their
track. Hence, the need for cooperation and support of all concerned
sectors to get them.
Also, the President, thru the Executive Secretary, has ordered Task Force
Usig to submit a regular progress report on the various cases under
(source: PIA News Release)
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