[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Thu Feb 15 04:19:27 UTC 2007
End Executions After Unfair Trials
The Iranian Judiciary should immediately halt all executions of people who
have been sentenced to death in secret following unfair trials that do not
meet minimal international standards of justice, Human Rights Watch said
today. In the past year, at least a dozen Iranians of Arab origin have
been condemned in this way.
On February 14, 2007 the Iranian authorities executed three men in the
southern province of Khuzistan: Majed Albughbish, 30, Abdolreza Sanawati,
34, and Ghassem Salamat, 41. On February 13, prison officials informed the
families, who were visiting the prisoners, that the three men, all
Iranians of Arab origin, would be executed the next day.
Since March 2006, the Judiciary has executed a total of 12 men in
Khuzistan, also ethnic Arabs, accusing them of carrying out bombings in
Ahwaz, capital of Khuzistan, in October 2005 and January 2006. At least
another 13 ethnic Iranian-Arabs have been sentenced to death in Khuzistan.
"Iran has accused these men of capital crimes, and it must ensure they
receive fair trials and full due process protections," said Sarah Leah
Whitson, director of the Middle East and North Africa division at Human
Rights Watch. "Instead, the Iranian Judiciary has conducted secret trials
that deny the defendants the most basic legal rights."
According to Emad Baghi, an Iranian human rights defender who has
vigorously campaigned to stop the executions, the authorities arrested 19
men who belonged to a group named Kataib in March 2006, accusing them of
involvement in bombings. The authorities held the men in solitary
confinement and denied them access to their lawyers until the day before
their trials. The Judiciary did not allow the lawyers access to the
accused men's files until one day before their trial.
On July 17, 2006, the revolutionary court in Ahwaz sentenced 10 of the men
to death following a one-day secret trial held on July 16. Judge Sha'bani
sentenced the men to execution by hanging under Iran's penal code,
charging them as Mohareb, meaning "enemies of God." The court sentenced
the other nine men to imprisonment.
Iran has now executed all 10 men sentenced on July 17, despite strong
international condemnations, including an appeal by 3 senior United
Nations human rights officials: Philip Alston, UN Special Rapporteur on
Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions; Leonardo Despouy, UN
Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, and Manfred
Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture.
On January 10, the 3 UN officials issued a public appeal to the Iranian
government to stop the executions, stating that the trials "made a mockery
of due process requirements." The Iranian authorities ignored this and
other international appeals, executing 4 of the men on January 24, and 3
more on February 14. Another 3 men were executed on December 19, 2006.
The judiciary has sentenced to death another 13 Iranians of Arab origin
for armed activity against the state. They are: Zamel Bawi; Awdeh Afrawi;
Nazem Bureihi; Alireza Salman Delfi; Ali Helfi; Jaafar Sawari; Risan
Sawari; Mohammad Ali Sawari; Moslem al-Ha'I; Abdulreza Nawaseri; Yahia
Nasseri; Abdulzahra Helichi; and Abdul-Imam Za'eri.
Human Rights Watch calls on the Judiciary to rescind their death
sentences, and to grant new trials that meet international fair trial
standards and are open to the public.
Iran executes more people annually than any other nation but China. In an
alarming development, the number of publicly known executions rose 70 % in
2006 as compared to 2005. Human Rights Watch believes the true number of
executions is higher, but remains unknown due to the Judiciary's lack of
transparency and public accountability. Iran also executes more juveniles
annually than any other nation.
"Today Iran stands out for handing down the death penalty on a grand scale
without giving defendants a fair trial," Whitson said.
Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment under any circumstances due
to its inherent cruelty and irreversibility.
(source: Human Rights Watch)
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES:
Man gets death sentence for smuggling 282kg of hashish
8 men have escaped capital punishment after being acquitted of smuggling
and selling 282 kilograms of hashish, while a 9th man has been sentenced
The Sharjah Sharia Court of First Instance acquitted the 8 suspects, 7
Iranian sailors and a 45-year-old Saudi businessman, due to lack of
The court handed a 45-year-old Iranian man Jamshid T., the death sentence.
He was behind the huge hashish consignment being smuggled from Iran.
The businessman's lawyer Jasem Al Naqbi, of Excel Advocates and Legal
Consultants, told the court: "My client had nothing to do with the crime.
The authorities did not carry out serious inspections on him and the law
enforcement procedures were illegally carried out against him. His house
was illegitimately searched."
The Saudi and the 7 acquitted Iranians had earlier denied the charges.
The Public Prosecution charged the nine suspects with smuggling and
selling 282 kilograms of hashish on-board a commercial boat coming from
Jamshid T. was additionally charged with consuming different kinds of
drugs and using a fake passport.
In his statement, a police officer said Dubai police's Anti-Narcotics
Department received a tip that 3 of the suspects were planning to smuggle
a huge hashish consignment from Iran and intending to export it to Saudi
The officer said the main culprit, Jamshid T. who was the boat owner,
assisted the rest of the suspects in loading the drugs from another
Iranian ship to his own vessel in the middle of the sea outside the UAE
coastline. Then Jamshid T.'s boat berthed in Umm Al Quwain where the drugs
were transported to his own car and moved to Sharjah.
Acting on the tip-off, an anti-narcotics squad raided the ship but failed
to find the hashish consignment which was later found in the car.
Police arrested the suspects, most of which constituted the boat's crew.
The fake passport carrying the name of Ahmad K. was seized on the boat. A
number of pills were found in Jamshid T.'s possession upon his arrest in
Al Taawun in Sharjah.
"All the evidence which was submitted against the businessman was
uncorroborated and insufficient to indict or arrest him. No drugs were
found in his possession and his blood tested negative for drugs," said Al
Naqbi in his defence.
(source: Gulf News)
China sentences man to death in ant fraud case
A northeast China court has sentenced a business executive to death for
swindling 3 billion yuan (US$385 million; 294 million) from investors in a
bogus ant breeding scheme, state media and a court official said Thursday.
Wang Zhendong, chairman of Yingkou Donghua Trading Group Co., had promised
returns of up to 60 percent for the fictitious project between 2002 and
2005, the Xinhua News Agency reported.
More than 10,000 investors signed up with 2 fake companies put together by
Wang until investigators shut them down in June 2005, Xinhua said.
Prosecutors told the court that one investor committed suicide after
realizing he had been duped, and only 10 million yuan (US$1.28 million; 1
million) of the swindled money had been recovered by the time the case was
filed with the court last June, Xinhua said.
The Intermediate People's Court in Yingkou on Tuesday sentenced Wang to
death, said an official in the court's case office who gave only his
15 managers of the company were given prison terms ranging from 5 to 10
years and fined from 100,000 yuan (US$12,800; 9,800) to 500,000 yuan
(US$64,000; 49,000), Xinhua said.
Fake investments and pyramid investment schemes have become common during
China's transition from a planned economy to a free market. Chinese
leaders have tried to eradicate the scams, fearing widespread losses could
add to already percolating social unrest.
(source: Associated Press)
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