[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Sun Oct 9 09:14:03 CDT 2011
Iran hangs convicted rapist who filmed victims
Iran on Saturday hanged a man convicted of multiple rapes of 37 women whom he
coerced by filming acts with them, the Fars and ILNA news agencies reported.
The man, aged 67 but not otherwise identified, was executed in a prison in the
central city of Isfahan after four years of repeated appeals against his
Isfahan's prosecutor, Mohammad Reza Habibi, was quoted by ILNA as saying the
man "video-taped the victims at his home and used the the films for future
abuses." He did not go into further detail.
The official issued a warning to women in the region to "not fall prey to
tricksters ... who seek to sexually abuse them."
The hanging brought to 219 the number of executions reported in Iran so far
this year, according to an AFP tally based on media and official reports.
Human Rights Watch tallied 388 execution cases in Iran in 2010, while Amnesty
International put the figure at 252, ranking the Islamic republic second only
to China in the number of people put to death last year.
Tehran says the death penalty is essential to maintain law and order, and that
it is applied only after exhaustive judicial proceedings.
Murder, rape, armed robbery, drug trafficking and adultery are among the crimes
punishable by death in Iran.
(source: Agence France-Presse)
Saudi beheading of 8 Bangladesh workers condemned--There are many thousands of
Bangladeshi migrant workers across the Middle East
The public execution of 8 Bangladeshi migrant workers in Saudi Arabia has been
condemned by a leading human rights group in Bangladesh, Ain O Salish Kendra.
The workers were beheaded in public in Riyadh on Friday after they were found
guilty of killing an Egyptian in 2007.
Three other Bangladeshis were sentenced to prison terms and flogging in the
More than two million Bangladeshis work in Saudi Arabia.
The human rights group says the execution of Bangladeshi workers should be
condemned by anyone who cares for humanity.
It says that although the executions were carried out in accordance with Saudi
law, the public beheading of the workers will cause immense suffering and
trauma for their family members back at home.
It points out that often foreign workers don't understand Saudi court
proceedings in Arabic and they rarely get lawyers to represent their case.
It has urged the Bangladeshi government to offer legal assistance to migrant
workers facing trial.
The money sent home by migrant workers in Bangladesh play a crucial role in the
Amnesty International says since the end of the holy month of Ramadan,
executions have resumed in Saudi Arabia at an alarming rate.
The latest beheadings bring the total number of executions in the country this
year to 58, more than twice the figure for the whole of 2010.
It says many of those executed in recent years have been foreign nationals,
mostly migrant workers from developing countries.
It has called on the Saudi government for an immediate moratorium on executions
and to commute all death sentences.
(source: BBC News)
Execution evidence of Afghan tribal justiceBy Nick Paton Walsh and Moni Basu
On his knees, Nawroz prays. He is a condemned man about to die in a brutal way.
His crime: The killing of his lover's husband.
The judge: A local warlord in Kand, Afghanistan.
The executioner: The victim's father.
A mobile phone video captured the grisly scene.
Many have gathered to watch this act, sitting on dusty earth, in dappled shade.
Nawroz, wrapped in a white shawl, gets up from his prayer mat. His alleged
victim's father is led by another man to Nawroz. "Hold the gun right," the man
tells the father.
Nawroz falls to the ground.
2 more shots ring out.
The warlord ordered the man to pull the trigger twice, but he kept on, unable
to deliver a swift fatal shot.
"Stop shooting, you donkey," the spectators say.
"He's still alive," says one.
But not for long.
This is not a video taken before 2001, in the days when the Taliban ruled and
Kabul's stadium was reserved not for soccer, but public executions. It's from
After a decade of the U.S.-led war to defeat extremism in Afghanistan, feudal
justice still exists.
In remote Kand, outside the reach of NATO or the Afghan government, warlord
Mullah Mustafa and his men rule by the gun. Mustafa helps keep the Taliban at
bay, the people say, so the government lets him run his own fiefdom.
It's not the sort of compromise the United States imagined a decade ago,
bringing a type of justice that's swift and brutal.
Human Rights Watch has said that in large parts of Afghanistan, no formal
judicial system is in place and only tribal and other customary forms of
justice are practiced.
And a scathing report issued last year by the International Crisis Group
described Afghanistan's judicial system as being "in a catastrophic state of
"A growing majority of Afghans have been forced to accept the rough justice of
Taliban and criminal powerbrokers in areas of the country that lie beyond
The report went on to say that the United States has not paid the same
attention to justice reform as it has to other aspects of nation building.
"Its investment in judicial institutions is modest, as opposed to the billions
invested in standing up the Afghan army and police," the report said.
The U.S. Agency for International Development allocated only 1% of its
Afghanistan budget between 2002 and 2007 -- $64 million -- to supporting the
establishment of rule of law, the report said.
Human rights monitors have pressed President Hamid Karzai's government to
prioritize the establishment of a professional judiciary. But Nawroz's
execution is more evidence that Afghanistan has a long way to go.
There have been other cases that have sparked outrage.
In 2006, Abdul Rahman was arrested and threatened with death for converting to
Christianity. Last year, the Taliban ordered the first public executions by
stoning since their fall from power -- a young couple who had eloped died in
Jalaludin, who witnessed Nawroz's execution, said Mustafa gathered local
mullahs to reach a verdict according to Sharia, or Islamic law.
"The mullahs asked the father to forgive Nawroz and to take some of his
family's land and women in compensation," he said. "But the father refused, so
the mullahs ordered an execution."
Nawroz tried to buy his release but Mustafa refused, Jalaludin said. He's not
one to take bribes.
After the killing, Nawroz first said he had been helped by his cousins,
according to Abdul Gafor, one of Nawroz's cousins.
"For that reason, we were interrogated and beaten a lot during the
questioning," Gafor said.
But later, when questioned by Mustafa, Nawroz changed his story and said he had
killed alone, Gafor said.
Another cousin, Sikander, wished for law and order.
"We'd like strong government," he said. "There's no police or government
presence here, and Mullah Mustafa has government contacts."
Nawroz was a man whose jealousy allegedly led him to kill the man married to
his lover. It's a story that has played out countless times in countless
places. But here, in Kand, there was no trial, no jury of peers. Nawroz's
punishment was strictly an eye for an eye, meted out in frightful fashion.
Lawyer fighting for one of 8000 on death row
Sonia Qadir has a client on death row, a man convicted of blasphemy after
handing out a business card decorated with a religious term reserved for the
name of the prophet.
But, she insists, the man has schizophrenia and has no place among the almost
8000 prisoners in Pakistan waiting for execution. As an ardent opponent of
capital punishment, she is convinced none of them do.
It's a difficult argument for a 24-year-old woman to make. Like many a young
lawyer, she is fired by ideals - but practises in a country where faith can
quickly turn deadly.
''Law is something that still is not the first choice for women [in Pakistan],
it's actually very discouraged,'' she said. ''It's not impossible, but you have
to be very tough.''
Ms Qadir, of Lahore, works for a small outfit known as the Justice Project
Pakistan to defend clients charged with murder and other capital crimes.
She also represents people who claim to have been abducted by Pakistani
security agencies as Taliban supporters and handed to US forces in Afghanistan,
or ''rendered'' as the process is euphemistically known.
She visited Melbourne this week and met local campaigners against the death
penalty, including Melbourne defence lawyer Rob Stary.
Pakistan has come under heavy international criticism for zealous use of
capital punishment - said to be one of the highest per capita of any country.
It is also caught in the grip of a fierce battle with extremists, some aided by
Pakistan's own nefarious intelligence agencies.
This week a militant received a death sentence for the assassination of a local
governor. But Ms Qadir believes the harshest penalty is becoming more common in
There is a catch: Pakistan imposed a moratorium on executions in October 2008,
with those already on death row left in limbo and new convictions, including
another this week, continuing to mount.
''The problem with the blasphemy cases is even when you're charged and taken to
the police station, you're not going to get out,'' she told The Age.
''The trial might go on for years. He might not be convicted, but he's never
going to come out. It's the easiest way to get people into jail.''
In the case of the man with the business card, investigations by Ms Qadir's
firm suggested he was involved in a property dispute with another man who used
the blasphemy law to settle a score.
Pakistan's deputy high commissioner in Australia, Tasawar Khan, said the death
penalty was a recognised sentence under Pakistan law.
Mr Khan said a convicted person had a right to appeal, including a final bid
for clemency from the president of Pakistan.
(source: The Age)
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