[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Wed Feb 8 16:59:12 CST 2012
Big support for death penalty in BC; Angus Reid find 72 % are in favour •Harper
says he personally favours death penalty but won't reinstate it
Could we see a return of the death penalty? New survey numbers show people in
this province support its use.
BC is tied with Alberta at 72 % in favour of the death penalty, says Mario
Canseco with Angus Reid. He says there are two reasons why there's support for
the death penalty in this province.
"It really has to do with the base that the Conservative party has over here in
Western Canada. But also, there's a lot of animosity towards specific crimes
that have been committed lately. We go back to the Robert Pickton case and
we're now looking forward to 22 or 23 years from now, having that parole
hearing," he tells us.
Respondents who want to see the death penalty return believe it would serve as
a deterrent for potential murderers and would save taxpayers' money. Most also
feel that the capital punishment fits the crime for murder.
Most opponents of the death penalty are concerned over the possibility of
wrongful convictions leading to executions. Many also believe that even if
someone has taken a life, it's wrong to take the murderer's own life as
Despite the support, Canseco doesn't think it will become law.
"The last time somebody tried to do something like this was Brian Mulroney back
in 1987. He had a majority in the House of Commons that was certainly larger
than the one Stephen Harper has right now. When they let it be a free vote, he
actually lost it," he explains.
On a national level, 61 % of Canadians asked in an online survey support the
death penalty for murder in Canada, which was abolished in 1976. When asked to
choose between 2 possible courses of action to deal with convicted murderers in
Canada (death penalty of life in jail with no possibility of parole), half of
respondents perfer life imprisonment.
(source: News 1130)
Judiciary Upholds Death Sentence for Young Kurds
An Iranian court has upheld the death sentence for Zanyar Moradi, who was
previously convicted of murdering the son of the Marivan Friday Imam. His
father, Eghbal Moradi, called the sentence illegal in an interview with the
International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran.
“My son and Loghman Moradi [no relation] have been convicted of murdering the
son of the Marivan Friday Imam, but the victim’s family knows that Zanyar and
Loghman are not the murderers,” Eghbal Moradi said.
Eghbal Moradi, a member of the Kurdistan Komala Party, fled to Iraqi Kurdistan
years ago. “My son is a victim of a political game. I myself oppose the regime,
I went to prison, I was injured, and I don’t live in Iran right now. They want
to seek revenge on me through my son,” Moradi claimed.
Security forces arrested Zanyar Moradi, 23, and Loghman Moradi, 25, on 22
December 2009, for the murder of the son of Marivan’s Friday Imam on 5 July
2009. Judge Salavati of Branch 15 of Tehran’s Revolutionary Court tried them
for charges of “moharebeh” (enmity with God), “corruption on earth,” “acting
against national security,” and “murder of Marivan Friday Imam’s son,” and
sentenced them to death. The Appeals Court has now confirmed the death
sentences for the 2 men.
“When the Intelligence Ministry asked the Marivan Friday Imam, Mr. Shirzad, to
appear at the Enforcement Unit of the Judiciary to carry out the sentence, he
refused, saying that he doubts these young men have committed the murder, and
he has fortunately refused to appear,” Eghbal Moradi said. “But the
Intelligence Ministry wants to execute these 2 no matter what, even if the main
plaintiff in the case, the father of the victim, doubts that Zanyar and Loghman
are the murderers.”
“Unfortunately, my son’s lawyer only participated in that first court session.
Regardless of how many times Loghman’s family and my relatives have asked him
to go to court to follow up on the case he has not done anything,” said Zanyar
The 2 prisoners wrote a letter from prison, stating that they had accepted the
charge under severe torture and threats of rape. The two prisoners have also
written a letter to UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Iran Ahmad
“As Zanyar and Loghman said in their letter describing their torture, they were
tried in a court trial that lasted only a few minutes, and Judge Salavati
immediately convicted them of ‘corruption on earth’ and sentenced them to
death. The two suspects were never given a chance to defend themselves or say
anything. The judge had already decided how to sentence them,” Eghbal Moradi
told the Campaign.
“We Kurds know that the chain of assassinations that happened in Kurdistan were
carried out by government elements inside Kurdistan,” Moradi claimed.
“Government agents and stick-wielding forces murdered the son of the Marivan
Friday Imam’s son, but they now want to hold these two young men responsible
for the murder,” he continued.
“Unfortunately, I have no news about my son. Since he was imprisoned he has
only met with my parents twice for a few minutes. Since he was transferred to
Rajaee Shahr Prison in Karaj about 25 months ago, he has not been allowed to
have any visitors. This is why we are very concerned about him, especially when
he wrote of torture in his letters,” Moradi told the Campaign. “My other
relatives have repeatedly requested visits with him, but they were told that
only the immediate family of the prisoner [are allowed to visit with him].
Unfortunately, I live with his mother in Iraqi Kurdistan and we are not allowed
to come to Iran. We only hear about Zanyar through released prisoners of Rajaee
Shahr Prison or through the media.”
(source: Iran Human Rights)
Statement by 10 prisoners of conscience in ward 350 of Evin prison condemning
Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence
Letter in protest to Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence----Written by political
prisoners in ward 350
In the wake of the confirmation of Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence by the
[Iranian] Supreme Court, statements made by some of the judicial and security
authorities have further increased the concerns [about the fate of Saeed
Malekpour]. Saeed Malekpour, a web designer who also rented web space, is
facing a certain execution sentence after three years of legal limbo, detention
in prisons [and wards] run by the security organizations, and enduring lengthy
periods of solitary confinement. The charge against him is directing so-called
“obscene” websites. However, in a letter he wrote in 2010, he denied this
accusation, disclosed the tortures he endured during the interrogations, and
stated how he was forced to make false [self-incriminating] confessions and
repeat them in front of a camera. He confirmed that he was only designing
websites and renting web spaces. This latter statement is his real admission
under normal circumstances while he was in ward 350. After the publication of
this letter and the interviews given by his wife outside of Iran in which she
dubbed the case of her husband a political one, Saeed Malekpour was transferred
back to ward 2-A [under the control of the IRGC] after spending nine months in
ward 350. He has been imprisoned in ward 2-A since December 2010.
Based on the laws governing due process in the Islamic Republic, all the stages
of interrogation, detention, investigation and trial for Saeed Malekpour have
been illegal. During the interrogations- contravene to the existing laws- he
was subjected to physical and psychological torture. He was stripped and
threatened with rape; his teeth were pulled with pliers; he was subjected to
electrical shock by stun guns, he was lashed with cable wires; he was kept in
solitary confinement for nearly one year (following his arrest); he was tried
in a closed court session (while according to the Constitution, security and
political trials have to be public); and was transferred to ward 2-A [solitary
confinement] after the sentence was announced. He has not been handed in to the
Iran Prison Organization since December 1, 2010.
No verdict or sentence can be considered legal under such circumstances. As a
result, we, the undersigned, call the attention of all the awakened consciences
to the flagrant violation of Saeed Malekpour’s civil and human rights, and
express our opposition and revulsion of the sentence against Saeed Malekpour.
Moreover, we would like to explain the following points:
Execution is an inherently inhumane act, because, in our view, no human being
has the right to take away another human being’s life. Execution has never
solved the problems Iranian society face. It has been simply used by the ruling
establishment to avoid the question and the problem. As a result, the problems
resulting in the death sentences have remained and the crackdowns have not been
effective or helpful but, on the contrary, they have been catastrophic.
Saeed Malekpour’s death sentence is a political sentence that the regime has
issued to further control cyber space and terrorize internet users. Such harsh
sentences for cyber cases are targeting regular citizens who are using the
Internet in different ways. By resorting to this method, the ruling
establishment, on one hand, terrorizes non-political Internet users, and on the
other hand, it is showing muscle and boasting [its ability] to eliminate
[dissent] by exposing the Iranian society’s political and social climate to the
option of execution [as an apparatus of fear] . There is a precedent of such
cases, and in the past years and on various occasions, individuals have been
executed under such non-political pretexts as drug trafficking while the actual
case was political.
Under the current circumstance where the Islamic Republic regime still uses the
option of physical elimination and killing—which have been frequently used in
the form of either execution or assassination—only public global protest and
expression of revulsion can be effective. If not, siding with the regime in any
form, or any lack of minimum social reaction would help the continuation of
execution by the regime.
We believe that anyone anywhere in the world and in any social condition can
protest against executions, and at least the illegal executions. Meanwhile
scholars, writers, and those with access to the media have a greater
responsibility as they can better get their voices heard.
In the past 2 years in ward 350 of Evin prison, we witnessed several
executions. We testify that in none of these executions the existing laws of
the Islamic Republic were observed. In all stages of the procedures [from
arrest to execution] the law was violated, and the death sentences were
political [rather than judicial].
More information about the DeathPenalty