Latest death penalty report


We are pleased to attach our latest death penalty report thanks to group member Lesley for preparing it. It is a lengthy one – possibly the longest we have posted – as there is a lot going on, both positive and negative, on this topic. Note as ever that China is not reported on as information about executions are a state secret. China is believed to execute more of its citizens than the rest of the world combined.

Good News From Iran: Death Sentence Overturned


A man sentenced to death for an offence when he was a child has had his sentence overturned by the Iranian Supreme Court after 18 years on death row. Mohammad Reza Haddadi was 15 years old when he was arrested in 2002 on charges of committing murder while stealing a car. Although he initially pleaded guilty he later explained that his two co-defendants had coerced him by promising him money to take the rap for the murder telling him that he would not receive the death penalty as he was underage. Iran is one of the few countries in the world that still uses the death sentence against minors even though it is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which prohibits the use of the death sentence for crimes committed by anyone under the age of 18. However, in Sharia law, the “age of criminal responsibility” for children is defined as the age of maturity, which means that females over 9 lunar years of age and boys over 15 lunar years of age are both eligible for execution if convicted of “crimes against God” (such as apostasy) or “retribution crimes” (such as murder).

The law grants judges the discretion to replace the death penalty with an alternative sentence if they find that there are doubts about the individual’s comprehension of the nature of the crime or consequences, or their full “mental growth and maturity” at the time of the crime. International human rights organizations say Iran is responsible for more than 70% of all juveniles executed in the last 30 years with at least 63 in the last decade, including at least six in 2018 and four in 2019. Given the security state, suppression of civil society activists, and limited interaction with detainees, the number of juvenile executions is likely to be significantly greater than reported.

In 2020 Iran carried out at least 246 executions with 194 were for murder; 23 for drug-related offences; 12 for rape; four for “armed insurrection against the state”; five for “enmity against God”; two for espionage; one for “spreading corruption on earth” and one for drinking alcohol. One execution was carried out in public and nine women were executed. Hanging and shooting were the methods of execution. The Islamic Penal Code continued to provide for execution by stoning, for some consensual same-sex sexual conduct and extramarital sexual relations. The death penalty was increasingly used as a weapon of political repression against dissidents, protesters and members of ethnic minority groups.

Repost from Amnesty

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe


BBC programme about Nazanin

Members of the group and supporters will know that we have campaigned over the years on behalf of Nazanin who remains trapped in Iran. The last post we did can be accessed here. The main reason is the issue surrounding the tank deal we arranged with the Shah before he was deposed. Iran paid up front for these and after he was deposed the contract was cancelled and the new regime wanted its money back. Nazanin is effectively a hostage for this money.

At 13:45, after the World at One on Radio 4 (BBC) there is a fifteen minute programme each day on the background to this tragedy. You will be able to hear it via BBC Sounds in the usual way.

Death penalty report


Latest report from mid November to mid December

We are pleased to attach the latest death penalty report for the month thanks to group member Lesley for compiling it. The report features events in Egypt which is executing large numbers of people, USA, India and other countries. Note that China, which probably executes more of its citizens than the rest of the world combined, does not feature because it keeps details a state secret.

Iran: execution


Iran is one of the world’s major countries for executing its citizens often after inadequate trials and the use of torture. We learned today that the execution has taken place in Iran of Arman Abdolali.  This is the young man for whom Amnesty have campaigned recently.  Now aged 25, he was sentenced to death as a child following his conviction for murder in a trial that was grossly unfair and included confessions obtained through torture.  International condemnation led to his execution being halted twice – most recently on 16th October – but he has now been executed under the ‘qisas’ laws allowing the victim’s family to request ‘an eye for an eye’ justice.

Help stop an execution in Iran


Arman Abdolali was due to be executed today but it has now been scheduled for Saturday. We ask that you spend a few moments to send a message to the Iranian Embassy to ask them not to do this. Full details are in the link below.

Arman was just 17 when he was arrested. He was held in solitary confinement and beaten regularly, before “confessing”. He says this “confessions” was obtained under torture and there are serious concerns about his trial. 
 

Take action by calling on the Iranian Embassy in the UK to ensure the execution on Saturday does not go ahead. 

http://email.amnestyuk.org.uk/q/11mqIvSAxHoACoGGucijZqv/wv

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