March 7, 2014
IDPN 2014 Issue 10
Brunei: Sultan and Prime Minister Hassanal Bolkiah has warned online critics of Sharia Law that once the new penal code takes effect next month, they will be subject to prosecution if they continue to mock Sharia Law. Currently Sharai Law only affects personal and family issues. Beginning April 1, 2014, Sharia Law will be expanded to the national level and include executions by stoning. Brunei has not carried out an execution since 1957. Brunei will be the first East Asian country to implement Sharia Law on the national level.
Indonesia: Parole of Australian Schapelle Corby could be revoked following the airing of a documentary about her release, in which her sister was interviewed and footage was shown of her leaving jail and reuniting with her family. Schaepelle was warned that any interviews could result in parole being revoked. Schapelle was found with approximately nine pounds of marijuana stashed in her surfing gear, which she claims was not hers. Schapelle was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 2005, and later projected release in 2016 due to good behavior. Her sentence was cut by five years following an appeal for clemency to the Indonesian president. Schapelle has struggled with mental problems while in prison and since her release.
Iran: On Wednesday, February 19, 2014, two unidentified men were executed by hanging at the prison of Salmas in northwestern Iran. They were convicted of unrelated murders. Also in the prison of Salma, a 35-year-old man was executed by hanging on Thursday, February 27, 2014. He was convicted of murdering a 50-year-old man in 2008.
On Tuesday, February 25, 2104, three men were publically hanged in Islamabad. The men's identities have not been released.
On Sunday, March 2, 2014, four prisoners, identified by initials only, were executed by hanging in Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. The four were executed after having been convicted of armed trafficking of opium.
A 34-year-old Iranian, Rouhollah Tavana was arrested in October of 2011, after a private video was found on his computer, in which he, under the influence of alcohol, made a joke with insulted the Prophet of Islam according to a judge. According to Islamic law, if a person is found to have made an insult about the Prophet while under the influence of alcohol, that person can be executed. According to Rouhollah's mother, the evidence in the case was taken off of his personal computer by Moshhad Intelligence officers who raided his home.
The highest court has approved the sentence of Jamshid, a young man, in which he is to have his eyes gouged and his right ear and nose cutoff. Jamshid is convicted of deliberately pouring acid on the face of girl, which resulted in her loss of eyesight and right ear.
Twenty-six-year-old Farzaneh Moradi was executed by hanging on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, at the prison of Isfahan. Farzaneh was convicted of murdering her husband, whom she married at the age of 15 and had a daughter with one year later. The murder occurred six years ago. The daughter is now 10 years of age and has not seen her mother since she was arrested. Farzaneh originally confessed to the murder but later recanted, pointing to another individual as the one who committed the murder.
Japan: The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling in which 52-year-old Kazuhiro Ogawa has been sentenced to die for setting a fire in a video viewing parlor which led to the death of 16 people and injured four in 2008. Allegedly, it was a suicide attempt. Kazuhiro claims he did not start the fire.
Libya:Two politicians, Ali Tekbali and Fathi Saguer of the Libyan National Party, who were facing the death penalty, have had the charges that could have resulted in death dismissed. The two men were accused of the "promotion and possession of drawings insulting to Islam and the prophet. "They had used a cartoon, which had been originally published in a satirical weekly, on posters during the 2012 campaign. One of the cartoon characters was the prophet Mohammed, of which Ali and Fathi were unaware.
Nigeria: Four men, convicted of having homosexual relations, have been publicly whipped in northern Nigeria. Allegedly the men confessed, after having been beaten. In addition to being publicly whipped, the men face one year in jail or a fine of $120. The judge chose to be lenient and not sentence the men to death because the men promised they had changed.
Singapore:Thirty-one-year-old Dinesh Pillai Raja Retnam is the third person to have had his sentence of death overturned under the revised Misuse of Drugs Act. Additionally Dinesh is the first person to have a death sentence overturned on grounds of mental disability. Dinesh was determined to have only been a courier of the drugs and to have an "abnormality of mind" which "substantially impaired his mental responsibility for his acts."
Papua New Guinea:Papua New Guinea has selected lethal injection as the primary method of capital punishment. Previously hanging was the only option.
United States of America: The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole board has denied clemency for Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner, two inmates scheduled to be executed later this month. Each inmate was denied by a vote of 4-1. Together, they also have a lawsuit pending against the state of Oklahoma asking that information regarding the execution drugs be released.