April 17, 2014
IDPN 2014 Issue 16
Iran: Mohammad-Javad Larijani, who is the head of Iran's Human Rights Council, has defended the country's use of execution, retribution, and Islamic laws, despite objections from the United Nations. Mohammad stated that such acts are "necessary things" which serve as "protection for the individual and civil rights of the people. "Since President Hassan Rouhani came into power, retribution punishment, such as the man who is to have his eye gouged out for pouring acid on the eyes of a child, have become more common.
A man accused of spying for the United States' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has been spared from execution. Amir Mirzaei Hekmati, a United States' resident, will instead face 10 years in prison. He was arrested in December of 2011, and convicted of attempting to infiltrate Iranian intelligence in order to implicate Iran of sponsoring terrorism.
Twenty-six-year-old Rayhaneh Jabbari has been spared execution, for now. She is convicted of killing a man who was accused of attempting to rape her. Rayhaneh claims the man drugged her before trying to rape her. Several human rights groups are working to have her released, alleging her actions were in self defense.
Balal was scheduled to be executed on April 16, 2014, however, his life spared at the last minute by the family of the 18-year-old he killed. In accordance with the Sharia law of retribution, the victim's family was scheduled to be part of his public hanging by knocking out the chair from underneath Balal. Instead, the victim's mother slapped Balal across the face, followed by the father removing the noose. The family has spared Balal from being executed, although he likely will still serve a prison sentence.
On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, a prisoner, identified by initials and age only, was executed by hanging in the prison of Saveh, west of Tehran. He was executed for a 2004 murder.
On Thursday, April 17, 2014, four prisoners, 27-year-old Zargham Jahangiri, 21-year-old Ahmad Rahimi, 22-year-old Ali Fouladi, and 29-year-old Ali Sharifi were executed. Ahmad, Ali, and Ali were juveniles when they committed their crimes. The execution of individuals who were minors (under the age of 18) at the time of the crime is banned by the United Nations. A fifth man was also scheduled to be executed. Two minutes after he was hanged, his execution was postponed. His is in serious condition at a prison hospital.
Iraq: Over the past four years, there have been more than 600 "criminal terrorists" executed, according to Iraqi justice minister Hassan al-Shimri. al-Shimri calls these executions an "achievement" for his ministry, as these "terrorists" allegedly controlled the prisons in the past. With them eliminated, and his ministry rising in power, they are able to prevent political and religious parties from interfering. Human rights groups oppose such mass executions.
Saudi Arabia: On Wednesday, April 16, 2014, Mohammad Matrak Mohammad Al Dosari was beheaded for murdering Mubarak Zafir Manahi Al Dossari using a machine gun. The murder occurred following a financial dispute. Mohammad's execution brings the total number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year to thirteen.
United States of America: On Wednesday, April 17, 2014, Jose Villiegas was executed by the state of Texas. Read his full story here.
A Kansas man, Frazier Glenn Cross, is accused of shooting a boy and his grandfather outside of Jewish community center and a Jewish woman at a nearby Jewish assisted living facility. He could face the death penalty if convicted.
On Thursday, April 17, 2014, the NewHampshire Senate voted on a bill that would repeal the death penalty in the state. With a final vote of 12-12, the bill was not passed. New Hampshire's House of Representatives had already approved repealing the death penalty and the governor indicated she would sign the bill if it had passed. New Hampshire is the only New England state with the death penalty. No one has been executed in New Hampshire since 1939. There is currently one person on their death row, who was convicted and sentenced in 2008.
Vietnam: The Ministry of Justice has suggested that crimes applicable for the death penalty should be reduced, along with jail sentences for other crimes. Additionally, in the report, several crimes were suggested for punishment that were not currently covered in the penal code.