May 6, 2017
IDPN 2017 Issue 18
Belarus: Syarhey Vostrykau is believed to have been executed by firing squad sometime in April of 2017. Syarhey was the first individuals executed in the nation this year. The 33-year-old was convicted of kidnapping, raping, and murdering two women in 2014 and 2015. He was convicted last year. Belarus is the European nation to still use the death penalty, despite strong objections from the rest of Europe.
Egypt: On Wednesday, May 3, 2017, a 22-year-old unnamed man was executed for the rape and murder of a five-year-old girl. The man kidnapped the girl, taking her to an abandoned building and raping her. He then choked her with a cloth and hid her in the head repeatedly. Five other unnamed individuals were also executed. They were all executed for murder.
India: The Supreme Court has declined to review the case of 55-year-old Vasanta Sampat Dupare, who is convicted of raping and murdering a four-year-old girl in 2008. Vasanta is convicted of luring the child, who was neighbor, before raping and her and beating her to death with heavy stones. Vasanta has been sentence to be executed.
The Bombay High Court has rejected a request to sentence to death three men who have been convicted of gang raping a 19-year-old pregnant Muslim girl and killing 14 of her family members. The crime occurred during anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat in 2002. Twelve individuals received life sentences for their actions, despite the Central Bureau of Investigation asking that three of the men be sentenced to death.
Iran: On Sunday, April 30, 2017, 30-year-old Imran Askardasht was reportedly executed by hanging at Hamadan Central Prison. He was executed for a murder committed in 2010.
On Wednesday, May 3, 2017, eight prisoners were reportedly executed by hanging at Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison. Two unnamed women were among those executed. The six men have been identified as Maziar Alaie Bakhsh, Jabbar Mollahashemi, Shayan Shaddel, Mohammad Jegarki, Mahmoud Bayat and Ali Maleki. All are believed to have been convicted on murder charges. Five other prisoners were also scheduled to be executed, however, their sentences were halted.
Pakistan: Asia Bibi, a Catholic Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, has had her request for an early hearing denied by the Supreme Court. Asia was convicted of blasphemy after she got into an argument with fruit picking, Muslim co-worker aver a glass of water. Many believe that Asia was falsely accused and convicted due to a personal dispute with the other woman.
Somalia: Five teenage boys, between the ages of 14 and 17, have been executed in the northeastern Puntland region. They were sentenced to death by a military tribunal for being members of the Al-Shabaab terror group. The teenagers were convicted of participating in an attack that killed three senior administration officials in February. Two other teenage boys who also participated in the killings are scheduled to be executed soon. Amnesty International alleges that the teenagers were denied access to lawyers and were tortured into confessing.
South Korea: Presidential candidate, Hong Joon-pyo, has announced that if elected, he will revive capital punishment in the nation. South Korea still has the death penalty as an approved punishment, and it is still handed out, however the nation has not executed any criminal since 1997. Hong says his support comes after several high profile killings have made the news. He believes that if the nation carried out the death penalty that such murders would not occur. Hong is the member of the same party as recently ousted President Park Geun-hye.
United States of America: Numerous Ohio executions have been, once again, rescheduled due to ongoing legal challenges regarding their execution process and the drugs used during the executions. Ohio has been unable to carry out an execution since January 2014, due to these legal challenges. Read more about the situation here.
Amid growing problems regarding the use of lethal injection throughout the nation, three death row inmates in Utah have elected to be executed via firing squad. Utah has in the past years gone back and forth on the use of the firing squad. In 2004, it was removed as a method as execution due to the extreme attention it garnered, creating difficulties for the families affected by the execution. In 2015, the firing squad was partially brought back; it became the back-up method if lethal injections drugs could not be obtained. However, inmates sentenced to death prior to 2004, retain the right choose execution by firing squad. The three inmates - Taberon Dave Honie, Troy Michael Kell, and Ralph Leroy Menzies - have not been given execution dates.
Pedro Solis Sosa was convicted of the 1983 murder of Wilson County Deputy Sheriff Ollie Childress and sentenced to death in Texas. Now, nearly 35 years later, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has ruled that Pedro is mentally incompetent and cannot be executed. He has been resentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The family of Deuty Childress is upset at the news.