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IDPN 2021

International Death Penalty News 2021, Issue 28: Egypt, Iran, Japan, United States of America

July 9, 2021
IDPN 2021 Issue 28

Egypt: On Sunday, July 4, 2021, 27-year-old Moataz Hassan was executed by hanging inside Cairo Appeal Prison. Egyptian Network for Human Rights reports that Moataz was forcibly disappeared and tortured into confessing to being involved in an assassination of a police officer in Alexandria in 2018. Prior to his arrest, Moataz was studying engineering at a university.

Iran: On Wednesday, June 30, 2021, Mohammad Taher Soleimani was executed by hanging in Mahabad Prison. Mohammad was convicted on drug related charges. A human rights group in Iran has reported that Mohammad was scheduled to have his sentence commuted of life in prison, however he was executed before that occurred.

On Wednesday, June 30, 2021, Baluch prisoner Azim Karimizayi was executed in Mashhad Central Prison. He was convicted and sentenced to death on drug related charges.

On Wednesday, June 30, 2021, a 37-year-old unnamed man, and a 70-year-old unnamed man were both executed in Mashhad Central Prison. Their crimes have not been reported.

On Saturday, July 3, 2021, Nasser Azmoudeh and Shahriar Amiri were executed in Urmia Central Prison. Both men were convicted and sentenced to death on drug related charges. Their executions have not been reported by official state media.

Ten months after the execution of Kurdish inmate, Khedir Qavidel, his family received a letter informing them that Khedir’s death sentence has been revoked and he is freed from prison. Khedir was executed before the Supreme Court approved his death sentence, making his family eligible to receive financial compensation. The family is seeking answers as to why Khedir’s execution was prematurely carried out. Khedir was arrested approximately eight years ago on drug related charges.

On Sunday, July 4, 2021, Anvar Abdollahi, and brothers, Baha-oddin and Davood Ghasemzadeh, were executed by hanging in Urmia Central Prison. All three men were convicted of murder and sentenced to qisas, that is retribution in kind. Anvar was disabled due to a spinal cord injury. These executions have not yet been reported by official state media.

On Monday, July 5, 2021, 21-year-old Mehdi G. was executed by hanging at Mashhad Central Prison. Mehdi was convicted of killing a friend while drunk at a wedding on August 19, 2019. He was sentenced to qisas, that is, retribution in kind.

On Wednesday, July 7, 2021, Faizollah Ahmadzadeh was executed by hanging at Qom Central Prison. Faizollah was convicted on drug related charges after being arrested four years ago.

Japan: Thirty-six-year-old Hirobumi Komatsu has been sentenced to death for murdering his wife, 33-year-old Megumi, and their five children, 11-year-old daughter Mua, 7-year-old son Takara, 5-year-old son Ryua, and 3-year-old twin boys Rairu and Reiru, at their home in Hitachi, Ibaraki Prefecture, in 2017. Komatsu has claimed that he has no memory of the crime, although following his arrest, Komatsu told police that he killed his wife because she wanted a divorce. All were killed by stabbing before the room they were in was lit on fire using a cigarette lighter and gasoline.

United States of America: With the death penalty now formally abolished in the state of Virginia, the final two death row inmates have been moved off of death row and into other high-security facilities. The two men are Thomas Porter and Anthony Juniper. Peter was convicted of murdering a police officer, while Juniper was convicted of murdering two adults and two children. It is unclear if the men will remain in solitary confinement, as they were when they were on death row. With the abolishment of capital punishment in the state, the men have ben resentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

On April 7, 2021, Oklahoma death row inmate Nicholas Davis died after contracting covid-19. He was 46 years of age. Nicholas died in a prison hospital. He had several underlying health issues including inflammation of the lungs, heart disease, and an autoimmune disease. Nicholas was sentenced to defat for the murder of 17-year-old Marcus Smith.

A moratorium on federal executions has been announced by Attorney General Merrick Garland. When announcing the moratorium, Garland also announced a new study on death penalty procedures. Many were pushing for the new administration to uphold its promise to abolish capital punishment, following the previous administration’s push to restart federal executions. Further, the federal justice department is pushing to reinstated the death penalty of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

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