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IDPN 2020

International Death Penalty News 2020, Issue 41: Egypt, India, Iran, Pakistan, United States of America, Yemen

October 9, 2020
IDPN 2020 Issue 41

Egypt: Forty-nine-year-old Yasser Al-Abaseeri and 45-year-old Yasser Shukr, allegedly members of the Muslim Brotherhood, have reportedly been executed in Egypt. The two were sentenced to death for their participation in “violent” protests in Alexandria in 2013. The protests took place in front of the Library of Alexandria, where sit-in supporters of the late President Mohamed Morsi were being dispersed. The protests resulted in the deaths of 15 people, including two security men. During the trial, the prosecution argued that the two men were part of a military coup, however the defendants deny this claim. In addition to Al-Abaseeri and Shukr being sentenced to death, 68 others received varying prison terms.

On Monday, October 5, 2020, 13 people were executed. Their names were not released. All were considered political prisoners and have been in custody since 2014. The men were also allegedly tortured prior to their convictions. Details regarding their crimes were not reported. Some have decried the executions as “unlawful.”

India: Four men have been sentenced to life in prison for rape of a 19-year-old Dalit girl on April 26, 2019. A fifth man has been sentenced to five years in prison, while a sixth man is being tried separately because he was a minor at the time of the crime. The woman was traveling with her husband when they were attacked. Her husband was beaten and she was raped by five of the men, while the horrific incident was recorded. The family of the victim have criticized the sentence, arguing that the men should have been sentenced to death.

Iran: Saeed Bolouri has been executed by hanging at Aligoudarz Prison. Saeed was sentenced to qisas, that is retribution in kind, after being convicted of the 2016 murder of his landlord. The two had a dispute over the security deposit that Saeed believed was owed to him, promoting Saeed to attack with a knife.

Pakistan: Six years ago, Sawan Masih was sentenced to death in Lahore for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed during a conversation with his Muslim friend in 2014. Now, Sawan has been acquitted of the charges against him and the court has ordered him released. Following Sawan’s arrest, dozens of Christian families had to flee their homes for their homes. Sawan argued that the blasphemy charges were fabricated by those who wanted the property on which the Christians lived.

United States of America: On Thursday, October 8, 2020, Byron Black was scheduled to be executed in the state of Tennessee. His execution has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 8, 2021. Sixty-four-year-old Byron is convicted of murdering 29-year-old Angela Clay, and her two daughters, 9-year-old Latoya, and 6-year-old Lakeishsa on March 28, 1988, in Davidson County, Tennessee.

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to review the case of James Dailey, a Florida death row inmate, who claims he is innocent and was convicted based on the testimony of a jailhouse informant. Dailey, who was convicted of murdering a 14-year-old girl in 1987, alleged in his appeal, that the lead police investigator offered favorable treatment to inmates in return for their testimony against him. Additionally, Dailey’s co-defendant confessed in 2017, to committing the crime alone. In opposition to the review, Florida officials argued, that the co-defendant retracted his confession.

On Wednesday, September 30, 2020, Arthur Giles died of cancer while on death row in Aabama. He was 69 years of age and the longest serving inmates on the state’s death row. Arthur was convicted of the November 10, 1978, attack on Willene and Carl Nelson in Blount County, Alabama. Willene and Carl were shot and stabbed to death, while three children were critically injured in the attack. All three survived. An 85-year-old grandmother to the three children was also injured, but survived.

Federal prosecutors are asking the Supreme Court of the United States to reinstate the death sentence of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the Boston Marathon bomber. In July, a court ordered that Tsarnaev was to receive a new penalty phase trial, after determining that the jury, from the city of Boston, was not fair and impartial. It is hoped that the Supreme Court will decide if they will hear the case by the end of the year.

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to review the lethal injection protocol in Ohio. In the appeal by Ohio death row inmates, they were arguing that the Ohio method of execution is unconstitutional, specifically, the use of midazolam. They argue that midazolam is likely to induce a sensation of suffocation and drowning, causing terror and panic. The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals had previously upheld the the execution protocol is not unconditional.

Yemen: The Specialized Criminal Court in Saada has sentenced to death 10 defendants; Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Mohammed Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Turki Bin Bandar Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Donald Trump, James Norman Mattis, Norton Schwartz, Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, Ali Mohsen Saleh Al-Ahmar, Ahmed Obeid Bin Daghr and Mohammed Ali Ahmed Al-Maqdashi. Among those names are the Saudi monarch and his crown prince, the president of the United States, the former US Defence Secretary, and the president of Yemen. The 10, who have also been fined, are convicted of bombing of a student bus, which resulted in the deaths of 51 people, including 40 children, during an air strike in 2018. The United States officials were linked to the bombing through the selling of arms to Saudi Arabia. A Civil War has been ongoing in Yemen since 2014, between Houthi rebels and a Saudi backed Yemen government. There has been little success in reaching a peaceful resolution.

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