December 19, 2013

Issue 46

Bangladesh: Following the execution of Abdul Quader Mollah on Thursday, December 12, 2013, the country has experienced mixed reactions.  In Dhaka, the capital, people were rejoicing in the streets, proclaiming that justice had been served.  Elsewhere, violent protests have erupted, leading to the deaths of at least 25 individuals.  Jamaat-e-Islami activists, of whom Abdul was a leader, have torched vehicles and detonated homemade bombs during protests and riots.

China: Thirty-seven-year-old Min Yongjun has been sentenced to death for stabbing 22 students at a primary school in Henan.  No one died from the attack.  The attack occurred approximately one year ago, on the same day that 20 children were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Connecticut, USA.

Egypt: Former President Mohammed Morsi is facing charges by the current government that could result in the death penalty.  Morsi is accused of conspiring with Hamas and Hezbollah, a terrorist and militant group, respectively.  The former president, along with several leading members of the Muslim Brotherhood, are also charged with sponsoring terrorism and carrying out training for terrorist acts.  Morsi is already standing trial for inciting murder against some of his political opponents while he was president.

India: On Tuesday, December 17, 2013, Kerala High Court confirmed the death sentence of Govindachamy, who brutally raped and killed a 23-year-old woman by pushing her out of a moving train on February 1, 2008.


Indonesia: British woman Andrea Waldeck was arrested earlier this year for trafficking drugs into Indonesia.  She has since confessed to trafficking crystal methamphetamine into Indonesia from China.  Prosecutors are seeking a 16-year sentence and a fine of 2 billion rupiah (approx. $165,000).  Andrea claims that she was only carrying the drugs for her boyfriend and not actually selling them.  Due to the country’s strict anti-narcotic laws, Andrea could still face the death penalty.

Iran: A man has been arrested in Iran, accused of working with British MI-6 agents and passing them sensitive information.  The name and nationality of the accused has not been released.  If convicted the man would likely face the death penalty.  In January, a United States man of Iranian descent was sentenced to death for spying for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

On Sunday, December 15, 2013, a man was hanged in the Iranian Qazvin city prison.  The 46-year-old man was convicted of smuggling drugs.  The man had previously been arrested several times for drug related offenses.

Saudi Arabia: Omar Al Saeed, a political activist has been sentenced by a judge to 300 lashes and four years in prison for his remarks, in which he called for a constitutional monarchy in Saudi Arabia.  Omar is the fourth member of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association to be arrested and jailed over remarks about democracy.

A man convicted of robbery has had his right hand cut off at the wrist.  The sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court and ratified by King Abdullah.  Saudi Arabia is one of the most conservative Muslim nations and strictly enforces Sharia law.

United States of America: Johnny Dale Black was executed by the state of Oklahoma shortly after 6 pm CST, on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, at the Oklahoma State Prison in McAlester, Oklahoma.  Johnny was executed for the murder of 54-year-old Bill Pogue, a horse trainer.  The murder was a case of mistaken identity.  Read the full story here.

Cecil Emile Davis was scheduled to be executed shortly after midnight on Tuesday, December 17, 2013, in Washington.  His execution was stayed to allow time for additional appeals.  Cecil is convicted of murdering 65-year-old Yoshiko Couch on January 25, 1997.  Read his full story here.

Tennessee death row inmate Michael Wayne Howell died of natural causes on Wednesday, December 18, 2013.  He was 54 years of age.  Michael was convicted of killing convenience store clerk Alvin Kennedy in Memphis in 1987.  Less than 24 hours later, Michael also shot and killed 23-year-old Air Force Sgt Charlene Calhoun in Oklahoma.  He was also sentenced to death for Charlene’s murder.  Michael was arrested following a shootout with authorities in Florida.  Michael spent the last 27 years of his life on Tennessee’s death row.

At the age of 21, Michael Shane Bargo is the youngest man on Florida’s death row.  He was sentenced to die on Friday, December, 13, 2013, by Circuit Judge David Eddy.  Michael was one of five defendants to be sentenced for the murder of 15-year-old Seath Jackson in Summerfield, Florida.  Michael was 18 when he participated in the slaying.  Michael is the only one of the five to receive a death sentence.  The remaining four all received life sentences.

A woman on death row in Mississippi has appealed to the United States Supreme Court in an attempt to be granted a new trial.  Michelle Byrom alleges that she was physically and sexually abused by her husband, which led her to kill him.

Vietnam: Five individuals were sentenced to death on Friday, December 13, 2013, after being convicted of involvement with a drug ring that trafficked heroin.  A sixth person was sentenced to life in prison.  The leaders of the drug ring have not yet been captured.

Two former executives of Vietnam National Shipping Lanes have been sentenced to death.  They have been convicted of embezzlement.  The stiff penalty for embezzlement is part of the government’s attempt to eradicated corporate corruption.


Thirty-six-year-old Tran Quoc Tuan was executed by lethal injection on Monday, December 16, 2013.  Tran was convicted of the robbery and murder of Nguyen Thanh Duy.  The execution was the first lethal injection execution performed in Ho Chi Minh City.