February 21, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 8


Germany: A German company, Atlas, is being accused of selling cranes to Iran, who then uses them in public executions.  Photos of recent executions show the name of the company clearly on the side of the crane.  The company denies having any business with Iran and is unsure how their product made its way into the country.



India:Due to an 11-year delay, the Supreme Court has commuted the death sentence of the three men convicted of killing former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to life in prison.  In May of 1991, Rajiv Gandhi was killed by a suicide bomber while he was campaigning.  Three men were charged, tried, and convicted of the murder.  They were member of a Sri Lankan ethnic Tamil separatist group.



Indonesia: Over 100 Islamists protested the Indonesian government's decision to release Australian drug mule Schapelle Corby on parole.  The protesters are calling for all drug traffickers to be given the death sentence.  They also repeated past demands for the country to ban the selling of alcohol.



Iran:On Saturday, February 15, 2014, two men were hanged in Karaj, which is west of Tehran.  Twenty-three-year-old Abolfazl Rezaei and 37-year-old Nematollah Jazaei were convicted of rape, kidnapping, and armed robbery.


On Monday, February 17, 2014, four unidentified prisoners were hanged in Nowshahr and Zanjan.  And on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, three unidentified prisoners were executed for drug related charges in Qazvin.



Malawi:The Muslim Association of Malawi is calling for the nation to give homosexuals the death penalty.  On the contrary, the Civil Society Organization is calling for the country to abolish laws which penalize homosexuality.  Malawi is considered a secular state.



North Korea: According to the UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea, the regime of North Korea is committing crimes against humanity, including the extermination, starvation, and enslavement of its population.  The commissioner chairman Michael Kirby has charged that the leaders, including Kim Jong-un, should answer to evidence of torture, rape, and murder inside of labor camps where political prisoner are held.  North Korea has called the report "fabricated and invented" and an "instrument of political plot."  It is now up to an international count to decide if further action is necessary.



Norway: Mass killer Anders Breivik has written a four-page letter to penitentiary officials, requesting, among other things, newer video game consoles, more adult (less childish) video games, a doubling of his weekly allowance, an end to the "almost daily" body searches, more contact with the outside world, and access to a PC.  The 35 year old is convicted of killing 77 people in 2011.  In his letter, Anders also complains that he has been put through "hell."  In January of 2013, he filed a complaint for "aggravated torture."    Anders claims to be a "human rights activist" and considers himself a "political prisoners."  Anders threatens to go on a hunger strike if his demands are not met.



Pakistan:In southwest Pakistan, a tribal couple has been stoned death after being accused of having extramarital relations.  Allegedly, the local cleric gave the order for the execution.   Nine people, including the cleric, have been arrested in relation to the murders.  An investigation is currently pending by local tribal police.



United Arab Emirates:Fayez Juma, an Emirati football player, has had his death sentence commuted to three years in jail and two consecutive months of fasting, in accordance with Sharia law.  He was pardoned by the victims family, which did not received blood money.



United States of America: Three former California governors - George Deukmejian, Pete Wilson, and Gray Davis - have announced that they plan to launch a signature-gathering effort for a measure that would limit appeals available to death row inmates, remove death row inmates from special housing, and require them to work prison jobs to pay restitution to victims.  The former governors also announced that they wanted executions to resume in California.  California has the largest death row in the United States with over 700 inmates.  California has not carried out an execution since 2006, due to lawsuits in federal and state courts over the change in execution protocol, specifically the drugs used in the execution.


Louisiana Department of Corrections has determined that the only way to lower the heat level on death row to meet US District Judge Brian Jackson's requirement is to install air conditioning and climate monitoring system.  Judge Jackson ruled in December that current heat levels are considered cruel and unusual punishment.  He has ordered a plan that would ensure heat levels never go above 88 degree.  The cost of the plan is estimated to be between $550,000 and $2 million.  The state is appealing Judge Jackson's decision.


An Oklahoma pharmacy has agreed to not provide the drug for Missouri's upcoming execution of Michael Taylor.  They have also stated that they have not already provided the drug.  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has announced that the state is prepared to go forward with the execution and that they have found a new pharmacy to supply the drug.



The Virginia Department of Corrections has approved the use of midazolam as an alternate first drug in its three drug protocol.  Midazolam is also used in executions in Florida and was recently used as part of a two-drug procedure in Ohio for the controversial execution of Dennis McGuire.