September 26, 2014

IDPN 2014 Issue 39


Chad: The nation’s new penal code has abolished the death penalty.  The government of Chad has been working on the new code for the past 10 years.  Also included in the new penal code is a maximum 20 year sentence for homosexual relations.



Iran: On Thursday, September 18, 2014, four prisoners were executed by hanging in the prison of Bandar Abbas is southern Iran.  The condemned, identified by initials only, were executed for various drug related offenses.


On Saturday, September 20, 2014, five prisoners were executed by hanging in the main prison in the city of Zahedan in southeastern Iran.  Among the five inmate were two Pakistani women who had been arrested on drug related charges.  The names of the executed inmates were not released.


On Tuesday, September 24, 2014, Mohsen Amir Aslani was executed.  The state claims that Aslani was executed for rape.  Previously, Aslani had also been convicted of “corruption on earth; changing Islam’s principles and secondary laws; and new interpretation of Quran.”  He was also charged with heresy, insulting the Prophet Johan, and immoral acts.  Iran Human Rights states that Aslani never confessed to the rape and there is insufficient supporting evidence.


On Wednesday, September 25, 2014, five prisoners were executed by hanging in three cities.  In the prison of Noshahr in northern Iran, Jaber N. was executed for a murder committed in 2004.  In the prison of Qzavin in western Iran, 33-year-old Sadegh Mohammadkhanloo and 35-year-old Asghar Mahtabi were executed for separate drug charges.  In Mashhad in northeastern Iran, two men were executed, both for separate murders.  One of the men may only have been 18 years of age and committed the murder while a juvenile, although it is not clear.




Japan: Forty-four-year-old Tsuyoshi Watanabe has been given the death sentence for the murder of a wealthy Swiss-based Japanese asset manager, 51-year-old Makoto Shimomi, and his wife, 48-year-old Mie.  Prosecutors alleged that Watanabe killed Makoto and his wife because he blamed them for losing money in investments.  The couple were last seen getting into a car to attend a party, although police found no evidence that the party was scheduled.  They were found buried in shallow graves on a plot of land that Watanabe owned.



Saudi Arabia: On Thursday, September 18, 2014, Sanaullah Mohammed Amir was executed by beheading in Qatif for smuggling large quantities of heroin.  The United Nations has called upon Saudi Arabia to place a moratorium on executions, alleging that the trials are “grossly unfair,” inmates are tortured into to confessing, and they are not allowed to speak with a lawyer.


Four unnamed men have been sentenced to death for their roles in the kingdom’s “bloodiest terror cells,” likely al-Qaeda or the Islamic State.  Twenty others have been given various jail terms for a variety of crimes, including embracing “deviant” thinking that is contrary to the Koran, fighting abroad, and purchasing materials to make explosives.  Saudi Arabia has agreed to support other nations who oppose the Islamic State.



Singapore: Twenty-seven-year-old Prabagaran Srivijayan, from Malaysia, has been sentenced to death for bringing diamorphine, a pure form of heroin into the country.  Prabagaran alleges he did not know the drugs were in his vehicle and was borrowing a friend’s vehicle to return his work permit and gate pass to a former employer.


On Tuesday, September 23, 2014, the Central Narcotics Bureau seized its largest haul of drugs, including heroin, Ice, ecstasy, Erimin-5 tablets, and cannabis.  Two individuals were also arrested.  The men could face death if convicted.



United States of America: Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has informed officials in Kentucky that they need to be prepared to explain how and why they decided on the drugs to be used in lethal injection and at what doses.  Currently, Kentucky’s execution procedure is based on Ohio’s, which has faced scrutiny over the past year after and the controversial and prolonged execution of Dennis McGuire.  Judge Shepherd halted state executions in 2010, due to concerns over how the state evaluates mental competency.  The lawsuit has since expanded to include the entire execution process.


Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, Robert Patton, has stated that the renovations to the execution chamber will be completed in time for November 13, 2014, execution of Charles Warner.  Two other inmates are also scheduled to be executed before the year is over.



Vietnam: A Hong Kong priest, Father Franco Mella, is asking the Vietnamese government to spare the lives of two elderly individuals from Hong Kong.  The Italian Catholic priest has the support of Amnesty International.  The two men Father Mella is asking be spared was part of a group of five Chinese individuals arrested in May of 2008 for trafficking over 7 tons of cannabis resin.  Father Mella also claims that some of the men have been mistreated while in prison and denied medical care.