May 9, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 19


Brunei: The Sultan of Brunei recently announced that he would be implementing Sharia law within the small, Asian nation, which includes the death penalty for crimes such as murder, rape, and engaging in homosexual relations.  Sultan Hassanai Bolkiah believes this is a "great achievement" for his country and is in obedience to "Allah's command as written in the Quran."  Others outside of the country disagree.  The Sultan owns a chain of luxury hotels, which also hosts events for the rich and famous.  Several prominent groups are boycotting the hotels in protest of the new laws.



Gaza:Two men who have been executed were convicted of collaborating with the Israeli military for nine years, according to the Ministry of Interior.  One man was shot and the other was hanged.  The men were identified by initials only.  Executions in Gaza are supposed to require the approval of the Pakistani president, however the Hamas-run Ministry of Interior has carried out executions without the president's approval since 2009.



Iran: Executions in Iran have been increasing.  In the course of just under two weeks, at least 34 individuals were executed, many of which were in their twenties.

On Wednesday, April 30, 2014, two unnamed but young prisoners were executed by hanging in the prison of Mashhad.  They were each convicted on separate murder charges.


It has been reported that 15-year-old Jannat Mir, an Afghan juvenile offender, has been executed at the prison of Isfahan.  He was convicted on drug related charges.  Iran claims that they do not execute juveniles, however, it has been reported by sources other than the state media, that seven juveniles have been executed this year.  Jannat was executed along with five other individuals on April 18, 2014.


On Sunday, May 4, 2014, two unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging in the prison of Mashhad.  They were each convicted of murder.


On Monday, May 5, 2014, a prisoner identified by initials only, was executed in the prison in the northern city of Semnan.  He was convicted of murder.  


On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, an unnamed prisoner was executed by hanging in the prison of Maragheh in northwestern Iran.  The man was convicted of rape.


Sometime over the last week, a man identified by initials only, was executed by hanging in the prison of Sanandaj, according to unofficial reports.  He was convicted of murder.


On Thursday, May 8, 2014, three prisoners were executed by hanging in the prison of Qom, which is south of Tehran.  The three were identified by initials only.  Two were executed on drug related charges and the third was sentenced to "qisas" or retribution for murder.  Also on Thursday, a public execution was carried out in Saveh in central Iran.  The prisoner, identified by initials only, was executed for murdering a security officer.



Saudi Arabia: Twenty-one-year-old Yasser Al Shammari was convicted of murder but has been spared from the death penalty and released after his family paid the required blood money.  Shammari is convicted of killing Zaid Saudi, a local national from another tribe.


A court has ordered that two thieves, who have been convicted of stealing sheep, have their right hands severed, in accordance with Sharia law.  They can appeal their sentence.



Sierra Leone: The nation plans to abolish the death penalty in the near future, according to Honorable Franklyn Bai Kargbo, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.  Kargbo issued the declaration before the United Nations Committee against Torture during a hearing session in Geneva.



Turkey: In 2002, Turkey became the first predominantly Islamic nation to abolish the death penalty for all crimes except treason during times of war or a threat to national security.  In 2004, Turkey abolished the death penalty for all crimes.  Turkey's last execution was carried out in 1984.  Now, after two separate brutal child murders, Turkey may be reconsidering the death penalty.  Public demand for the death penalty is increasing.  Government official are reluctant to reinstate the death penalty, out of fear that it will negatively impact their ability to join the European Union.



United Arab Emirates:An Asian maid has been sentenced to death by stoning for committing adultery.  While married, she was rushed to hospital with abdominal pains, when it was discovered she was pregnant.  According to local newspapers, the woman confessed in court to fortification.  She is the first person in many years to be sentenced to death by stoning, although she can appeal her sentence.



United States of America:Oklahoma inmate Charles Warner, who was scheduled to be executed on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, following Clayton Lockett, was granted a two week stay of execution, immediately following the problematic execution of Clayton.  Charles has been granted an additional six-month stay of execution so that Oklahoma can complete a thorough review of its death penalty and the execution of Clayton.  Charles' new execution date is November 13, 2014.


The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has called for a moratorium on executions in the United States, following the prolonged execution of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma.  Several anti-death penalty groups within the United States are calling for a review of the death penalty process and the postponement of all executions until Clayton's execution is fully investigated.  Anti-death penalty groups in states like Texas and Florida are calling for more transparency of the execution processes, specifically the name of the manufacturer of the state's execution drugs.  The states insist that such information must remain confidential for the safety of the supplier.


No one has been executed in Nebraska in nearly twenty years.  The state's last supply of execution drugs expired in December of 2013, leaving Nebraska with no way to even carry out an execution.  The drug, sodium thiopental, is nearly impossible for prisons to obtain, as drug manufactures will not sell to those planning to use the drugs for executions.  With the recent controversial execution in Oklahoma, law makers believe that starting up the death penalty again will be near impossible, leading some to consider if the state should ban the death penalty in order to save money.


Lawyers for former Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett are calling for a federal investigation to be conducted regarding his prolonged death, which occurred during his April 29, 2014, execution.  They are also asking that a second, independent autopsy be performed. 


In light of the execution of Clayton Lockett, Texas and Missouri have each announced they do not plan to change their current execution protocols.  They also do

not plan to postpone their upcoming scheduled executions.  Robert Campbell is scheduled to be executed in Texas on May 13, 2014, and Russell Bucklew is scheduled to be executed on May 21, 2014, in Missouri.