November 28, 2014

IDPN 2014  Issue 48


Iran: On Thursday, November 20, 2014, 32-year-old H. Mirjani was publicly executed by hanging in Velayat Square in Qaemshahr.  This execution occurred one day after the United Nations condemned the rate of executions in the nation and alleged human rights abuses in the nation.  Executions in the nation have greatly increased since the new president Hassan Rouhani took power one year ago.  Over 1,000 executions have occurred since Hassan took power.


Thirty-year-old Soheil Arabi was sentenced to death for insulting the Prophet on Facebook.  His death sentence has been upheld by the Iranian Supreme Court.


On Wednesday, November 26, 2014, three prisoners, identified by initials only, were executed by hanging.  Two of the prisoners were executed in the prison of Qazvin in western Iran.  One was charged with murder, while the other was convicted of possessing and trafficking heroin.  The third was convicted of murder and hanged in the prison of Sari in northern Iran.


Also on Wednesday, two men were publicly hanged for “mischief” in Mashhad in northeastern Iran.  In a separate execution, five men were hanged in Gohardasht prison in Karaj.  Additionally, a 20-year-old male was hanged in Joghatai for murder and “immoral acts.”


On Thursday, November 27, 2014, three prisoners were publicly executed in Khorasan Razavi Province.




Nigeria: A 14-year-old child bride, Wasila Tasi’u could face execution if she is convicted of murdering four people, including her 35-year-old husband.  She allegedly laced the food she had prepared with rat poison.  Requests to try Wasila in a juvenile court have been rejected.  Nigeria last executed a juvenile offender in 1997.




Saudi Arabia: On Thursday, November 20, 2014, an unnamed Turkish man was executed by beheading for drug trafficking.


On Friday, November 21, 2014, Sami bin Yehya Gazwani and Talal bin Mousa Gazwani, both natives of Saudi Arabia, were executed by beheading for the rape of two girls, stealing cars, and taking drugs.  The Interior Ministry reported that both men had confessed to the crimes.


On Tuesday, November 25, 2014, Seyfour al-Rahman Golajan, a Pakistani, was executed by beheading for attempting to smuggle a large quantity of heroin into the country by hiding it in his gut.


A Filipino worker in the country, Jonard Langamin, was convicted and sentenced to death for killing another Filipino worker in 2008.  Jonard has now been spared execution after the family of the victim forgave him.  He will be reunited with his family, perhaps by Christmas.


Maeesh bin Al Gahdali was scheduled to be executed by beheading on Thursday, November 27, 2014.  He was convicted of murder and has had his execution postponed for six to twelve months in order to obtain the “diya” or blood money.



Somalia: Abdirashid Abdi, a soldier, was executed by firing squad for murdering a nine-year-old boy in Kismayo, a southern port city.  Prosecutor-general Hassan Yarow told reporters at the execution that soldiers who deliberately kill civilians will face the death penalty.



Syria: Two men were stoned to death in Syria by the Islamic State terrorist group on Tuesday, November 25, 2014.  The group alleged that the two men were gay.  Also on Tuesday, in a separate incident, an 18-year-old male was also stoned to death for allegedly being gay.



Thailand: Ismail Daong, Masahadi Methor, Gordae Jatae, Nimuhammud Niseng, and Hisbulloh Buesa, all Muslim separatists have been convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of four soldiers. 



United Nations: Out of the 193 member states of the United Nations, 114 of them voted in support of a resolution to establish a worldwide moratorium on the death penalty.  Thirty-six member states voted against the resolution, while 34 abstained from voting.  Since the last vote in 2012, support for the resolution has increased.  The resolution will go before the General Assembly Plenary in December, where it could be adopted.



United States of America: Two upcoming Tennessee executions have been stayed.  The execution of Edmund “Ed” Zagorski and Stephen West has been stayed as they are part of a lawsuit which is challenging the constitutionality of Tennessee’s execution protocol.  Recently, Tennessee changed their execution protocol to require the use of the electric chair, if the state was unable to obtain lethal injection drugs.  Ed and Stephen, in addition to several other death row inmates are arguing that electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment, as it causes extreme pain, which is forbidden by the 8th Amendment.  Lawyers for the men are also concerned that they will not be informed of the execution method with sufficient time to appeal.


The only inmate on death row in Wyoming, 69-year-old Dale Wayne Eaton, has had his sentence overturned by a federal judge on Thursday, November 20, 2014.  The state must decide to either grant Dale a new sentencing hearing or commute his sentence to life without parole.  They can also appeal the judge’s decision.  Dale was convicted of raping and murdering 18-year-old Lisa Marie Kimmel in 1988.


Until the investigation into prolonged execution of Arizona inmate Joseph Wood is concluded, the state and defense attorneys have agreed to a halt in the lawsuit challenging the secrecy of the execution protocol.  The lawsuit claims that death row inmates have a right, along with the public, to know specific execution protocols that are currently shielded, such as the types of drugs used and the companies that supply them.  Until the case is resolved, the state has agreed to not seek any execution warrants.


In Ohio, state legislators in the House have approved a bill that would grant 20 years of anonymity to pharmacies which supply lethal injection drugs to the state.  The sponsors of the bill believe it will help Ohio continue to carry out executions once the federal court-imposed moratorium on executions is lifted.  The bill is now headed to the State Senate for approval.