January 2, 2015

IDPN 2015  Issue 01


China:Three people, one from mainland China, one from Hong Kong, and one from Japan, have each been sentenced to death for trafficking crystal methamphetamine into the nation.  Three others, two from South Korea and one from Taiwan, were also arrested and sentenced to life in prison.


Eighteen years ago, a Chinese teenager was wrongfully executed for the rape and murder of a women.  He has since been cleared of any wrongdoing.  His family will receive just over $330,000 in compensation.



Iran: On Sunday, December 14, 2014, eight prisoners were secretly executed by hanging in Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.  The names and crimes of the inmates were not released.  In the same prison on Wednesday, December 17, 2014, two other inmates were also hanged.  Again, their names and crimes were not released.  On Tuesday, December 16, 2014, an unnamed prisoner was executed by hanging at the central prison of Qazvin.


On Tuesday, December 23, 2014, a 26-year-old unnamed man was executed by hanging in the prison of Mashhad in Northeastern Iran.  The man was convicted of murdering his brother-in-law.


On Thursday, December 25, 2014, Christmas Day, at least seven individuals were executed by hanging at the Adelabad Prison in Shiraz.  Their names and crimes were not released.


On Monday, December 29, 2014, seven prisoners were secretly executed by hanging in Orumeih in northwestern Iran.  The names of prisoners were not released, nor was information on their crimes.



Jordan: Following an eight-year moratorium on the death penalty, 11 men were executed by hanging on Sunday, December 21, 2014.  All eleven men were convicted of unrelated murders.  According to Interior Minister Hussein Majali, the nation has once again begun performing executions because the public believes that the lack of executions has contributed to the rise in crime.



Mauritania: Mohamed Cheikh Ould Mohamed has been sentenced to death for writing an article that was deemed blasphemous of Islam.  It is the nation’s first death sentence of apostasy.  Mohamed fainted when the ruling was read.



Nigeria: Olowookere Según and Morakinya Sunday were convicted and sentenced to death for attacking the home of a police officer and stealing fowls, among other items.  During questioning, the men also allegedly confessed to another robbery.


Fifty-four soldiers have been sentenced to death after being convicted of disobeying orders and conspiring to commit mutiny.



Pakistan:Days after the Pakistani government lifted the moratorium on executions, Pakistan carried out its first executions in Faisalabad jail.  Aqeel alias Dr Usman, was a former serviceman found guilty of attacking Rawalpindi’s Army General Headquarters in 2009.  Also in 2009, he attacked the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team.  Arcadia Mehmood was convicted of attempting to assassinate former president and army chief Pervez Musharraf in 2003.  Both men were executed by hanging.  Pakistan ended the moratorium on executions for terror-related cases, following the attack by the Pakistani Taliban on a school in Peshawar, which resulted in the deaht of 148 individuals, most of them children.  The United Nations and human right groups have opposed the resumption of executions.


On Sunday, December 21, 2014, Pakistan executed four terror convicts, Zubair Ahmed, Rasheed Qureshi, Ghulam Sarwar Bhatti, and Eakhlaque Ahmed, in Faisalabad.  They were all convicted of an attack on former military leader and President Pervez Musharraf.


On Wednesday, December 31, 2014, Niaz Muhamamd was executed by hanging in the Central Jail in Peshawar.  Niaz was convicted of orchestrating an attempted murder from former General Pervez Musharraf in 2003.



Saudi Arabia: On Thursday, December 25, 2014, Ismail Khan Sayed, a Pakistani man, was executed by beheading.  He was executed for trafficking heroin.


On January 1, 2015, Malik bin Said al-Sayaari was the first person executed in the nation in 2015.  Malik was executed by beheading for smuggling hashish into the country.  Also executed on January 1, 2015, was Hussein al-Dussari, who was beheaded in Riyadh.  Hussein was executed for killing a policeman who was attempting to arrest him.  A total of 87 executions were carried out in Saudi Arabia in 2014, an increase from 78 in 2013.



Somalia: An unnamed young man has been executed by Al-Shabaab militants.  The young man was convicted of spying for the Federal Government of Somalia.  Al-Shabaab militants are fighting to topple the government of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.



United States of America:Joe Heaton, a US district judge for the western district of Oklahoma has ruled that Oklahoma is allowed to restrict press access to executions.  Judge Heaton said that such an issue is for the members of the Oklahoma legislature.  Following the controversial execution of Clayton Lockett on April 29, 2014, Oklahoma has revamped its execution protocol, which has included a reduction of media witnesses, from 12 to five.  Additionally, the media will not be able to observe the intravenous lines being placed, the audio to the execution chamber will be turned off after the prisoner makes their final statement, and observation of the execution will end if the inmate is not unconscious within five minutes of being injected.


Following the extended execution of Joseph Wood in Arizona, the state has announced that they plan to change the drugs used in executions.  Arizona officials plan to try and obtain pentobarbital or Sodium Pentothal for use in executions.  If they are unable to do so, they plan to use a three-drug combination that has successfully been use numerous times in Florida.


Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland has commuted the death sentences of the remaining four inmates on death row in the state.  Read the full story here.