March 13, 2015

IDPN 2015  Issue 11


Egypt: On Saturday, March 7, 2015, Mahmoud Ramadan was executed by hanging.  Mahmoud was a supporter of former President Mohammed Morsi, who was overthrown in 2013.  Ramadan had been convicted of murder and was an alleged member of the Muslim Brotherhood and was responsible for an incident in Alexandria in which youths were thrown from a building.



Iran: On Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 21 prisoners were executed.  Six of the 21 prisoners, Hamed Ahmadi, Hadi Husseini, Kamal Mollie, Sedigh Mohammadi, and Jahangir and Jamshid Dehghani,  were Sunni Kurds, charged with Moharebeh, acting against national security, and propaganda against the regime of Iran.  The remaining 15 prisoners were not named.  They were hanged in Ghezel Hesar prison for various drug-related offenses.  



Iraq: According to pictures posted on social media, members of the Islamic State have executed by beheading three men accused of being gay.  The execution was carried out in public, with the condemned blindfolded.  The execution took place in the city of Nineveh in northern Iraq.



Pakistan:Munawar Ali Narejo was scheduled to be executed early in the morning of Tuesday, March 3, 2015.  Munawar was convicted and sentenced to be hanged to death for a triple murder during a kidnapping.  The execution was stopped at the last minute by the family of victims, who was willing to reach a compromise.


With over 8,000 prisoners on death row in the nation, the Pakistani government has completely lifted the moratorium on executions.  The government lifted the moratorium for those convicted on terror related offenses following a massive school shooting in December of last year.  Now, all those on death row are eligible to have their executions carried out after completing their appeals.


At the age of 14, Shafqat Hussain was allegedly tortured for nine days before confessing to a murder.  Two months ago, he was scheduled to be executed, however his execution was postponed after international outcry regarding the execution of someone who was a juvenile at the time of the crime.  He has now been rescheduled for execution.  


On Thursday, March 12, 2015, Muhammed Siddique was executed by hanging at District jail Toba Tek Singh.  Muhammed was convicted of killing three people during an indiscriminate shooting at a cinema in 2004.


On Friday, March 13, 2015, two men, Sajid alias Taaroo and Muhammed Akhtar Urfand were executed by hanging in Faisalabad jail.  Sajid was executed for his part in a murder, while Muhammed was executed for rape.



Papua New Guinea: The nation’s government is looking into abandoning the death penalty, just two years after they brought it back.  In May of 2013, the death penalty was reinstated following a slew of witch killings and gang rapes.  Now, due to growing international outrage against the use of capital punishment, the government is reconsidering their decision.



Saudi Arabia:On Monday, March 9, 2015, 39-year-old Filipino worker Joven Esteva was executed by beheading for murdering his employer.  He also injured his employer’s son during the attack.


Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal has payed 5 million riyals ($1.33 million) to save the life of a man, Al Aqili on death row for murder. The prince offered little explanation for his action saying that although he does not usually interfere with legal cases, he did not want Al Aqili executed.



Suriname:The Parliament of Suriname has officially abolished the death penalty in the nation’s new criminal code.  The last execution carried out in the country was in 1982.  The man, Wilfred Hawker, was a sergeant and found guilty of treason.  He was executed by a firing squad.



United States of America: On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, Manuel Vasquez was executed by the state of Texas shortly after 6 pm CDT.  Manuel was 46 years of age and an alleged member of the Mexican Mafia.  He was executed for his part in the murder of 51-year-old Juanita Ybarra.  Read his story here.


Following Manuel’s execution, the state of Texas only has enough execution drugs for one more execution.  Hampering the state’s ability to obtain new drugs is a judge’s order from last year requiring that the name of the pharmacy providing the drugs must be made public.  Texas has not yet done so, as they are appealing the ruling, citing security reasons.  Previously, Texas had named its supplier, who stopped providing the drugs after receiving hate mail and death threats.  Texas does not have a secondary method for carrying out executions.


The Tennessee Supreme Court has ruled that the state does not have to provide the names of the execution team, including the pharmacist who prepares the execution drugs, to the lawyers of death row inmates.  The Court stated that the names of the execution team were not relevant to questions over the constitutionality of the execution protocol.


On Wednesday, March 11, 2015, the Alabama House of Representatives voted to keep the names of the execution drug suppliers secret and to bring back the electric chair if the state is unable to obtain the necessary drugs for lethal injections.  The bill will now go before the Alabama Senate.