January 1, 2016

IDPN 2016  Issue 01


China: Zeng Aiyun, once a graduate student of Ziangtan University, spent 11 years of his life on China’s death row after being convicted of the 2004 murder of a fellow student.  He was released due to lack of evidence in July of 2015.  Now a judge has awarded Zeng 1.27 million yuan ($200,000).  Another student was eventually convicted as the sole perpetrator of the murder.



Iran: On Saturday, December 19, 2015, two prisoners were executed by hanging at Zahedan Central Prison.  One of the inmates, 29-year-old Abdolghani G. Rigi was executed on political charges, including Moharebeh (crimes against God).  No information was reported about the second individual executed.


On Sunday, December 20, 2015, seven individuals were executed by hanging, with two of the executions being carried out in public.  The two hanged in public, 30-year-old Mojtaba R. and 26-year-old Nemat G., were both convicted of robbery and inciting terror and insecurity.  The remaining five prisoners were not named.  They were all executed for drug related offenses.


On Monday, December 22, 2015, A. Fallah, was executed by hanging at Qazvin Central prison.  He was executed for murder.


On Tuesday, December 23, 2015, eight men were executed by hanging at Qazvin Central Prison.  Thirty-five-year-old M. Rahnama, 38-year-old M. Faryab, 40-year-old Haj Rafiee, 33-year-old A. Bagharzadeh, 35-year-old B. Chekanloo, 31-year-old S. Kalhor, 29-year-old A. Habibzadeh, and 38-year-old Gh. Morandi, were all convicted on drug related charges.


Also executed on December 23, 2015, were two prisoners, Mehdi Khorram and Ebrahim and Khorram.  Both men, in their 30s, were executed at Ghezelhesar in Karaj, in western Iran, and convicted on drug related charges.


On Thursday, December 24, 2015, eight prisoners were executed by hanging at a prison in Qazvin.  Seven of the prisoners were identified by their first name and last initial only.


On Saturday, December 26, 2015, three men, Behrouz Amiri, Rahman Kazemzadeh, and Ali Hassanvand were executed by hanging at Parsiloun Prison in Khorramabadin western Iran.  All were executed on drug related charges.



Japan:  On Friday, December 18, 2105, two death row inmate, 63-year-old Sumitoshi Tsuda and 39-year-old Kazuyuki and Wakabayashi, were executed by hanging, one week after their lawyers called for review on Japan’s death penalty.  Tsuda was convicted of the murder of his 73-year-old landlord, Akihito Shibata, along with Akihito’s brother, 71-year-old Yoshiaki and Yoshiaki’s 68-year-old wife, Toshiko, in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.


Saudi Arabia: On Tuesday, December 29, 2015, a Filipino man, Joselito Lidasan Zapanta, was publicly by beheading.  Joselito was convicted of murder and robbery.  Joselito, his family, and the Philippine government failed to raise the amount of restitution required by the victim’s family to spare Joselito’s life.


Thailand:  On Thursday, December 24, 2015, two illegal immigrants from Myanmar were sentenced to death for murdering two British backpackers, 23-year-old Hannah Withering and 24-year-old David Miller, on a resort island.  Human Rights group have accused the nation of not granting 22-year-old Win Zaw Htun and 22-year-old Zaw Lin a fair trial.  They alleged that authorities botched the investigation by failing to secure the crime scene and that the DNA evidence presented in court was questionable.  Additionally, they alleged that both men were tortured while in police custody, leading to their confessions, which they later redacted.