January 8, 2016

IDPN 2016  Issue 2


Iran: On Thursday, December 31, 2015, a total of eight unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging.  Amir Ahmadi, Jahangir Saeedi, Javad Rahnama, Reza Mohammadpour, Javad Gharehbaghi, and Hossein Hassanzadeh were all executed at Tabriz Central Prison in northern Iran on drug related charges, while two young prisoners were hanged at Mashhad’s Vakilabad Prison, also in northern Iran.  The two young prisoners were executed on drug related charges.


On Saturday, January 2, 2016, Mehdi Ranjkesh was executed by hanging at Khorramabad’s Parson Prison in central Iran.  He was executed on drug related charges.  Mehdi is allegedly mentally and physically disabled, who alleged that he was denied proper medical treatment in prison.


On Monday, January 4, 2016, Abbas Bazari Jamkhaneh was executed by public hanging in Miandoroud in northern Iran.  He was executed for murdering another individual.  Also executed on Monday, was an unnamed 50-year-old in Noshahr, a port city in northern Iran.  He was also accused of murder.


On Wednesday, January 6, 2016, three unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging in Nazarabad.  Their crimes were also not reported.  Also on Wednesday, three men - Tofigh Mohammadfar, Hossein Zadegan Eskandar, and Amir Ali Zadegan Eskandar - and one women - Zahra Nemati - were executed by hanging at Tabriz Central prison.  The prisoners were convicted on drug and murder charges.


On Thursday, January 7, 2016, a 25-year-old unnamed prisoner was executed by hanging in public in Shabestar.  His crimes were not reported.



Pakistan:  A total of 301 individuals were executed in the nation in 2015.  There are at least 5,145 individuals remaining on death row in Pakistan, 42 of which are women.  Most of those executed have spent over 20 years on death row.



Qatar:  Five men have been sentenced to death in absentia.  They were sentenced to death for the murder of their boss in January of 2014.  According to witnesses, Rebon Khan, Din Islam Aziz al-Rahman, Muhammad Rashid Muhammad, Muhammad Ruseil, and Sahtaj Sheikh, approached a home under construction. They forced most of the employees into a room, shutting them in.  The employees could hear loud voices and the screams of their boss, but they were too scared to call the police.



Saudi Arabia:  On Saturday, January 2, 2016, a total of 47 individuals were executed throughout the kingdom.  The majority of those executed were convicted of involvement with Al Qaeda, who led a wave of attacks approximately 10 years ago.  


One of the 47 men executed was Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shiite cleric, who has publicly spoken and advocated for Shiite rights and against its oppression.  Nimr was accused of fueling dissent among Shiites in Saudi Arabia.  Executions in the kingdom are traditionally carried out by beheading.


Another of the 47 men executed as Adel al-Dhubaiti, who was convicted of attacking Frank Gardner, a BBC security correspondent, and his cameraman Simon Cumbers.  Simon died in the attack, while Frank was left paralyzed.  The two men were ambushed in June of 2014, while reporting on al-Qaeda in a small town near the capital.


International human rights organizations have estimated that that kingdom has executed at least 157 individuals in 2015.  This is the highest year-end figure in two decades.



Syria:  A 15-year-old unnamed teenager was executed by being thrown off the roof of a tall building in Deir ez-Sor, by the Islamic State.  The teenager was arrested inside the home of Abu Zaid al-Jazrawi, a leader within the Islamic State.  Abu was also sentenced to death, although he was spared the brutal execution given to the teenager.  Abu has been stripped of his title and sent to fight on the front lines in Iraq.


In Raqqa, a 20-year-old member of the Islamic State has executed his own mother in public.  The unnamed women was accused by her son of apostasy for attempting to persuade her son to leave the Islamic State with her.  



United States of America:  On Thursday, January 7, 2016, Oscar Ray Bolin, Jr. was executed by the state of Florida.  Oscar was 53 years of age.  He was pronounced dead at 10:16 pm EST, after appeals delayed his execution for several hours.  He was executed for the rape and murder of 17-year-old Stephanie Anne Collins, 25-year-old Natalie “Blanche” Holley, and 26-year-old Teri Lynne Matthews.  All three women were kidnapped, raped, and murdered in Florida in 1986.  Read Oscar’s story here.


Scott Peterson, a death row inmate in California convicted of killing his eight-month pregnant wife Laci Peterson on Christmas Eve 2002, is appealing his sentence.  He argues in his appeal that his “celebrity defense attorney” failed to fulfill his promise to jurors of proving that Scott was “stone cole innocent.”  He also argues that he should be granted a new trial as the jury who convicted him contained an improper juror.  One of the jurors, who was pregnant, had previously experienced a crime which endangered the life of her and her unborn child. 


The Pennsylvania State Supreme Court has upheld Governor Tom Wolf’s moratorium on executions in the state.  Governor Wolf has stated that he will halt all executions in the state until a study conducted by the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Commission on Capital Punishment is completed.  The study began in 2011.