April 29, 2016

IDPN 2016  Issue 18


Iran: A 31-year-old man, identified by initials only, was executed by hanging on Wednesday, April 20, 2016.  The execution took place in Bandar Abbas Central Prison in central Iran.  The crime for which the man was executed was not reported.


On Saturday, April 23, 2016, 30-year-old Jamshid Dehvari, 35-year-old Sadeq Rigi, 22-year-old Mohammad Sanchouli, and at least two other unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging in Zahedan Central Prison in south eastern Iran.  Their crimes were not reported.


On Sunday, April 24, 2016, an unnamed 27-year-old prisoner was executed by hanging in a prison in Sari in northern Iran.  Another unnamed prisoner was also executed in the same prison on Sunday.  Neither inmate had their crime reported.


On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, three unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging in Zahedan Central Prison in south eastern Iran.  Their crimes were not reported.  An unnamed fourth man was also executed on Tuesday in Qazvin Central Prison.  His crime was not reported.


On Wednesday, April 27, 2016, six inmates were executed in Rajai Shahr prison of Karaj.  Two of the inmates were identified as Kazem Salimi and Jamshid Nouripour, while the remaining four inmates were not identified.  All the condemned were convicted of murder.



Mauritania:  The death sentence of a blogger has been upheld by an appeals court.  The blogger, Cheikh Ould Mohamed Ould Mkheitir has been convicted of blasphemy after posting an article online that was considered blasphemous.  His charge, however, has been reduced from apostasy to infidel, after he repented.



Pakistan: On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, Tahir and Imran were executed by hanging at Central Jail Faisalabad.  Both men were convicted of the murder of four individuals in Jaranwala in 2005.  They were executed after their appeals for mercy had been rejected by President Mammon Hussain.


On Thursday, April 28, 2016, Ali Raza and Farhad were executed by hanging in the Central Jail Haripur.  Ali was convicted of a 2004 murder, while Farhad was convicted of murder in 1997.



Saudi Arabia:  On Friday, April 22, 2016, Shah Zaman Khan Sayyed, a Pakistani national, was executed by beheading in the Riyadh region.  Shah had been convicted of attempting to smuggle heroin and amphetamines into the kingdom.  The execution, like many, was carried out in public.  He was the 86th individuals executed in the kingdom so far this year.



Singapore:  Thirty-year-old Jeffery Phua Han Chuan had been sentenced to death for trafficking heroin.  After three failed attempts to have his sentence reduced, the High Court has overturned his death sentence and sentenced him to life in prison.  Jeffery argued that he was addicted to ketamine, had impaired mental responsibility, and was depressed.


Sri Lanka:  President Maithripala Sirisena has commuted the sentences of 83 death row or life imprisonment inmates.  This decision came after the president received recommendations of a committee appointed to review the death penalty.  Although death penalties continue to be handed our for crimes such as murder, rape, and drug trafficking, the nation has not executed anyone since 1976, and all death sentences have been commuted to life in prison.  The national also voted last year to support a UN resolution for a moratorium on the death penalty.



Taiwan: On Monday, April 25, 2016, President Ma Ying-jeou stated that Taiwan would not be following the example of other nations by replacing the death penalty with life imprisonment.  In defense of keeping the death penalty, the president stated that the public would not likely be in favor of providing lifelong support for those convicted of horrible crimes.  Additionally, prison population management would likely become a problem and, addressing human rights concerns, the president argued that placing criminals in prison for the rest of their lives is no less harmful than executing them.  Despite keeping the death penalty, the nation has eliminated laws that  prescribed the death penalty as the sole punishment and is in the process of reviewing laws that have the deaht penalty as an option.  These changes have resulted in a great reduction of the number of individuals sentenced to death.



United States of America: Daniel Lucas was executed by the state of Georgia on Wednesday, April 27, 2016.  Daniel was 37 years of age.  He was executed for the murders of 37-year-old Steven Moss and his two children, 11-year-old Bryan and 15-year-old Kristin, in their Macon, Georgia home.  Read more about Daniel and his execution here.


Gary Bradford Cone, a death row inmate in Tennessee, died on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at a hospital in Nashville.  He was 67 years of age and a Vietnam War veteran.  Gary died of natural causes.  Gary was sentenced to death in 1982 for the murder of 93-year-old Shipley Todd and his wife, 79-year-old Cleopatra Todd, on August 10, 1980, during a robbery of their Memphis, Tennessee home.


On Sunday, April 24, 2016, Max Alexander Soffar, a death row inmate in Texas, died in the Polunksy Unit infirmary, where Max was being treated for liver cancer.  Max was 60 years of age.  He was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of 17-year-old Arden Alane Felsher, 25-year-old Stephen Allen Sims, and 17-year-old Tommy Lee Temple, at a bowling alley in Houston, Texas in 1980.  A fourth person was also shot at the bowling alley, although they survived their injuries.



Vietnam:  Fifty-three-year-old Nguyen Thi Thuy Trang, along with Le Xuan Phu, Phan Thi Lien, and Pornpirom Upapong have all been sentenced to death for trafficking drugs.  Trang, Phu, and Lien are all Vietnamese nationals, while Upapong is from Thailand.  Police are still searching for others involved in trafficking drugs with the women.