May 13, 2016
IDPN 2016 Issue 20
Afghanistan: Two women have been publicly executed in northern Afghanistan by the Taliban. One of the women, 22-year-old Rabia, was the mother of two children and pregnant with a third. She was accused by her husband of adultery and convicted by the Taliban immediately. She was executed by being shot three times. Rabia’s family alleged that her husband invented the adultery charges in order to inherit her interest in the family land. Rabia’s family also claims that they were not allowed to participate in her funeral. The second women is believed to have been executed some time ago, although it is only now coming to light. The unknown woman is believed to have been convicted of murdering her husband. She was also shot to death.
On Sunday, May 8, 2016, six individuals were executed by hanging in Pule Charkhi prison on the outskirts of Kabul. They were all convicted on charges of terrorism. The executions were part of the government’s tough new policy towards the Taliban, which is in retaliation of a recent suicide attack that killed at least 64 individuals.
Australia: One year after the execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran in Indonesia for drug trafficking, the Australian government is considering a law which would prohibit the federal police from sharing any information regarding drug crimes if that that information could result in a death sentence. The Australian Federal Police have been widely criticized for their role in the apprehension of Andrew, Myuran, and the rest of the Bali 9 members.
Bangladesh: Seventy-three-year-old Motiur Rahman Nizami, the former commander of the Al-Badr militia, was executed by hanging at Dhaka Central Jail on Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Nizami was also a chief of Jamaat-e-Islami. As commander of Al-Badr, he was convicted of committing crimes against humanity as he fought against Bangladesh to preserve part of Pakistan.
Belarus: Siarhei Ivanou was sentenced to death in 2015 for the rape and murder of a 19-year-old girl in August of 2013. Now it is believed that he has been executed in Valadarksi Street Prison. According to his cell mate, Ivanou was taken from his cell on April 18 and not seen again. His cell mate was told to collect Ivanou’s belongings. Information on executions in the nation remain closely guarded and little is known about the execution.
Egypt: A court has recommended that former president Mohamed Morsi not be sentenced to death for espionage. Morsi, a proponent of the Muslim Brotherhood, ruled Egypt from 2012 until July 2013, when he was overthrown and detained by the military. Morsi has been accused and convicted of suppling Qatar, a backer of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, with classified documents. Six of Morsi’s codefendants were also convicted of espionage and it has been recommended that they be executed. Their death sentences have not yet been formally approved. Three of the six individuals are journalists.
Iran: On Sunday, May 8, 2016, Fardin R. was executed by public hanging in “Azadi” (Liberty) Square in Kermanshah in western Iran. Fardin was convicted moharebeh, or waging war against God, by participating in an armed robbery. No one was killed during the robbery, however, several people were injured. Also executed on Sunday was Mohsen Baha’odini. Mohsen was executed by hanging in Minab prison is southern Iran. His crime was not reported. Four others, who were not named, were also executed by hanging at Dastgerd Prison. Their crimes were not reported.
On Monday, May 9, 2016, two prisoners - Nasser Saidi (Jafari) and Mehdi Nabashi (Nabashian) - were executed by hanging in Orumieh (Urmia) prison in northwest Iran. Their crimes were not reported.
On Wednesday, May 11, 2016, two prisoners, one identified as Reza Cheshmenour with the other remaining unidentified, were executed by hanging at Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison in northern Iran. Their crimes were not reported.
Iraq: The Islamic State reportedly buried 45 of its member alive in Nineveh Province. They were brutally murdered after they escaped from a Qasbet Bashir battles in southern Kirkuk.
Morocco: Two men have been sentenced to death for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of a 7-year-old girl, which occurred last year. The girl disappeared from her grandfather’s house and her body was found days later. One of the men convicted is the girl’s half brother. Morocco has not carried out an execution since 1993. There are currently around 120 individuals on death row in the nation.
North Korea: Earlier this year, South Korean intelligence officials stated that they believed North Korean military chief Ri Yong Gil had been executed when he failed to appear at two key national meetings. Ri has recently resurfaced, being spotted in state media photos. He also appears to have received three new posts. The reason for his disappearance is unknown.
Pakistan: On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Captain Zafar Iqbal and Mirza Shafique Ahmed were executed by hanging. Iqbal was convicted of killing 11 individuals within a family on January 10, 1994. Ahmed was convicted of a 1993, murder. Also on Tuesday, Mansha was executed by hanging in the Central Jail Sahiwal. Mansha was convicted of killing a man in 2001 during an attempted robbery.
Saudi Arabia: On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, Mohsen al-Dosari was executed by beheading. He was convicted of murdering another Saudi national by stabbing him to death after the two had a dispute. Mohsen became the 92nd individual executed so far this year in the kingdom.
Syria: On Friday, May 6, 2016, five men were killed by the Islamic State in Abu Kamal in eastern Syria. They were charged with apostasy and violating the regulations of the Islamic State and convicted by a Sharia court. The five men were not identified by name, only as Iraqi nationals.
On Saturday, May 7, 2016, a young, unnamed man was murdered by the Islamic State by being thrown off a building in Manbij, in northern Syria. He was charged with homosexuality and convicted by a Sharia Court. The murder was carried out publicly.
Taiwan: On Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 23-year-old Cheng Chieh was executed by firing squad in a jail outside of Taipei shortly before 9 pm local time. Cheng had been convicted of killing four individuals during a random stabbing spree on a subway in 2014. Another 22 individuals were injured in the spree.
United States of America: On Wednesday, May 11, 2016, Missouri executed Earl Forrest. He was 66 years of age. He was executed for the murders of Michael Wells, Harriet Smith, and Deputy Sharon Joann Barnes on December 9, 2002, in Salem, Missouri. To read more about Earl, click here.
Vernon Madison was scheduled to be executed in Alabama on Thursday, May 12, 2016. His execution was stayed by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and then upheld by an equally split (4-4) Supreme Court of the United States. Vernon’s lawyers successfully argued that Vernon has been made incompetent by dementia and multiple strokes during his time spent on the death row and that he is no longer able to understand why he is being executed. Read more about Vernon here.
The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to hear a claim from California inmate Richard Boyer, who attempted to argue that California’s long and continuing delay in carrying out the death penalty is unconstitutional and amounts cruel and unusual punishment. Richard has been on death row for 32 years, while California has not carried out any executions since 2006. Justice Stephen Breyer supported hearing the case and strongly suggested that he would find in favor of Richard, as he has repeatedly called for a re-examination of the validity of the death penalty in the United States.
Shortly after Florida legislatures passed a new death penalty sentencing law, after the Supreme Court of the United States had ruled that their previous method was unconstitutional, Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch ruled that the new death penalty sentencing procedure was unconstitutional because it did not require an unanimously jury verdict. Under the new method, 10 out of 12 jurors must agree on the death sentence for a defendant. Judge Hirsch was ruling on the case of an individual awaiting trial for first degree murder. The Florida Supreme Court is currently deciding the fate of the already 390 inmates currently on death row. The inmates are arguing that because the Supreme Court of the United States found Florida’s sentencing procedure constitutional, that their sentences should be overturned to life in prison, however the Supreme Court never stated that their decision was retroactive. Nor did the Supreme Court issue and opinion on if a jury must unanimously agree on a verdict.