August 12, 2016

IDPN 2016  Issue 33


Algeria: The nation deactivated the death penalty 23 years ago, but now some citizens are calling for it to be reactivated in light of the recent kidnap, torture, and brutal murder of a four-year-old child.  The young girl was kidnapped in July while on a trip with her mother to attend an uncle’s wedding.  Police and her parents searched for 10 days before her tortured body was discovered.  She was identified through DNA testing.



Indonesia:  Charges are being filed against Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo by the Commission for Public Prosecutions for alleged unlawful executions.  According to the Commission, two of the inmates who were recently executed still had clemency applications being processed.  Prasetyo is being called careless for his actions.  If convicted, the attorney general can receive either a warning or a dishonorable discharge.



Iran: On Wednesday, August 3, 2016, 23-year-old Mostafa Salimzadeh, 27-year-old Loqman Rashidi, and 31-year-old Kaveh Sohrabi were executed by hanging in a prison in the city of Saqqez in western Iran.  All three were convicted on drug related charges.  A fourth prisoner, Majid Nazari, was also executed on Wednesday.  Maijid was executed for drug related charges in Taybad in northeastern Iran.  Two additional unnamed prisoners were also executed on Wednesday in Choubindar in northern Iran.


The execution of Shahram Amiri has been confirmed by Gholamhosein Mohseni Ejehi, a spokesman for Iran’s judiciary.  Shahram was an Iranian nuclear scientist who vanished in 2009, while on a religious pilgrimage.  Allegedly, he was kidnapped by Saudi and American spies, who questioned him about Iran’s nuclear program (US officials deny this saying he defected voluntarily).  He later walked into a Pakistani embassy in Washington DC and demanded to be returned home to Iran.  According to Shahram’s father, after returning to Iran, he was taken and held at a secret site, where he was convicted of sharing nuclear secrets with the enemy and sentenced to death.  The date of Shahram’s execution was not reported.


On Saturday, August 6, 2016, four unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging in Lakan Prison in Rasht, in northern Iran.  One of the executed prisoners was an Afghan citizen.  All were convicted on drug related charges.


On Tuesday, August 9, 2016, six individuals, 35-year-old Mohammad Abdollahi, Jahangir Razavi-Zedeh, Kamran Pourfat, Towhid Pour-Mehdi, Amir Azizi, and Gabriel Can’ani, were executed by hanging at Urmia jail in northwestern Iran.  Mohammad was a political prisoner from Bukan and sentenced to death for “Moharebeh” (waging war against God).  The crimes of the other inmates were not reported, although they were not political prisoners.


On Wednesday, August 10, 2016, two unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging at Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison.  Both were executed for murder.


On Thursday, August 11, 2016,  two unnamed individuals were executed by hanging.  Both were executed in public, although in two different cities.  The crimes of the two individuals executed were not reported.



Philippines: As lawmakers continues to debate reinstating the death penalty, they are also looking at methods to carry out executions.  Former boxing champion and current senator Manny Pacquiao has advocated for hanging to be the method of execution, while other lawmakers insist they don't care, as long as it is cheap.  President Duterte has also spoken in favor of hanging, for “shock” value.


Turkey:  President Recep Tayyip Erdogan recently announced to a rally of millions that he would approve the death penalty if parliament voted for it.  There have been calls in the nation to reinstate the death penalty following a failed military coup which killed 240 individuals, of whom 172 were civilians.