December 1, 2017

IDPN 2017 Issue 48

Afghanistan: On Wednesday, November 28, 2017, five unnamed individuals were executed by hanging at Kabul’s Pul-e-Charkhi prison. All five were convicted of being in a gang and kidnapping, murder, counterfeiting, and carrying illegal weapons.



Bangladesh: Eighteen years ago, on April 23, 1998, Shazneen Tasnim Rahman, a grade IX student, was raped and murdered at her residence in Dhaka. Syed Sazzad Mainuddin Hasan was convicted of her rape and murder. On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, he was executed by hanging at Kashimpur High Security Central Jail.

The sentence of death has been upheld for 139 soldiers who were convicted for their roles in a “brutal and barbaric” mutiny that resulted in the murder of dozens of top army officers. In 2013, 152 soldier were sentenced to death for the murder of 74 individuals, including 57 army officers, during a two-day attack in 2009. Of those 152, 139 had their sentences upheld, while eight had their sentences commuted to life in prison. The remaining four had their sentences acquitted. Hundreds of civilians were also arrested and charged. One hundred eight five of those arrested were given life sentences, while 45 others were acquitted. The remainder were given a variety of prison terms.



Belarus: President Alexander Lukashenko has stated that he will not suspend or prohibit the death penalty in the nation. In order to do so, would require a vote of the people. The last death penalty referendum in the nation showed that the people supported the death penalty remaining an option. The president further speculated that with the rise of crime and terrorism throughout Europe, the people of the Belarus are unlikely to vote against the death penalty in the near future.



China: Tang Zhuorong, Tang Shaokun, and Huang Haohua have been convicted of drug related offenses. They were sentenced to death and had their sentence carried out at a public square in Jieyang in southern China immediately following their trial.

Fifty-five-year-old Yao Yuzhong was sentenced to death for “digging ancient cultural sites and ancient graves” and “reselling cultural relics.” Yao, a notorious tomb raider, has been digging up graves for over 30 years. He began in elementary school, with his father. He has since risen to employe a suspected 225 grave robbers. Unauthorized digging up of tombs and taking the artifacts found within is considered theft.



Egypt: On Friday, November 25, 2017, a court sentenced seven individuals to death, and 10 others to life in prison, for the murder of 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya and for joining a terrorist organization that is linked to the Islamic State. In the same case, three others were also given 15 year prison sentences. The murder of the Christians occurred in 2015.



India: Three unidentified men have been given a death sentence for the rape and murder of 15-year-old girl. The crime occurred in July of last year. The men were all in their mid-twenties. The attack sparked protests and comparisons to the 2012 gang rape on a city bus. Both attacks have increased awareness and focus on crimes agains women.



Iran: On Sunday, November 26, 2017, three prisoners were executed by hanging at Tabriz Central Prison in northwester Iran. One of the three prisoners was identified as 30-year-old Tahir Amini. The other two were not identified. All were convicted on charges of murder.

On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, an unnamed prisoner was executed by hanging at Mashhad Prison. He was convicted of murder. His accomplice in the crime committed suicide while in prison by taking pills.

On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, at least four inmates - Hossein Alishir, Hassan Aminzadeh, Majid Feizi, and Hesam Taghizadeh - were executed by hanging at Rajaie Shahr Prison in Karaj. All were convicted of murder.



Saudi Arabia: On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, seven individuals were executed by beheading. Six of the men were Yemeni nationals who were convicted of robbery and murder. The seventh man was a Saudi national and convicted of drug smuggling. So far this year the kingdom has executed 137 individuals.



United States of America: Bobby Wayne Stone was scheduled to be executed on Friday, December 1, 2017, at the Brood River Capital Punishment Facility at the Brood River Correctional Institute in Columbia, South Carolina. Bobby’s execution has been stayed by the South Carolina Supreme Court in order to allow Bobby to complete his appeals. Additionally, South Carolina’s Department of Correction has announced that they cannot purchase the drugs needed for the lethal injection. Fifty-two-year-old Bobby is convicted of the murder of Sumter County Sheriff Sergeant Charlie Kuala on February 26, 1996. Read more about Bobby’s case here.

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