April 27, 2018

IDPN 2018 Issue 17

Algeria: Seven unnamed individuals have been convicted of spying. The leader of the group, an alleged Mossad agent for Israel, has been sentenced to death, while the six others, who are of African origin, were given 10 year jail sentences.



Iran: On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, eight prisoners were executed by hanging at Rajai Shahr Prison. One of the prisoners was identified as Akbar Eftekhari, who had spent the past 14 years in prison on murder charges. Two others were identified as Afghan nationals. It is believed that most of those executed were convicted of murder, although exact crimes and the remaining names were not reported.

On Monday, April 23, 2018, four prisoners were executed by handing at Urmia Central Prison. The prisoners were identified as Tayyeb Sheikhnejad Moukeri, Qader Mohammad Hassan, Yadollah Samadi, and Eslam Rashidi. All were convicted of murder. Three other unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging at Keramanshah, with another was executed at Ilam.



Iraq: An unnamed defendant has been sentenced to death for being a member of the Islamic State. Specifically, the man was convicted of being a legislative judge, who was in charge of marriage contracts for the terrorist group in the area. Hundreds of individuals have been sentenced to death for being members of the Islamic State since Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul and other areas occupied by the group.

Lamia K., a German woman of Moroccan origin, who was sentenced to death for being a member of the Islamic State, has had her death sentence commuted to life in prison. In Iraq, a life sentence is usually 20 years in prison, or 15 years with good behavior. Lamia is receiving consular assistance from the German embassy.



Nigeria: On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Kingsley Okorowande was sentenced to death by hanging for armed robbery. Kingsley robbed a woman of her laptops, handsets, jewelry, wristwatches, and money while he was armed with guns and cutlasses. The death sentence was a mandatory sentence upon being found guilty.



North Korea: Near the end of last year, six North Koreans were executed by firing squad for attempting to smuggle a phonebook out of the nation. A phonebook is considered a secret document. The six individuals, who were not named, resided in the capital, Pyongyang. They were charged with treason. Their families were exiled from the city and deported to the country.



Thailand: Twenty-seven-year-old Kittikorn Wikaha and 26-year-old Supatchai Charnsri have had their death sentences commuted to life in prison by an appeals court. The two men are convicted of murdering 26-year-old Wasin Luengjaem and stealing his iPhone on January 4, 2017. The two men have repeatedly confessed to the crime to the police and to reports, showing repentance, which justifies the commutation of the sentence. Additionally, the mother of the murder victim has stated that she holds no grudge and has asked the courts that the two men to be allowed to improve themselves.



United Arab Emirates: Dharmendra, Harwinder Singh, Ranjit Ram, Dalwinder Singh, and Such Singh, were sentenced to death after killing Virendra Chauhan in November 2011. They have now been released from death row and returned to India and their families. They were released after the family of the victim agreed to accept blood money and pardoned the five men. They were resentenced to a jail term, given credit for time served, and released.



United States of America: On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Erick Davila was executed by the state of Texas. Erick was 31 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 48-year-old Annette Stevenson, and her 5-year-old granddaughter Queshawn Stevenson. Read more about Erick and his case here.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen was prohibited last year by the Arkansas Supreme Court to hear any death penalty cases after he was photographed lying in a cot at an anti-death penalty protest. Judge Griffen then sued the court and individual Supreme Court justices arguing that they violated his constitutional rights. Upon appeal, Griffen’s lawsuit against the Arkansas Supreme Court was dismissed, however, he could still proceed with lawsuits against individual justices. Now, members of the Arkansas Supreme Court have asked the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals to lift the lower court’s ruling.

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