October 26, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 43
Bangladesh: A new Narcotics Control Bill has been passed by parliament that carries a death sentence or a term of life imprisonment for “carrying, producing, trading, and using more than five grams of yaba, and more than 25 grams of heroin and cocaine.” Previously, the maximum sentence was 15 years in prison.
Iran: The Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences of Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Esmail Ghasemi. Both were convicted of “spreading corruption on earth.” Ghasemi has been dubbed the “Sultan of Coins” after being arrested for holding two tons of gold coins in an attempt to manipulate the local currency.
Four environmental activist nationals could face the death penalty after being charged with “corruption on earth.” The four were initially arrested for espionage. Over a dozen environmental activists have already been arrested this year with charges of spying for foreign intelligence agencies.
Iraq: On Wednesday, October 17, 2018, the Iraqi Justice Ministry announced that the death sentences against six individuals has been carried out. All were convicted on terrorism charges. Their names were nor reported.
On Saturday, October 20, 2018, 31-year-old Mehdi Mirshekar was executed by hanging at Zahedan Central Prison. He was convicted of rape.
On Monday, October 22, 2018, 27-year-old Meisam Saber was executed by hanging at Ardabil Central Prison. He was convicted of murder.
Pakistan: The Peshawar High Court has set aside the death sentences of 50 individuals and the prison terms of 24 others. All were convicted by a military court. Most have not yet had their crimes revealed publicly. At least two of the individuals were convicted on the basis of their confessions, with they are now alleging, are false.
Palestine: A 55-year-old Palestinian-American could face death in Palestine for treason after selling a house. The man helped facilitate the sale of a home owned by an Arab widow. It was sold to a Jewish organization. Under Jordanian law, it is consider treason to sell or rent land to Jews. The man has reached out and asked the US State Department to help him.
Saudi Arabia: Jassem bin Jassim bin Hassan al-Mutawa, Ammar bin Yusri bin Ali al-Dahim, and Murtada bin Hashim bin Mohammed al-Musawi have been executed for robbing and murdering five Indian nationals. All three men executed were Saudi nationals. The five victims - Fadvila Selim, Shajhan Abu Bakr, Akbar Hussein Bashir, Sheikh Daoud and Lasir Amir Asafa Tam - were lured to a farm where they were drugged before being killed and robbed. Most executions are carried out by beheading.
United States of America: On Wednesday, October 24, 2018, Kwame Abia Rockwell was scheduled to be executed in Texas. His execution was stayed by Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to allow time for mental health experts to examine Kwame and determine competency. Kwame was convicted of murdering 22-year-old Daniel Rojas-Torres, and 70-year-old Jerry Burnett in Fort Worth, Texas in March 2010. Shortly after being sent to prison, Kwame was diagnosed with schizophrenia, which his attorneys have argued prevents him from being executed. Read more about Kwame and his case here.