March 20, 2014
IDPN 2014 Issue 12
Indonesia: An Indonesian woman, formerly a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia, returned home last month. She has spent the last 10 years on death row in Saudi prison for "casting a magic spell on her employer and his family. "She was pardoned by King Abdullah.
Iran:On Sunday, March 16, 2014, a prisoner, identified by initials only was executed by hanging at the prison of Semnan in Northern Iran. He was convicted of murder.
Japan:The Matsue branch of the Hiroshima High Court has upheld the death penalty for 40-year-old Miyuki Ueta who is convicted of killing two men in 2009. The evidence in her case is mainly circumstantial. Miyuki owed money to 47-year-old drug truck driver Kazumi Yabe and 57-year-old electronic store owner Hideki Maruyama. Allegedly, Miyuki used sleeping pills to drug Kazumi, who she then drowning in the ocean. Hideki was drowned in a river later that year.
Saudi Arabia: There are approximately 40 Indonesian domestic workers on death row in Saudi Arabia. Indonesian women are often brought to Saudi Arabia after having been sponsored by their employers to obtain a visa. The status of their visa is tied to the person who has given them a job. The nation finds it difficult to monitor the status of domestic workers. Most of those arrested and imprisoned claim self defense against physical or sexual abuse. The nation finds it difficult to monitor the working conditions of domestic workers, many of whom work from dawn until night, with no day off, and up to 100 hours a week. They do not receive overtime pay and often lack adequate food. They sleep in kitchens or tiny rooms and receive no compensation for work related injuries. A recent agreement between Saudi Arabia and Indonesia will provide better working conditions. Workers will have access to their passports and be allowed to communicate with their families. Additionally, works will be paid monthly and have time.
Pakistan:In 2009, Asia Bibi was accused of and convicted in 2010, of blasphemy. Asia, a Catholic, was convicted of abusing two Muslim co-workers, Islam, and the prophet Muhammad. Asia denies the claims. The former Governor of Punjab Salmaan Taseer and Christian minister Shahbaz Bhatti, were both murdered for voicing their support of Asia and for calling for blasphemy laws to be reformed. In the predominantly Muslim country, religious minorities, such as Asia, often live in constant fear of punishment for their beliefs. Human rights groups assert that blasphemy laws are often misused and false charges are used to settle personal differences or to seize property and businesses.
United States of America:Ray Jasper III was executed by the state of Texas on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. He was 33 years of age. Ray was executed for the murder of David Alejandro in San Antonio, Texas.
Robert Lavern Henry was executed by the state of Florida on Thursday, March 20, 2014. He was 55 years of age. Robert was executed for the murder of 53-year-old Phyllis Harris and 35-year-old Janet Thermidor, both of whom he worked with at Deerfield Beach fabric store.
Ohio inmate Gregory Lott was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, March 19, 2014. His execution has been rescheduled to November 19, 2014. No explanation for the reprieve was given but it is suspected that the delay was granted to allow Ohio time to review their execution procedures following the controversial execution of Dennis McGuire.
Glenn Ford was released for Louisiana's famed Angola prison last week, after spending 30 years on death row for a murder he did not commit. One of the first things he wanted to do was eat. His first meal included a Krispy Kreme doughnut, from a gas station. It may not be glamorous but for a man who has had every action of life dictated to him for the past 30 years, it was an exercise of freedom.
Texas' current supply of execution drugs are set to expire at the end of the month, but they have now found a new supplier, allowing them to continue carrying out executions. Prison officials have refused to name the company from which they procured the drugs to protect the safety of the supplier.