Sunday, July 22, 2007

Abolish Death Penalty in Iran

deathpenaltythailand fully supports the movement against the death penalty in every country in the world, above all in the major executing countries, China, USA, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Singapore. Humanity is diminished by every execution. Abolition will only be accomplished when it is accepted by every state.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Stoning in Iran - a Barbaric Horror

New stoning to death and hanging in Iran

Paris, 11 July 2007 : The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Iranian league for the Defence of Human Rights (LDDHI) express their deep concern at the stoning to death of a man for adultery, on 5 July 2007, in Takistan (province of Qazvin). On July 10, a spokesperson of the Judiciary confirmed the execution of Jafar Kiani, and stressed that stoning is a legal penalty in Iran.

Jafar Kiani and his partner, Ms. Mokaraameh Ebrahimi, spent 11 years in prison. They were both condemned to stoning. The execution of Mokaraameh Ebrahimi has been postponed up to now thanks to domestic and international mobilisation.
In addition, in Sistan, in the South East of the Islamic Republic, a man whose first name is Mohamad-Gol, was hanged for armed rebellion, but no information is available concerning the date of his arrest and condemnation, the circumstances of his trial, or his family name.

The spokesperson of the Judiciary also announced on 10 July that 20 “thugs” condemned to death will be hanged in the coming days and that 15 other “thugs” may be condemned to death shortly.

Public hanging is generally used as the method of execution in the Islamic Republic of Iran, while stoning is prescribed in certain cases, including adultery (Art. 83 of the Islamic Criminal Code). The Code prescribes that men be buried up to their waist, women up to their chest (Art. 102). The size of the stones, which must not be too large so as to kill the person immediately but not too small either, is described in article 104.

Stoning is an inhuman and degrading punishment violating Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, ratified by the Islamic Republic, which states that «No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment ». Numerous UN bodies, including the UN Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee against Torture and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture have called for the abolition of corporal punishment.

With regard to the death by stoning, an order was reportedly made by the Iranian Judiciary in 2003 not to carry out death by stoning anymore. However, the July 5 execution by stoning is the second one since that order was made.

“We vigorously condemn the recent executions in Iran. They bring the execution toll since the beginning of the year to more than one hundred”, declared Karim Lahidji, Vice-president of FIDH and President of LDDHI. “We urge the Iranian authorities to adopt an immediate moratorium on all executions and, as a first minimal step, to pass a law prohibiting the death by stoning”, he concluded.

In Iran, the death penalty is generally pronounced after blatantly unfair trials, the executions are carried out in public, and the death sentence is not restricted to the “most serious crimes”, as required under international law. Those circumstances make an immediate moratorium on executions all the more urgent.

Little by Little - Exemption for Pregnant Women

Pregnant women exempted from death row in Thailand

Legislators on Wednesday amended the criminal code to exempt pregnant women from the death penalty.

The National Legislative Assembly approved an amendment to the Criminal Case Procedural Code to make a life sentence the maximum penalty allowed for women who are pregnant when on trial.

Under the previous code, pregnant women were eligible for capital punishment but were allowed at least one year on death row before the execution was carried out to spare the life of the child.

The death penalty is rarely carried out in Thailand, a Buddhist country.

Another amendment to the criminal code will require Thai jails to provide facilities for prison moms to take care of their children for at least three years after birth

At the UN Crime Prevention Congress in Bangkok, 2004, the then Permanent Secretary of the Justice Department declared that 'Thailand does not execute women'

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Second Thoughts on an Executioner - Chavoret Jaruboon

Addendum to 'The Last Executioner' (see below)

The fascinating biography of Susan Aldous, ‘The Angel of Bang Kwang’ (Maverick House, 2007; widely available in Bangkok bookshops) gives a complementary picture of Chavoret Jaruboon. Susan has devoted herself to the inmates of Bang Kwang, and the inmates include the staff of the prison as well as prisoners, with a fierce generosity. She describes him as ‘one of the most honest and practical people I know ..who always tries to be fair and respectable to his charges’. He was to become her friend and biggest advocate within the prison and cooperated with her on several projects.

One senses the tragedy of a fair and honest man who has been doomed to take on the tragic guilt of carrying out judicial killing on behalf of others who sleep easily at night by reducing capital punishment to the paperwork of a judicial decision, while hiding the awful reality of the execution process.