03 May, 2007

The death penalty - it ?s not dead and it?s killing thousands every year...

So, did you think the death penalty is a thing of the past? Maybe that it died out with witch burning (or at least after major miscarriages of justice showed how fallible capital punishment is)?

Think again !

A global survey of executions in 2006, shows that at least 1,591 people were executed in 25 countries last year - the majority in China (1,010), Iran (177), Pakistan (82), Iraq (65), Sudan (65) and USA (53) - but that these are only minimum figures. China, for example, refuses to even publish execution statistics and it secretly executes 7,000-8,000 each year.

Do they get what they deserve? Well, this is what it can involve:

  • A man in Somalia was publicly stabbed to death after being hooded and tied to a stake
  • A Sri Lankan man was found to be still alive and moving by morgue staff after being hanged in Kuwait - he died five hours after the hanging
  • In Japan a man was taken to the gallows in a wheelchair
  • In Iran, two people (a man and a woman) were stoned to death - stoning was made the punishment because they were accused of adultery

Worldwide: New report shows world executions down, but 'disturbing revival' amongst minority of countries

Pakistan has world's biggest death row - appeal for 'death row families' from Amjad Hussain, brother of Briton released from Pakistan, details here.

Two weeks after his 18th birthday in 2006, Sina Paymard was taken to the gallows to be executed in Iran.

As he
stood there with a noose around his neck, he was asked for his final request. He said that he would like to play the ney – a Middle Eastern flute.

Relatives of the murder victim, who were there to witness the execution, were
so moved by his music that they agreed to accept the payment of diyeh (blood money) instead of retribution by death, as is allowed under Iranian law. The noose was removed and he was taken down from the gallows.

Sina Paymard was granted a stay of execution while his family and his victim’s family negotiated payment of diyeh.

Although Sina Paymard remains today under sentence of death in Reja’i Shahr prison in Karaj, his story
offers a rare glimmer of humanity in the brutal world of state killings.Details here.

One of the latest shocking cases we’ve come across involves a 17-year-old Kurdish girl called Du’a Khalil Aswad who was stoned to death in Iraq last month. This was a so-called ‘honour killing’ because she and a boy had supposedly brought shame on their community. Horrifically, local security people reportedly stood by and let the stoning happen.

Amnesty International is appalled by the killing of Du’a Khalil Aswad, aged about 17, who was stoned to death on or around 7 April 2007 for a so-called honour crime. A member of Iraq’s Yezidi religious minority from the village of Bahzan in northern Iraq, she was killed by a group of eight or nine men and in the presence of a large crowd in the town of Bashika, near the city of Mosul. Some of her relatives are said to have participated in the killing. Full story, check out here.

And, there’s a disturbing set of photos of Du'a Khalil after she’d been stoned here.

There is a way in which you can take action on other cases to help prevent further executions. One such case is the case of Delara Darabi, the 19-year-old woman in Iran who could be executed within weeks . We are asking people to go to the link and send appeals to the Iranian government to urgently stop this execution. Please check out Delara’s case and spread the word to as many people as possible here.

Youtube censors the stoning video, you can still watch the uncensored video here.

(WARNING - EXTREMELY GRUESOME *** Viewer’s Discretion Advised!!)

Related links :

Official web page of the Save Delara!™ campaign.
International Campaign against killings and stoning of women in Kurdistan- Petition
STOP honour killings.

Kurdistan: Demonstration against public stoning - Images

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Blogger joanne said...

Please sign and publicise this petition started by progressive Kurds for justice for Du'a and an end to the culture of 'honour'.


May 03, 2007 8:00 PM  
Blogger Save DELARA DARABI! said...

Thanks for writing about Delara Darabi. We are doing everything possible to save this young talented girl's life.

You can find out more about her at the offical website of the SaveDelara campaign, www.SaveDelara.com

May 03, 2007 10:16 PM  
Blogger Novlangue said...

How many executions were there in Darfur? Somalia? Congo?

May 04, 2007 7:08 PM  

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