Showing posts with label Death Penalty International. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Death Penalty International. Show all posts

August 5, 2016

Iran Hangs Teenager Over Anal Sex






[The following report was published on Amnesty International on Aug. 2, 2016]

Amnesty International has revealed that a teenager was executed in Iran after being convicted of the rape of another boy, the first confirmed execution of a juvenile offender in the country this year.

The organization, which has been carrying out extensive research into the situation of juvenile offenders on death row in Iran, found that Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Arak’s Prison in Markazi Province on 18 July, after being convicted of “lavat-e be onf” (forced male to male anal intercourse) in early 2015. The execution went ahead even though the Office of the Head of the Judiciary had promised his family that they would review the case on 15 September 2016.

Iran has proved that its sickening enthusiasm for putting juveniles to death, in contravention of international law, knows no bounds 

“Iran has proved that its sickening enthusiasm for putting juveniles to death, in contravention of international law, knows no bounds. Hassan Afshar was a 17-year-old high school student when he was arrested. He had no access to a lawyer and the judiciary rushed through the investigation and prosecution, convicting and sentencing him to death within two months of his arrest as though they could not execute him quickly enough,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International

“In a cruel stroke of irony, officials did not inform Hassan Afshar of his death sentence for around seven months while he was held in a juvenile detention facility because they did not want to cause him distress – and yet astonishingly were still prepared to execute him. With this execution, Iranian authorities have demonstrated once again their callous disregard for human rights.”

Just days after Hassan Afshar was executed, the authorities scheduled Alireza Tajiki, another youth who was under 18 at the time of his alleged offence, for execution. The implementation of his death sentence, which had been scheduled to take place on 3 August was, however, postponed yesterday following public pressure.

“While we welcome the stay of execution for Alireza Tajiki, his life has been saved for the moment because of public pressure and not because the Iranian authorities are seriously considering stopping the horrendous practice of executing juveniles. This is illustrated by the fact that just two weeks ago Hassan Afshar was hanged in anonymity – publicity should not make the difference between life and death,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.

For the 160 individuals who remain on death row in prisons across Iran for crimes allegedly committed when they were under 18, the news of yet another juvenile execution will come as a terrifying blow.

“Any one of these youths could be next in line for execution. The torment that Iran’s flawed juvenile justice system has inflicted on them will not end until the Iranian authorities commute their death sentences and amend Iran’s Penal Code to abolish the use of death penalty for all crimes committed under 18 years of age, as immediate first steps towards full abolition of this punishment,” said Magdalena Mughrabi.

Hassan Afshar was arrested in December 2014 after the authorities received a complaint accusing him and two other youths of forcing a teenage boy to have sexual intercourse with them. Hassan Afshar maintained that the sexual acts were consensual and that the complainant’s son had willingly engaged in same-sex sexual activities before.

While authorities must always investigate allegations of rape and, where sufficient admissible evidence is found, prosecute those responsible in fair trials, rape does not fall into the category of offences for which the death penalty can be imposed under international law. Furthermore, the existence of laws in Iran that criminalize consensual male to male sexual intercourse with the death penalty means that if the intercourse in this case had been deemed consensual, the teenager who accused Hassan Afshar of rape would himself have been sentenced to death. The criminalization of same-sex sexual activity between consenting adults violates international human rights law.

The Supreme Court initially overturned the sentence due to incomplete investigations but ultimately upheld it in March 2016.

Background

Male individuals who engage in same-sex anal intercourse face different punishments under Iranian criminal law depending on whether they are the “active” or “passive” partners and whether their conduct is characterized as consensual or non-consensual. If the conduct is deemed consensual, the “passive” partner of same-sex anal conduct shall be sentenced to the death penalty. The “active” partner, however, is sentenced to death only if he is married, or if he is not a Muslim and the “passive” partner is a Muslim.

If the intercourse is deemed non-consensual, the “active” partner receives the death penalty but the “passive” partner is exempted from punishment and treated as a victim. This legal framework risks creating a situation where willing “recipients” of anal intercourse may feel compelled, when targeted by the authorities, to characterize their consensual sexual activity as rape in order to avoid the death penalty.

International law, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Iran is a state party, absolutely prohibits the use of death penalty for crimes committed when the defendant was below 18 years of age.

International law restricts the application of the death penalty to the “most serious crimes”, which refers to intentional killing.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty unconditionally, for all cases and under any circumstances.

March 31, 2014

American Missionaries Partly Responsible for Africa’s “Jail and Death” Laws





“I wonder when people put money on the plate in church and make donations to missionaries they are jailing and hanging, stoning to death gay men and some women in certain parts in Africa.” adamfoxie

What is the goal of the new laws?
To criminalize homosexuality and "cleanse" these two countries' societies of gay people. In January, Nigerian President Good luck Jonathan signed a new anti-gay law that mandates 14-year prison terms for anyone in a same-sex union and 10 years for anyone who “promotes" homosexuality, including HIV/AIDS workers. In February, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni signed an even more draconian anti-gay law that provides for 14 years in jail for first-time offenders; those who commit "aggravated homosexuality" — repeated gay sex or gay sex involving a minor or someone with HIV — can get life in prison. The Ugandan law also pressures people to inform on their gay neighbors, because it is now a crime for anyone who is aware of homosexual activity to fail to report it. In signing the law, Museveni said he was defending the country from "arrogant and careless Western groups that are fond of coming into our schools and recruiting young children into homosexuality."
What prompted the new laws?
Under legal systems set up by European colonizers in the 19th and 20th centuries, 38 of Africa's 55 nations have had anti-sodomy laws on the books. But those laws were rarely enforced until recently, and in many African cultures, casual homosexuality has been fairly commonplace. In the last two decades, the continent has undergone a resurgence of evangelical Christianity, propelled largely by American missionaries. Uganda has been a particular focus for Scott Lively, an American evangelical pastor who preaches that gay Nazis were behind the Holocaust and that gay men try to recruit children. In a 2009 presentation to Ugandan lawmakers in Kampala, Lively warned that Westerners wanted to undermine the Ugandan family and recruit children by spreading "the disease" of homosexuality. "They're looking for other people to be able to prey upon," Lively said. Ugandan rights advocates say the anti-gay movement owes everything to Lively's lobbying. "The bill is essentially his creation," said Frank Mugisha of Sexual Minorities Uganda.
Why did Lively's campaign succeed?
The theory that decadent Westerners are trying to pervert Africans meshed perfectly with the broader anti-colonial themes championed by many African politicians. Uganda's Museveni opposed the law at first, but with a re-election bid coming up, he changed his tune. The West, he said, was engaging in "social imperialism" by trying to force Uganda and other African countries to recognize gay rights through U.N. human rights treaties. This rhetoric echoes across many other African countries (but not all: See below). Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe says homosexuality is a Western invention intended to "disturb the African moral fabric." Gambian President Yahya Jammeh called homosexuals "satanic." Even Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated Nobel laureate, has defended her country's anti-sodomy laws as "traditional values."
What effect do the laws have?
Gays are being arrested and being beaten by mobs. In February in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, a mob attacked and brutally beat and kicked a dozen gay men, nearly killing one man. They dragged four of the injured victims to the police station to be arrested for homosexuality, and there the police joined in the beating. Activists say Nigerian police have arrested gay men and tortured them into revealing the names of others. In Uganda, as soon as the law passed, one tabloid ran the cover story "Exposed! Uganda's 200 Top Homos Named," including photos; among those named were a hip-hop star and a Catholic priest. Many gay Nigerians and Ugandans are now trying to find asylum abroad. "Our clients here are terrified," said Jocelyn Dyer of Human Rights First, a Washington, D.C.-based group that represents asylum seekers. "These laws are emboldening mobs, and the long prison sentences are making it harder to flee and get protection."
What is the public health impact?
By driving homosexuality deep into the closet, the laws may interfere with the fight against HIV/AIDS. Uganda was once an AIDS success story, but that is now changing. The portion of the population that identifies as gay is tiny, but there are many more men in Uganda — and across Africa — who have sex with other men but do not identify as gay or bisexual. These men, many of them married, are now less likely to be honest with health-care providers and less likely to get the education, free condoms, and HIV testing they need. They are also more likely to contract the virus and spread it to their female and male partners. In Senegal, after several HIV prevention workers were imprisoned in 2008, the number of men seeking sexual health services in that area dropped sharply.
How has the West reacted?President Obama called the Ugandan law "a step backwards for all Ugandans" and said the U.S. was considering revoking aid. Three European countries have already cut aid to Uganda, while the European Parliament has recommended targeted sanctions, including travel and visa bans, against "the key individuals responsible for drafting and adopting" the laws in both Nigeria and Uganda. But in Africa, Western criticism only feeds into the belief that rejection of homosexuality is an African nationalist cause. "The West can keep their 'aid' to Uganda over homos," said Ugandan government spokesman Ofwono Opondo. "We shall still develop without it."
Africa's tolerant exceptions 
Not all African countries prosecute homosexuals. Consensual same-sex relationships are legal across most of Francophone Africa, including in Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, Ivory Coast, the Central African Republic, both Congos, Gabon, and Chad. But the country with the greatest protection of gay rights is South Africa, where the post-apartheid constitution prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. Based on that clause, South Africa legalized same-sex marriage in 2006, becoming just the fifth country to do so. Gays serve openly in the armed forces, and may adopt children. Still, while the laws ensure equal treatment, South African society is not wholly welcoming. A 2008 survey found that 84 percent of South Africans said homosexual behavior is “always wrong."

December 27, 2013

Non Believers in 13 countries Will get Death }Which Countries and method{

Atheists living in 13 countries risk being condemned to death, just for the beliefs (or non-belief) according to a new, comprehensive report from the International Humanist and Ethical Union out on Tuesday. All 13 countries identified by the study are Muslim majority.
The countries that impose these penalties are Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. With the exception of Pakistan, those countries all allow for capital punishment against apostasy, i.e., the renunciation of a particular religion. Pakistan, meanwhile, imposes the death penalty for blasphemy, which can obviously include disbelief in God. 
The study's interactive map gives a good, broad, overview of which countries punish apostasy and blasphemy by death (black), with prison time (red), or place legal restrictions on (non-)religious speech and thought (yellow):
The report is a more comprehensive version of a similar study released last year that identified just seven countries where atheists faced capital punishment, only half of this year's total. It also found much more widespread discrimination against atheists around the world. "Our results show that the overwhelming majority of countries fail to respect the rights of atheists and freethinkers," the study explains, noting that laws in some countries prevent atheists from marrying, attending public school, participating as a citizen, holding public office, or just existing at all. The authors, citing a Gallup study, estimate that about 13 percent of the world's population is atheist, while 23 percent identify as simply "not religious." 
Although not on the list of 13, Bangladesh receives some special attention in the report as a particular low-light. Several non-religious and atheist bloggers and journalists in the country have faced death threats and harassment this year in the wake of a series of government prosecutions for blasphemy. One blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, was murdered with a machete outside of his home. The report also incorporates assessment of general free speech protections in each country. Russia earned significant criticism in part because of its anti-LGBT "propaganda" laws. And North Korea, an aggressively secular state, received the report's lowest rating of "Grave Violations." 
Because of the U.S.'s strong constitutional free speech protections and lack of an official state religion, the country fared moderately well in the report, earning a "mostly satisfactory" rating. But the IHEU had some cautionary notes on how atheists are actually treated in the U.S., criticizing "a range of laws that limit the role of atheists in regards to public duties, or else entangle the government with religion to the degree that being religious is equated with being an American, and vice versa." Those laws include constitutional provisions still on the books in seven states (Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas) barring atheists from holding public office. The authors add: 
While there is some legal remedy for clear religious discrimination by the government, it can often go unchallenged in situations where it is difficult, or personally disadvantageous or hazardous, to take a stand against authority, for example in prisons, the military, and even some administrative contexts.
So, which countries earned a somewhat elusive "free and equal" rating from the IHEU? The best-ranked countries included Jamaica, Uruguay, Japan, Taiwan, and Belgium.
  Source: The Wire

                                                                                         

(Methods of Execution around the world)
iran hangings 242x260 iran hangings
 Teheran, Jan. 31 2013
Methods used in the last two years have included:
Lethal injection:
United States, China, Thailand
Hanging:
Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Botswana, Japan, Singapore
Shooting:
China, Vietnam, Yemen, North Korea, United States
Beheading:
Saudi Arabia
Electrocution:
United States
Stoning:
Iran.
Biblical stoning also took place in other countries including Somalia and Afghanistan, but in areas not subject to government control.
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