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Death Penalty: Support Abolition

    May 05, 2016

    The Bangladeshi authorities should halt the imminent execution of Motiur Rahman Nizami and impose a moratorium on the death penalty, Amnesty International said after the country’s Supreme Court rejected his final appeal today.

    Motiur Rahman Nizami, the current chief of Bangladeshi political party Jamaat-e-Islami, was sentenced to death by the International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) in Bangladesh in October 2014. He was convicted of murder, rape and the mass killing of intellectuals during Bangladesh’s War of Independence in 1971.

    “We are dismayed that the Supreme Court has upheld the conviction and death sentence against Motiur Rahman Nizami. The victims of the horrific events of the 1971 Liberation War deserve justice, but the death penalty is not the answer,” said Jameen Kaur, Amnesty International’s Campaigns Director for South Asia.

    “Taking another life will just perpetuate the cycle of violence. We urge the Bangladeshi authorities to halt this execution immediately, and impose a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty with a view to its eventual repeal.”

     

    April 20, 2016

    Mauritania must quash the death sentence handed down to a blogger for apostasy and release him unconditionally, Amnesty International said today, ahead of his appeal court hearing in the south-western city of Nouadhibou tomorrow.

    Mohamed Mkhaïtir, 33, was sentenced to death in December 2014, after a year in pre-trial detention, for writing a blog that criticized those who use Islam to discriminate against certain groups in the society. It is the first time the death sentence has been imposed for apostasy in Mauritania since the country gained independence in 1960.

    “The death penalty should not be used in any circumstances, the sentencing of Mohamed Mkhaïtir to death for writing a blog that criticized those who use religion to discriminate is unjust and it shows how far the Mauritanian authorities will go to try and stamp out dissent’’, said Gaetan Mootoo, Amnesty International West Africa researcher.

    “The Mauritanian authorities must quash the death sentence and immediately and unconditionally release him.”

    April 12, 2016

    Amnesty International USA Release

    JACKSON, Ga. – The state of Georgia is scheduled to execute Kenneth Fults this evening at 7:00 p.m. despite concerns

    about Fults’ mental state, racial bias, and lack of adequate representation during his trial. Fults has an IQ of 74 and several jurors have said that his lawyer was sleeping during the proceedings.

    One juror signed a sworn statement eight years after the fact saying: 

    “I don’t know if he ever killed anybody, but that nigger got just what should have happened.

    Once he pled guilty, I knew I would vote for the death penalty because that’s what the nigger deserved.”

    “Mr. Fults’ death sentence is tainted by undeniable racism,” said James Clark, senior death penalty campaigner with Amnesty.

    “This case shows the fundamental flaws in the death penalty system. Georgia authorities must halt this execution immediately and end the death penalty once and for all.”

    Fults was convicted of murdering Cathy Bonds in her home in May 1997.

     

    April 08, 2016

    Releaed 08:00 BST 8 April 2016

    The scheduled execution of a 36-year-old man convicted on drug offences tomorrow, Saturday 9 April, demonstrates the Iranian authorities’ utter disregard for the right to life and their determination to continue with a staggering execution spree that saw nearly 1000 people put to death last year, said Amnesty International.

    Family members of Rashid Kouhi received a call from prison authorities yesterday informing them that they should go to Rasht’s Lakan Prison in Gilan Province, Northern Iran, to have a final meeting with him today before his execution tomorrow.

    April 05, 2016

    Released Wednesday 6 April 2016 00.01GMT

    Dramatic surge in executions globally– highest number recorded by Amnesty International in more than 25 years Three countries – Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – responsible for almost 90% of all recorded executions For the first time ever, the majority of the world’s countries were abolitionist for all crimes after four more countries abolished the death penalty in 2015

    A dramatic global rise in the number of executions recorded in 2015 saw more people put to death than at any point in the last quarter-century. The surge was largely fuelled by Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International found in its review of the global use of the death penalty.

    March 25, 2016

     The Japanese authorities’ reprehensible execution of two people today, continues to place the country on the wrong side of history, Amnesty International said. 

     Yasutoshi Kamata, a 75-year-old-man, was hanged in Osaka Detention Centre on Friday morning. Junko Yoshida, 56, was hanged in the early hours of Friday morning at Fukuoka Detention Centre, in southern Japan. Yoshida is the first woman to be executed in Japan since 2012.

     “These disgraceful executions demonstrate a failure of leadership by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,” said Hiroka Shoji, East Asia Researcher at Amnesty International.

     “It is long overdue for Japan to abolish this ultimate cruel and inhumane punishment.”

     The executions are the first to be carried out in Japan in 2016, and takes the total number of executions under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s current government to 16.

    Junko Yoshida was sentenced to death in 2010 for the murder of two people, in 1998 and 1999. Yasutoshi Kamata’s death sentence was confirmed in 2005, after he was convicted of the murders of five people between 1985 and 1994.

    March 25, 2016

    After Malaysia hanged three men for murder on Friday morning local time, Amnesty International’s Campaigns Director for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Josef Benedict said:

    “The execution of these three men is a deeply sad development and an unspeakably brutal act that brings shame upon Malaysia. Neither the family nor the prisoners had a clue that their last two appeals had been rejected and the notification of the imminent executions barely allowed the families time for a final visit.

    “The fact that these state killings come at a time when the Malaysian government is actively discussing abolition of the mandatory death penalty makes them all the more shocking and disturbing.”

    “These hangings are a sickening reminder that the Malaysian authorities must redouble their efforts to establish a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition of the death penalty.”

    Despite international outcry, Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu and brothers Ramesh Jayakumar and Sasivarnam Jayakumar were executed at Taiping Prison in northern Malaysia at 5:30am on Friday.

    Background

    March 24, 2016
    UPDATE 24 MARCH: Three men to be hanged on Friday In addition to Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu's scheduled execution on Friday, Amnesty International has since learned that his two co-defendants – brothers J Ramesh and Sasivarnam A/ L Jayakumar – are also set to be hanged tomorrow for murder. When Gunasegar Pitchaymuthu’s mother went this morning to Taiping Prison to visit her son for the last time and make arrangements for his funeral, family members of his co-defendants were also present for the same reason. All three prisoners were sentenced to the mandatory death penalty, which gives no discretion to judges to decide on whether the circumstances of a case warrant hanging or imprisonment as punishment.   Following this development, Shamini Darshni, Executive Director of Amnesty International Malaysia, said:
    March 11, 2016

    The families of three young men arrested for their involvement in anti-government protests while under the age of 18, fear their sons are among four people reported to be facing execution tomorrow, Amnesty International said today.

    The family of Ali al-Nimr expressed fears on social media that he, along with Dawood Hussein al-Marhoon and Abdullah Hasan al-Zaher, is among the prisoners referred to in a government-run newspaper article published today. The article said the scheduled executions will complete a wave of punishments for terrorism offences that saw 47 people executed on the same day in January.

    February 29, 2016

    The taking of another life is no way to ensure justice for the murder of Salman Taseer and Pakistan must immediately impose a moratorium on executions as a first step towards abolition of the death penalty, Amnesty International said today.

    Mumtaz Qadri, the bodyguard of ex-Punjab governor Salman Taseer, was hanged today in Islamabad’s Adiala Prison, after he had been convicted of murder. Mumtaz Qadri admitted that he killed Salman Taseer in January 2011 over the governor’s opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy laws.

    “Salman Taseer was a brave voice for religious tolerance in Pakistan and his murderer should be brought to justice, but carrying out more killings is a deplorable way to honour Salman Taseer’s life and message. The death penalty is always a human rights violation, regardless of the circumstances or nature of the crime,” said Champa Patel, Amnesty International’s South Asia Regional Office Director.

    February 18, 2016

    The 40 death sentences handed down today in Iraq after a fundamentally flawed mass trial shows a reckless disregard for justice and human life, said Amnesty International and brings the total sentenced in 2016 close to 100.

    Iraq’s courts have imposed at least 52 death sentences since 1 January 2016. Today a further 40 individuals were sentenced to death as the verdict of a high-profile anti-terror trial is delivered in Baghdad.

    “For Iraqi courts to hand down 92 death sentences in just six weeks is a grim indicator of the current state of justice in the country,” said James Lynch, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Deputy Director.

    “The vast majority of the trials have been grossly unfair, with many of the defendants claiming to have been tortured into ‘confessing’ the crimes. These allegations must be urgently investigated and a re-trial that meets international fair trial standard should be ordered.”

    February 12, 2016

    By Nassra al-Ahmed

    Ali al-Nimr was just 17 when he was arrested on 14 February 2012, a few months after taking part in anti-government rallies in Saudi Arabia. He was sentenced to death, despite being a minor when he was arrested and following a deeply unfair trial based on “confessions” he says were obtained through torture. He now awaits his execution. His mother, Nassra al-Ahmed, tells their story.

    When I first heard the verdict to execute my little boy, I felt as if a thunderbolt was hitting my head. It rendered me bereaved and rid of the most cherished and beautiful things I have.

    His absence has exhausted my heart. My eyes shed tears automatically, yearning for him. I am overtaken by missing his angelic features. His smile never leaves my mind and memories prompt me to weep each time I see one of his pictures. 

    January 25, 2016

    Released 00:01 GMT Tuesday 26 January 2016

    Scores of youths in Iran are languishing on death row for crimes committed under the age of 18, said Amnesty International in a damning new report published today. The report debunks recent attempts by Iran’s authorities to whitewash their continuing violations of children’s rights and deflect criticism of their appalling record as one of the world’s last executioners of juvenile offenders.

    January 08, 2016

    Saudi human rights activist Samar Badawi was released from custody on January 13. But her arrest provides further damning proof of the Saudi authorities’ intent to suppress all signs of peaceful dissen. One year after Raif Badawi was publicly flogged, he and many other activists across Saudi Arabia urgently need your support.

     

    by Ella Knight, Amnesty International

    A year after the international outcry over his public flogging, Raif Badawi and dozens of activists remain in prison and at risk of cruel punishments in Saudi Arabia. More and more are being sentenced under a harsh counter-terrorism law, while Saudi Arabia’s allies shamelessly back the Kingdom’s repression in the name of the so-called ‘war on terror’. Join the fight back today – here are six ways you can demand action from Saudi Arabia.
     

    January 02, 2016
    Members of the Shia Muslim community of Greece hold up placards and banners that show images of prominent Shiite cleric and activist Nimr al-Nimr during a demonstration near Saudi Arabia's embassy in Athens on January 6, 2016, to condemn Nimr's execution by Saudi authorities. Photo: LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Image

     

    Saudi Arabia’s authorities have demonstrated their utter disregard for human rights and life by executing 47 people in a single day, said Amnesty International today.

    Those put to death earlier today included prominent Shi’a Muslim cleric Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr, who was convicted after a political and grossly unfair trial at the Specialized Criminal Court (SCC). With the exception of the Sheikh and three Shi’a Muslim activists, the others were convicted of involvement with al-Qa’ida.

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