Author: Claim Your Innocence

Claim your innocence is a blog for all news from Death row, I am against innocent people who are in death row, too many innocents have been executed, but I decided to talk about death row in general. but trying to highlight the case of obvious innocence, or if they have too many doubts and contradictions.

British tourist who could face death penalty ‘for taking 300 painkiller pills into Egypt’ faces trial on Christmas Day

November  18, 2017

A British tourist who faces the death penalty for allegedly taking strong painkillers into Egypt is due to stand trial on Christmas day.

Laura Plummer has already spent six weeks behind bars in the holiday result of Hurghada after being arrested at the airport on drug smuggling charges.

The 33-year-old has been told she will face a judge on the holiday date, as the Muslim country considers December 25 as a normal working day.

Her family were heartbroken to learn the official court date by Rasha Abdo Shorky, her Hurghada-based lawyer.

A family member told Mail Online: “We knew Laura was going to go on trial but on Christmas Day is just awful.


Why Iran Quietly Abolished Death Penalty For Some Drug Crimes

November 14,2017

Iran has some of the toughest antidrug laws in the world, with authorities handing out the death sentence to offenders trafficking or possessing as little as 30 grams of hard drugs like heroin or cocaine.

So it was a major turnaround when the parliament and the Guardians Council, the powerful clerical body that must approve all proposed legislation, abolished the death penalty for some drug-related crimes.

The amendments to the law, which came into effect on November 14, increase the threshold for the use of the death penalty. Capital punishment is reserved for those charged with trafficking 2 kilograms of hard drugs or more than 50 kilograms of cannabis or opium. The death sentence still applies for repeat offenders and lethal drug-related offences.

The changes to the decades-old laws — expected to curb the number of executions in the Islamic republic, which has one of the highest rates of capital punishment in the world — have been driven by both international and domestic factors.

‘Political Win’

President Hassan Rohani, a relative moderate who is early in his second term, has pledged to bring about a general “openness” in Iran, but his efforts to open up political and social space have been contained by hard-liners in the clerical system: the supreme leader, the judiciary, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

“The Rohani government wants to show some movement on social and political issues, and so it has pushed the drugs case,” says Scott Lucas, an Iran specialist at Birmingham University in Britain and editor of the EA World View website. “With Rohani being constrained on so many political and social questions, it raised the incentive to give him a political win.”

Ali Vaez, a senior Iran analyst at the International Crisis Group (ICG), says the move is a “volte-face” and could give Iran an image boost abroad, where it has been accused by Washington of egregious rights violations and by the United States and Mideast rivals of sponsoring terrorism, and has come under pressure over its ballistic-missile program.

“The government would surely welcome any measure that could counter the broad campaign by Iran’s adversaries to further demonize it,” Vaez says.

Domestic Critics

There have been growing calls in Iran to ease the use of capital punishment for drug-related offenses. Critics say the extensive use of the death penalty — including frequent mass hangings that the public is encouraged to attend — has done little to stop drug use and trafficking in the country, which is on a major transit route for drugs smuggled from Afghanistan.

“[There’s a] realization by the Iranian authorities that executions have not been an effective solution to drug trafficking,” says researcher Tara Sepehri Far of Human Rights Watch (HRW), which opposes the death penalty. “Several Iranian officials have also spoken about the negative impact of executions on families.”

In November 2016, Hassan Nowruzi, a spokesman for the parliament’s Judicial Committee, said 5,000 people were on death row for drug-related offenses, the majority of them aged 20-30. He said most were first-time offenders.

A month earlier, more than 150 lawmakers in the 290-member legislature called for a halt to the execution of petty drug traffickers. Lawmakers also suggested that capital punishment should be abolished for those who become involved in drug trafficking out of desperation or poverty.

In August, Mohammad Baqer Olfat, the deputy head of the judiciary’s department for social affairs, said the death penalty had not deterred drug trafficking; in fact, he said, it was on the rise. Rather than the death penalty, he suggested, traffickers should be given long prison terms with hard labor.

International Pressure

Iran has been under mounting international pressure to curb its executions. Human rights groups say Iran executed at least 567 people in 2016 and nearly 1,000 in 2015, including a number of migrants from Afghanistan, where the majority of illicit drugs come into Iran. Iranian officials said 70 percent of all executions in the country were for drug-related offenses.

While HRW’s Far says it is “disappointing” that the changes do not abolish the death penalty for all nonviolent drug offenses, the move is a “step in the right direction that can potentially save hundreds from death row.”

“The sustained international pressure by human rights organizations and UN bodies about the alarming rate of executions in [Iran] has definitely had an impact,” Far added.

Magdalena Mughrabi, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Amnesty International (AI), which is staunchly anti-death-penalty, said that although the changes “may contribute to a drop in the number of executions, it will still condemn scores of people every year to the gallows for offenses that must never attract the death penalty under international law.”

Afghan officials and human rights groups have been among the most vocal in calling for reform to Iran’s antidrug laws. Thousands of Afghans involved in the illicit narcotics trade have ended up in Iranian prisons and have been executed. Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium, which is used to make heroin, and Iran is a major transit route for the drug to western Asia and Europe.

Truth in Media: Origin of ISIS

In this episode of Truth in Media, Ben Swann explores the origin of ISIS that has already been long forgotten by American media. Swann takes on the central issue of whether or not ISIS was created by “inaction” by the United States government or by “direct” action.

Saudi executes Pakistani for drug trafficking

Saudi authorities executed a Pakistani man on Sunday for attempting to smuggle drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said.
Up to 129 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, including the latest execution, compared with 87 for the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies.
Mohammed Sharif was arrested while attempting to smuggle heroin into the country hidden in his stomach, the ministry said in a statement published on the SPA state news agency.
He was executed in the Quwaiya district, near Riyadh.
Most people sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded, but sometimes executions are carried out by firing squad.
Amnesty International on Tuesday appealed for a moratorium on executions in Saudi Arabia, criticising the kingdom’s “deeply flawed judicial system”.
Under Saudi Arabia’s strict Islamic legal code, drug trafficking, murder, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.
Amnesty says Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prolific executioners, along with China, Iran, Iraq and the United States.
Source: Agence France-Presse, August 31, 2015


Iran: 16 executions in 3 days

The inhuman mullahs’ regime in Iran hanged 16 prisoners in various cities on August 26, 27 and 29.
On August 26, in addition to the criminal execution of political prisoner Mr. Behrouz Alkhani in Urumia Prison, twelve other prisoners were collectively hanged in prisons in Kermanshah and Urumia. The Iranian regime has so far refrained from publishing information on those executed.
On August 27, Jamal Ja’afari, from the city of Sanadaj, was hanged after suffering four years imprisonment in this city. Similarly, on August 29, two prisoners were hanged in prisons in Bandar Abbas and Khorramabad. Abdollah Zarei, 25, who was hanged in Bandar Abbas was from Minab County, Hormozgan Province. A 23-year-old prisoner was also transferred to solitary confinement along with Zarei in preparation for execution, but there is no news about his fate.
These executions that demonstrate the regime’s fear of growing social protests are merely a minute section of the nationwide suppression of the Iranian people that is being implemented in an escalating manner during Rouhani’s tenure, the so-called “moderate” president of the Iranian regime. The number of these executions has now surpassed 2000 during Rouhani’s presidency.
The silence and inaction of the international community in the face of the collective executions by the mullahs, concurrent with visits by senior European officials to Iran to pave the way for trade contracts with the mullahs’ inhuman and anti-Iranian regime is tantamount to encouraging this regime to continue with its crimes and collaboration with this regime.


Indonesia’s struggling economy cannot afford another execution, Bali Nine lawyer warns

Indonesia’s struggling economy could be one reason why there has been little word of the country’s next round of executions, according to the lead lawyer for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Australians Chan and Sukumaran, the ringleaders of the so-called Bali Nine, were among several foreigners shot dead in April.
According to high-profile Indonesian lawyer and professor Todung Mulya Lubis, who has been in Australia to talk about an ongoing campaign against the death penalty, it is too early to say if the economic slowdown was contributing to a de facto moratorium.
“But I believe that Jokowi now realises that he has to pay the price for those two executions,” Professor Lubis said.
Late last year Indonesian president Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, said there would be no clemency for more than 60 people convicted of drugs offences, and two rounds of executions were carried out in the early part of 2015.
Indonesia’s economic growth has now dipped below 5 per cent for two consecutive quarters this year, and much needed foreign investment is yet to pour in to help build up the nation’s depleted infrastructure.
“The economy is not good at the moment,” Professor Lubis said.
“We have a problem with our debt, you know, the balance. We have a problem with the weakening of the Indonesian currency.
“We have a problem with declining exports to other countries. And we cannot afford to have another execution, as simple as that.”
The shooting of Chan and Sukumaran and several others, including a Brazilian man with mental health issues, saw substantial international pressure, including from the United Nations, put on the president.
The first round of executions in February resulted in a diplomatic stoush with Brazil, with some Indonesian politicians raising the idea of trade recriminations.
Mr Widodo was also supported domestically for pushing back against what was seen to be international meddling and for taking a strong stance against the drug trade.
Widodo ‘knows new investment is not coming’
In the lead-up to the execution Mr Widodo was quietly advised by some prominent Indonesians of the damage using the death penalty could cause to relations with other countries including Australia, Holland, France and Brazil.
Now, with Indonesia recording its lowest economic growth rate for six years, investors are generally staying on the sidelines, waiting to see if the new government can deliver reforms, including dealing with regulatory certainty.
Professor Lubis is also known for his work with large corporate entities, and said he was seeing first-hand the nervousness in the business community about government policies.
Filipina Mary Jane Veloso, Frenchman Serge Atlaoui
“Jokowi realises, he understands, new investment is not coming to Indonesia,” he said.
“Even the existing investment cannot be maintained. They may go any time.
“And I as a lawyer come across that. I know some of the companies … are considering leaving, so that is not very good.”
“I know some of the companies we work with are considering leaving.”
A Frenchman and a Filipino woman escaped the firing squad in late April, and Indonesia’s attorney-general has signalled a third round of executions has not yet been scheduled.
A 59-year-old British woman is among those facing the death penalty as part of the president’s hardline stance.
Source: ABC News, Helen Brown, August 31, 2015


China Exempts 9 Crimes from Death Penalty

China’s top legislature on Saturday adopted amendments to the Criminal Law, removing the death penalty for nine crimes, and ruling out commutation for most corrupt figures.
The 9 crimes punishable by death include smuggling weapons, ammunition, nuclear materials or counterfeit currency; counterfeiting currency; raising funds by means of fraud; arranging for or forcing another person to engage in prostitution; obstructing a police officer or a person on duty from performing his duties; and fabricating rumors to mislead others during wartime.
After removing the death penalty for these crimes, those convicted will face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.
The amendments were voted in by lawmakers at the end of a six-day bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress (NPC) Standing Committee.
The move to limit the use of the death penalty comes in the wake of judicial reform pushed forward by the Communist Party of China in recent years to gradually reduce the number of crimes subject to the penalty.
It is the second time China has reduced the number of crimes punishable by death since the Criminal Law took effect in 1979.
In 2011, the NPC Standing Committee dropped the death penalty for 13 economic-related non-violent crimes including smuggling cultural relics, gold and silver; carrying out fraud related to financial bills; forging or selling forged exclusive value-added tax invoices; teaching criminal methods; and robbing ancient cultural ruins.
Under the amended Criminal Law, which will take effect on Nov. 1, the number of crimes punishable by death is 46.
According to the amendments, criminals convicted on serious corruption charges who have received a 2-year suspended death sentence will face life imprisonment after the 2 years.
This aims to “safeguard judicial fairness” and prevent “the most corrupt criminals from serving shorter prison terms through commutation,” according to the top legislature.
It targets officials who illegally seek commutation, parole or non-prison sentences.
The amendments also impose tougher sentences for assaults on police officers on duty and clarify the crime of contempt of court, so as to safeguard judicial authority.
Nine lawyers were recently taken under coercive measures, after they used Beijing Fengrui law firm as a platform to provoke trouble and disturb social order.
According to the current law, lawyers can be disbarred if they are convicted of disrupting or interfering with due proceedings or inciting others to raise trouble.
The new law adds crimes regarding cyber security, enhancing protection of citizens’ personal information and ascertaining responsibilities for Internet service providers failing to fulfill duties of network security management.
The revised law says that those counterfeiting passports, social security cards and driving licenses will also face punishment.
Organizing cheating in exams and bringing civil litigations based on fabricated facts to pursue illegitimate interests, are also listed as crimes that are punishable by imprisonment up to 7 years.
In its stipulations against terrorism, the revised law adds several items to crack down more heavily on terrorism.
Those promoting terrorism and extremism by producing and distributing related materials, releasing information, instructing in person or through audio, video or information networks will face more than 5 years in prison in serious cases. Those who instigate violent terror activities will also face the same punishment.
Harsher punishment will also be imposed on those involved in cults. In serious cases, the maximum punishment may be extended to life imprisonment, the new law says. Previously, the maximum sentence for those found guilty of cult-related crimes was 15 years in prison.
Source: CRIEnglish, August 30, 2015