Iran Responsible For Over Half of Executions World, Says Amnesty International

Hugh Fox
April 13, 2018

Randy Gardner is removed by police while wearing his executed brother's prison jumpsuit during an anti death penalty protest at the US Supreme Court January 17, 2017 in Washington, DC.

The figures show that Iran executed at least 507 people, accounting for 60 percent of all confirmed executions in the region. "Strong leaders execute justice, not people", Amnesty International's Secretary General Salil Shetty said.

Rep. Raymond Crews, R-Bossier City, said he rejected the testifying clergy's argument that someone who is against abortion should support abolishing the death penalty.

Both Iran and Pakistan saw a decline in the number of executions compared to the previous year - some 10 percent in Iran and more than 30 percent in Pakistan. Moves were also made to increase the threshold of drug amounts required to impose a mandatory death penalty.

"We consider this report, as totally undeserving and a joke taken too far by Amnesty International, at the expense of Nigeria's internal security and sovereignty".

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"It is still unclear what impact they will have on reducing the number of people executed", said AI Malaysia interim executive director Gwen Lee at the national launch of the AI global report today. The country did not execute anyone for a non-drug related crime in 2017.

Walter Sanchez, a member of the Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, said that in the last 15 years, only 16 of Louisiana's 64 parishes have sent someone to death row.

However, distressing trends continued to feature in the use of the death penalty in 2017.

The report said a record-high number of people - at least 7,000 - remained on death row in Pakistan, nearly 5,000 in Punjab Province alone.

"With countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, Jordan and Bahrain all appearing in this gruesome tally of Middle Eastern states executing prisoners - many after unfair trials - the United Kingdom needs to ensure that abolition of the death penalty is a key part of its Middle East foreign goals".

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She said the use of the death penalty for drug crimes was prohibited under worldwide law and standards.

"Now that 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, it is high time that the rest of the world follows their lead and consigns this abhorrent punishment to the history books", Shetty advised.

"If the state doesn't use the justice system that we have been ordained by God to do", she explained, "the people are gonna take the matter into their own hands, and that's one of my biggest concerns".

His comments coincided with release of an Amnesty report on the status of the death penalty worldwide. "Sometimes they have to kill because he has killed someone and in Islamic law, if you kill you, have to be killed", Adan said. America were also noted, alongside Japan, the Maldives, Pakistan and Singapore, for death row inmates with mental illnesses or intellectual disabilities. In Iran and Iraq, some of these "confessions" were broadcast on live television. After the sentencing, they were taken away and executed.

Some legislators also chafed at the religious leaders - including a nun and a representative for the Catholic bishops - saying the death penalty was immoral.

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"Some countries have a very tough penalty, the ultimate penalty, and they have much less of a drug problem than we do", Trump said during an appearance at a White House summit on opioids in early March.

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