Death Penalty

Major Report Urges Reform of U.S. Capital Punishment System

Innocent people will be executed in the United States if the country’s capital punishment system is not reformed, warns a new report.

Executions on the Upswing

The number of recorded executions carried out worldwide rose 14 percent last year, as anti-terrorism measures in Iraq and hardline drug polices in Iran accounted for more than half of all reported government-sanctioned killings in 2013.

Increased Instability Predicted for Egypt

International human rights groups have strongly denounced Monday’s sentencing by an Egyptian court of 529 Islamists to death for a riot in which one policeman was killed.

Executions Rising in Iran

As many as 700 people were sentenced to death in Iran last year, according to United Nations estimates. Most were charged with drug-related crimes and belonged to ethnic minorities, new studies show.

Death Penalty – A Long and Constant Path Towards Abolition

Until the late 1970s, only 16 countries had abolished the capital punishment for all crimes. Today, abolitionist nations are the overwhelming majority. More than two-thirds of nations, over 150 of the 193 members of the United Nations, have now rejected the death penalty or do not carry out executions.

Executions on Hold ‘for the Wrong Reasons’

The execution of three Taliban men ordered by the courts has been kept on hold - not because the Pakistani government opposes the death penalty but because it fears the Taliban, political leaders say.

Executions Elicit Fears of Authoritarianism

Taiwanese activists and human rights advocates ushered in the New Year with a push to prevent a return to authoritarianism and defend procedural justice for death row prisoners in the wake of six executions just before Christmas.

Death Penalty: Another Step Towards Abolition

On Dec. 18, 2007, the approval of a resolution for a moratorium on executions by the United Nations General Assembly was hailed as a milestone in the struggle to abolish the death penalty worldwide. It is true that the United Nations may not impose the abolition of the death penalty, but the moral and political value of the resolution is undeniable.

Execution Met With Silence in Pakistan

Wednesday, Nov. 21, dawned like any other in the sleepy town of Faridkot, located some 150 kilometres from the Punjab capital of Lahore in Pakistan. But as the town’s 3000 residents went about their daily routines the air grew thick with apprehension, for a reason none wanted to mention.

India Reaffirms Death Penalty

One day after voting against a United Nations General Assembly draft resolution seeking to abolish the death penalty, India executed Pakistani national Mohammad Ajmal Kasab for the November 2008 terror rampage in Mumbai that left 166 people dead.

Rights Report on Iran Highlights Executions, Political Prisoners

More than a year into his mandate, Ahmed Shaheed, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran, told the Third Committee of the U.N. General Assembly this week that the rights situation in Iran remains critical, especially as it pertains to human rights defenders, journalists, and religious and ethnic minorities.

Death Penalty Campaigners Worry About the Steps Back

Ten years of campaigning by the World Coalition against the Death Penalty have brought fruit: the number of countries that have abolished capital punishment in law or practice has gone up to 140. But some countries have resumed executions this year.


Taiwan Verdict Exposes Death Penalty Dangers

The end of Taiwan’s most controversial death penalty case this week has “punctured the myth that the judicial system never makes mistakes in death penalty cases,” Judicial Reform Foundation (JRF) executive director Lin Feng-cheng told IPS.

Taiwanese Officials Get Away With Murder, Legally

Human rights activists warn that Taiwan government prosecutors have sent a message that torture is permissible by refusing to indict a former defence minister and eight other former military officers behind the wrongful execution of a young Air Force private by torturing him into confessing rape and murder.

Report Exposes Holes in Taiwan’s Human Rights Record

Earlier this week a coalition of rights organisations issued a ‘shadow report’ on Taiwan’s compliance with two international human rights covenants, which it incorporated into domestic law in 2009, probing the country’s track record on human rights.

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