Death Penalty - Other Countries

There is an amazing amount of news coverage focusing upon capital punishment today – and it’s focus is Iran.  Right now, lawmakers in Iran – their legal representatives — are actually demanding that their political opposition leaders get the death penalty.   

Why?  Because these folk organized a number of anti-government rallies which took place yesterday in various cities throughout Iran, including Tehran. 

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is the woman we wrote about last week — she faces the horrible, horrible death sentence of stoning in Iran.  Her crime?  Adultery.  Evidence?  None.  Trials? Two (no double jeopardy protection there).

Was the Stoning Carried Out?

There have been no news reports since our post to confirm that Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani has

World news reports regarding attitudes toward the death penalty in other countries is downright frightening.  As much as we fight against injustice in the United States, the news reports coming out of Pakistan, Iran, and Singapore today only serve to reiterate how the American system of justice is much more merciful and compassionate than so many other jurisdictions on this planet. 

Facebook Founders charged with Death Penalty Crimes in Pakistan for "Draw Muhammad Day"

At first, this seems to be something from Will Ferrell’s Funny or Die series, or maybe another Ashton Punk, or even some twisted publicity attempt for that new Facebook movie.  No.  The ugly truth is that a Pakistani High Court judge has indeed brought in the police after an a Pakistani attorney named Muhammad Azhar Siddique filed documentation with the court requesting a "First Information Report (FIR)," legalese for asking that that a criminal investigation be ordered.

In his application, Mr. Siddique allegedly asserts that Facebook principals have violated Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code, which states:

"Use of derogatory remark etc, in respect of the Holy Prophet, whoever by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable for fine."

What’s the brouhaha?  Back in May, Facebook sponsored "Everybody Draw Muhammad Day," when a  27-year-old Canadian woman created a Facebook page joining a Seattle cartoonist in an online protest of cable TV’s Comedy Central’s decision to censor an episode of "South Park," where the Prophet Muhammad was drawn wearing a bear costume. 

After the Royal Canadian Mounted Police visited the Canadian Facebook page administrator’s home, telling her of possible reprisals and death threats against her, she took their advice and removed the page.  The FBI, likewise, visited the Seattle cartoonist, giving similar advice to her — and she likewise took down her online protest and has taken herself out of the public eye.  The names of both the Seattle cartoonist and the Canadian Facebook page administrator appear on hit lists. 

But this must not be enough, to put names on assassination lists. 

There are reports that Pakistan’s Deputy Attorney General has begun an investigation into Facebook Founders Mark Zuckerberg, Chris Hughes, and Dustin Moskovitz, as well as the German woman who initiated the "Draw Muhammad" contest under a pseudonym.  Attorney Sidiqque has told media that he expects the Pakistani officials to enlist the aid of Interpol in coordinating the arrest of these four individuals.  Additionally, Pakistan’s United Nations representative has purportedly asked to escalate the issue in the UN General Assembly. 

Singapore Writer Arrest and Iran Stoning after the jump….  

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This Monday, the United States Supreme Court declined review of Linda Carty’s case — which means that the State of Texas will be placing her name on its Death Row Execution List sometime this summer.  The High Court’s decision not to hear Ms. Carty’s arguments is getting worldwide attention because Linda Carty is not an

On Monday, over 1000 cities around the world will participate in “World Day of Cities for Life,” which honors the first time that the death penalty was abolished by a government — on November 30, 1786, by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.  Organized by the Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio of Rome, participation is growing steadily: in 2005, only 300 cities worldwide were participants and now, four years later, the total exceeds 1150. 

Cities for Life Day involves each community flooding lights upon a local monument that in some way symbolizes the effort to abolish the death penalty.  For example, in Rome the Colosseum is illuminated; in Barcelona they are lighting up the Cathedral Square. 
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Tomorrow, our series on the China Death Penalty Vans continues.  This horror is happening right now, and it’s amazing how this story is not being covered by the media.  No one knows about this!!! 

Searching this week for news stories on China’s growing industry in human organs with death penalty vans driving the villages for

This is third part of our new Friday Legal Memo Series – In Depth Look at the Law, where we’re focusing on an international horror that is not getting enough attention. In China, people are being executed inside mobile death vans, vehicles that drive from village to village. First, the victim is killed inside the