(Reprieve) – The Saudi authorities have executed four men who were convicted in a secret ‘terrorism’ court – including at least one man who was convicted on charges relating to protests. It marks the first execution coming from the terrorism court…
The Saudi authorities have sentenced a young disabled man to beheading in relation to his alleged attendance at protests, it’s emerged.
Munir Adam, 23, was arrested in 2012 in the wake of protests in the country’s Eastern Province. He was tortured by Saudi police into ‘confessing’ to involvement in protests. Munir has impairments to both his sight and his hearing, following an accident as a young child. Despite medical records that confirmed his disability – and a doctor’s warning that further trauma could worsen his injuries – police beat Munir badly that he lost all hearing in one ear.
Munir was sentenced to death in the Kingdom’s secretive Specialised Criminal Court, in which three juveniles – Ali al Nimr, Dawood al Marhoon and Abdullah al Zaher – also received death sentences in relation to protests. Munir was forced to write his own defence after he was prevented from speaking to a lawyer. Facing charges that included using his mobile phone to organize protests, Munir recanted his ‘confession’, saying that he had only signed statements under torture. He denied the charges, telling the court that he comes from a poor family and had never even owned a mobile phone.
A female prisoner in Iran who was arrested as a juvenile is facing execution after a forced ‘confession’, and could be hanged as early as today, according to reports.
Zeinab Sekaanvand was 17 when she was arrested in 2012. She was reportedly beaten for nearly three weeks before ‘confessing’ to the murder of her husband, whose abusive behaviour she had previously reported to the authorities. According to Amnesty International, she could be hanged in days. Ms Sekaanvand’s execution was previously postponed because she was pregnant, and then scheduled again after she gave birth to a stillborn baby, the Times has today reported.
Pakistan’s Supreme Court today dismissed an appeal brought by lawyers for a severely mentally ill prisoner, who now faces execution in as little as a week’s time.
Lawyers for Imdad Ali, who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, argued that he should not be executed as to do so would violate both Pakistani and international law. Mr Ali came within hours of execution last week, despite prison doctors having assessed him as being “insane”, including on the night before the execution.
The Iranian government has reportedly executed dozens of Sunni prisoners at Gohardasht prison, an institution notorious for its mistreatment of political prisoners, including Shahram Ahmadi, a prominent prisoner of conscience. Relatives were reportedly asked to come to the prison to say their final goodbyes, but upon arrival were directed to the morgue to collect the bodies of their loved ones. The executions mark the state’s continued policy of systematically and brutally targeting political dissidents and ethnic minorities.
At least 36 Sunni prisoners were transferred to await execution and reports indicate that at least 20 prisoners were executed on Tuesday, August 2, with some reports stating that the total could be as high as 29 people killed. Sunni prisoners in Gohardasht have reportedly gone on a hunger strike to protest the executions.
3 Executed Amid Perceived Crime Wave
The Hamas authorities in the Gaza Strip should halt planned executions. Three men were put to death on the morning of May 31, 2016, as the first step in a declared plan to kill 13 convicted criminals. The executions came after a number of highly publicized murders.
“The death penalty is always wrong, especially in a legal system like Gaza’s in which torture and coercion are common,” said Sari Bashi, Israel and Palestine director. “Gaza’s leaders should be addressing due process abuses, rather than making them worse by killing people.”
In a recent letter to the UN’s Human Rights Council, Egyptian diplomats responded to a series of concerns raised by the UN body in an urgent appeal on the case of Ibrahim Halawa. Ibrahim – a student from Dublin – was 17 when he was arrested in 2013 in the wake of protests in Cairo. He is being tried alongside 493 other people in mass proceedings, which have been repeatedly postponed in the last three years. Ibrahim is believed to be held in poor prison conditions, and has reported being tortured and threatened with execution throughout his detention. During visits to him, Irish consular officials have noted “serious marks and bruising” on his body.