Ref. :  000009365
Date :  2003-10-10
Language :  English
Home Page / The whole website
fr / es / de / po / en

Death Penalty: Cases and developments 2003


Thousands of men and women are on death rows around the world, waiting to be executed by the state. Amnesty Internationals members are constantly writing to governments raising theirs concerns, calling for the prisoners death sentences to be commuted. Here follows a few of these cases.


Iran

Amnesty International has recently learned that Afsaneh Nouroozi is at imminent risk of execution after the death sentence against her was upheld by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Sayed Ali Khamenei, is the only authority able to grant clemency at this stage. Afsaneh Nouroozi was reportedly arrested in 1997 after killing the Head of Police Intelligence in Kish, Southern Iran. She allegedly acted in self-defence in order to protect herself from being raped. Afsaneh Nouroozi is being held in Bandar Abbas prison in southern Iran, which is notorious for its poor conditions.

Amnesty International has recorded 83 executions so far this year in Iran, although the true figure may be much higher.


Japan

Hakamada Iwao, aged 67, has been in prison for nearly 37 years and under sentence of death for over 34 years. He is detained in Tokyo Detention Centre. He is said to be in poor mental and physical health as a result of his long imprisonment. Hakamada Iwao was accused of the murder on 30 June 1966 of the managing director of Kogane Miso plant at Yokosuna, Shimuzu City and his (the managing directors) wife and two children. He was again arrested in August 1966; he was reportedly interrogated for periods lasting on average some 12 hours a day, with one period alleged to have lasted over 16 hours, for a period of 23 days. Hakamada Iwao has consistently claimed that he was forced to confess to the charges of which he was convicted.

At least 118 people are under sentence of death in Japan, some 50 of whom have had their sentences finalized and can be executed at any time. Prisoners are told less than two hours before execution that they are going to be killed; families and lawyers are never informed of the decision. Most condemned prisoners are held on death row for many years, and endure considerable mental distress.


Nigeria

Ahmadu Ibrahim and Fatima Usman were originally convicted for extra-marital relationship by a Sharia court in Niger State and sentenced, in absentia, to death by stoning in May 2002. They did not have legal representation during their first trial. They now have a defence lawyer working on their case. The lawyer is supported by Baobab for women's human rights, a Nigerian NGO. Their appeal is now pending.

Last year five people were sentenced to death under new Sharia penal legislation. One of them was Amina Lawal whose sentence to death by stoning was overturned by a Sharia Court of Appeal in Katsina State on 25 September this year. Since 1999 new Sharia penal legislation have been introduced in 12 northern states in Nigeria. These new laws provide for mandatory death sentences for consensual sexual relations outside marriage and murder cases.


Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabian national, Mas'ud bin Ali bin Muhammad bin Gimeshan al-Gahtani may be executed at any time. He was arrested in 1991 in connection with the murder of Musfir bin Ogaym al-Dawsari. He faced an unfair trial and was only informed of his conviction for murder after eight years in prison.

Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences which, in addition to violent crimes, include some with no lethal consequences, such as sorcery, certain sexual offences, drug-related offences and apostasy (converting from Islam to another religion). Sentencing occurs after trials which fall short of internationally agreed standards - trials are held behind closed doors and defendants do not have the right to formal representation by a lawyer. At least 40 people have been executed since the beginning of 2003.


USA

John Clayton Smith is scheduled to be executed in Missouri on 29 October 2003. He was sentenced to death in 1999 for the murder of his former girlfriend Brandie Kearnes and her stepfather, Wayne Hoewing, in 1997. John Smith has chosen to drop any further appeals against his conviction and death sentence. He has been diagnosed with mental illness, specifically bipolar disorder with psychotic features, and is on medication in prison. On death row in August 1999 he was treated for an apparent suicide attempt and placed on suicide watch.

The USA is approaching its 900th execution since resuming judicial killing in 1977. More than 700 men and women have been executed since 1990, and almost 60 already this year. Those executed since 1977 include child offenders, the mentally impaired, the inadequately represented, people whose guilt remained in doubt, and foreign nationals denied their consular rights after arrest. The US death penalty remains arbitrary, discriminatory and error-prone. More than 100 people have been released from death rows since 1977 after evidence of their innocence emerged. Eighty per cent of those executed since 1977 were put to death for killing whites, even though whites and blacks are the victims of murder in the USA in approximately equal numbers.


Uzbekistan

Amnesty International received information in May that Abror Isaev and Nodirbek Karimov had been sentenced to death for murder. Amnesty International fear that they may face imminent execution. Amnesty International received reports that Abror Isaev was ill-treated in the death chambers of Tashkent prison. Following this he reportedly tried to commit suicide. There were strong indications that Abror became mentally disturbed while on death row; the authorities have reportedly ignored these signs, in violation of international standards and domestic law.

Scores of people are executed every year after unfair trials in Uzbekistan. Many of them were tortured. 'Confessions' extracted under torture are routinely used as evidence in trials. Amnesty International have no exact figures about death sentences and the number of executions in Uzbekistan since there are no official figures. In all cases that came to Amnesty International's attention, prisoners were executed in secret. Their families were often only informed months later; they were not informed about the place of the execution and were not told where their relative was buried. Therefore they do not even have a location over which to grieve. Many search for years in the hope of finding the grave.


Yemen

Spanish national, Nabil al-Mankali, is at risk of imminent execution. According to press reports, President Ali Abdullah Saleh ratified the death penalty
against Nabil al-Mankali on 11 September. Nabil al-Mankali was convicted on charges of planning acts of sabotage and assassination, in connection with a bombing incident in Aden in July 1997. Nabil al-Mankali and 27 others were reportedly tortured in order to force them to confess to the charges. The "confessions" were then admitted as evidence in court and the 27 co-accused given prison sentences.

Amnesty International has long-standing concerns about the use of the death penalty in Yemen, particularly as death sentences are often passed after proceedings which fall short of international standards for fair trial.


Developments during 2003

Tajikistan - scope of death penalty reduced

The Tajikistan parliament approved in July draft amendments to the criminal code, proposed by President Imomali Rahmonov. Among the amendments were the abolition of the death penalty for women, for boys aged under 18 at the time of the crime and for men over 60, and a reduction of the articles in the criminal code carrying a possible death sentence from 10 to five. The present amendments will enter into legal force once they have been signed by President Rahmonov.


Europe closer to a death penalty-free zone

On 1 July, Protocol No. 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights, ECHR), which bans the death penalty in all circumstances, entered into force. Protocol No. 13 closes the gap under Protocol No. 6 to the ECHR, which prohibits the death penalty except for acts committed in times of war or imminent threat of war in those countries that have agreed to be bound to it. Only four Council of Europe member states have neither signed nor ratified Protocol No. 13: Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Russian Federation and Turkey. To date, Protocol 13 has been ratified by 18 countries and signed by 23.


Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Paraguay ratified the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights on 18 August 2003 and Timor-Leste ratified it on 18 September 2003 bringing the total number of ratifications to 51. San Marino signed the Second Optional Protocol on 26 September 2003 bringing the total number of signatories to 8.


Rate this content
 
 
 
Average of 93 ratings 
Rating 2.19 / 4 MoyenMoyenMoyenMoyen
Same author:
 flecheTurkey: Almost 130,000 purged public sector workers still awaiting justice 
 flecheUN: Decisive action needed to ban killer robots - before it’s too late
 flecheL’inefficacité de la peine de mort contre la corruption
 flecheEU: States push to relax rules on exporting surveillance technology to human rights abusers
 flecheHonduras. Les personnes arrêtées durant les manifestations post-électorales ne bénéficient pas des garanties d'une procédure légale
 flecheCameroon: Anglophone regions gripped by deadly violence
 flecheAustralia: Healthcare rollbacks put refugee lives and health at risk
 flecheQuand l'Iran cache ses crimes
 flecheThe abuse of solitary confinement in Egypt’s prisons
 flecheWe run the world - 8 kick-ass women standing up for our rights
 flecheNigeria: Amnesty activists uncover serious negligence by oil giants Shell and Eni
 flecheSyria’s Eastern Ghouta: They Fight for Life. We Fight for Them.
 flecheMyanmar: Crimes against humanity terrorize and drive Rohingya out
 flecheUSA: Return to bigoted anti-Muslim travel ban would cause immeasurable harm
 flecheLe commerce des armes
 flecheThe Death penalty in 2016: Facts and figures
 flecheAmnesty International Report 2016/17. The state of the world's human rights
 fleche‘Politics of demonization’ breeding division and fear
 flecheSyria: Secret campaign of mass hangings and extermination at Saydnaya Prison
 flecheDangerously disproportionate:
The ever-expanding national security state in Europe

 flecheThe point of no return: The human rights of indigenous peoples in Canada threatened by the site C dam
 flecheRefugees Welcome Survey 2016 - The Results
 flecheDeath sentences and executions in 2015
 flecheLa peine de mort dans le monde
 flecheQatar: Abuse of World Cup workers exposed
 flecheConnection Denied: Restrictions on Mobile Phones and Outside Information in North Korea
 flecheAmnesty International report 2015-2016
 flecheAmnesty International Annual Report 2015/2016 (summary report)
 flecheIran : grandir dans le couloir de la mort
 flecheTaking stock : The arming of Islamic State
 flecheLes enfants qui travaillent pour nos smartphones
 flecheLes femmes réfugiées risquent agressions, exploitation et harcèlement sexuel lors de leur traversée de l’Europe
 flecheMexico: Gross incompetence and inertia fuel disappearances epidemic
 flecheGuantanamo : symbole de l’impunité américaine
 flecheFrance: New law threatens to make emergency measures the new norm
 flecheIrak. Des décennies de commerce irresponsable des armes alimentent les atrocités de l'État islamique
 flecheRefugees endangered and dying due to EU reliance on fences and gatekeepers
 flecheAngola. La répression des droits humains éclipse la commémoration de l’indépendance
 flecheTurkmenistan: Thousands evicted ahead of Asian Martial Arts and Indoor Games
 flecheNiger Delta: Shell’s manifestly false claims about oil pollution exposed, again
 fleche"We had nowhere else to go": Forced displacement and demolitions in northern Syria
 flecheCatastrophic moral failure as rich countries leave millions of refugees to cruel and uncertain fates
 flecheSolving the world's refugee crisis
 flecheCuba at a human rights crossroads as Pope Francis prepares to visit the country
 flecheYemen: Bloody trail of civilian death and destruction paved with evidence of war crimes
 flecheTime for the world to protect and value its young human rights defenders
 flecheIran’s ‘staggering’ execution spree: nearly 700 put to death in just over six months
 flecheGlobal arms control treaty at risk of becoming a damp squib
 fleche3 reasons why the Mediterranean death toll has dropped dramatically
 flecheGreece: Humanitarian crisis mounts as refugee support system pushed to breaking point
 fleche7 ways the world has changed thanks to Edward Snowden
 flecheTwo years after Snowden governments resist calls to end mass surveillance
 fleche'Mandela Rules' on prisoner treatment adopted in landmark revision of UN standards
 flecheLampedusa: L'Isola Bella's shadow of death
 flecheBahrain: Hopes of reform crushed amid chilling crackdown on dissent
 flecheAfghanistan: Their lives on the line: Women human rights defenders under attack in Afghanistan: Executive Summary
 flecheDeath penalty 2014: Alarming rise in death sentences as governments resorted to capital punishment to combat crime and terrorism
 flecheGlobal opposition to USA big brother mass surveillance
 flecheNigeria: Satellite images show horrific scale of Boko Haram attack on Baga
 flecheAmericas: Violence on the rise against those defending human rights
 flecheChina: Activist faces « subversion » charge for supporting Hong Kong protests
 flecheIsraeli forces displayed ‘callous indifference’ in deadly attacks on family homes in Gaza
 flecheFlowers for Anna – Russia’s offensive on media and the truth
 flecheThe death toll in the Mediterranean rises
while Europe looks the other way

 flecheMediterranean migrant boat shipwrecks highlight need for EU action
 flecheMexico: Shocking rise in reports of torture and ill-treatment as authorities turn a blind eye

 flecheAfghanistan: Urgent inquiry needed after new US airstrike increases civilian death toll

 flecheGruesome evidence of ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq as Islamic State moves to wipe out minorities
 flecheChina: Death row inmate freed after six years of trials and appeals

 flecheMali: Children paying a high price in ongoing conflict
 fleche“They use a strategy of fear” Protecting the right to protest in Brazil
 flecheSenegal: Human rights of communities trampled in 'Gold Rush'
 flecheQ&A: The Central African Republic’s human rights crisis
 flecheReport 2013: World increasingly dangerous for refugees and migrants
 flecheArms control and human rights
 flecheGlobal campaign targets rape in conflict zones
 flecheChina: Rise in forced evictions fuelling discontent
 flecheForum urbain mondial : les dirigeants doivent mettre fin aux expulsions forcées
 flecheThe state of the world's human rights
 flecheA compromised future: Children recruited by armed forces and groups in eastern Chad
 flecheDeath sentences and executions 2011
 flecheLes oubliés du Forum mondial de l'eau
 flecheFrance: urgence dans la lutte contre les violences faites aux femmes
 flecheThe state of the world's human rights
 flecheMoyen-Orient et Afrique du Nord : actualité en 2011 et 2012
 flecheMortalité maternelle : une femme meurt chaque minute…
 flecheReport 2011: Amnesty International at 50 says historic change on knife-edge
 flecheDeath penalty in 2010: Executing countries left isolated after decade of progress
 flecheReport 2010: Global justice gap condemns millions to abuse
 flecheDeath penalty report for 2009 : China must end secrecy surrounding sentences and executions
 flecheComment: The call from the Swiss minaret
 flecheWomen, violence and poverty - breaking out of the gender trap
 flecheUN vote on Goldstone report a defining step for accountability
 flecheWorld's biggest arms traders promise global arms treaty
 flecheIsrael rations Palestinians to trickle of water
 flecheThe Unheard Truth: World leaders must change debate on poverty and human rights
 flecheGovernments sign up to defend economic, social and cultural rights
 flecheEconomic crisis reveals deeper human rights problems
 flecheSummit of the Americas fails to address human rights
 flecheCruel, discriminatory, unfair and degrading – the death penalty in 2008
 fleche"Fuelling conflict: Foreign arms supplies to Israel/Gaza"
 flecheUN review must deliver on human rights
 fleche60th Anniversary of Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Time to Deliver
 flechePresident-elect Obama: 100 days to demonstrate commitment to human rights
 flecheHuman rights violations in cities around the world
 flecheArms Trade Treaty could fail without human rights
 flecheThe State of the World's Human Rights 2008
 flecheSixty years of human rights failure – governments must apologize and act now
 flecheSecrecy surrounds death penalty
 flecheSecrecy surrounds death penalty
 flecheUN examines human rights in member countries
 flecheWhat human rights legacy for the Beijing Olympics?
 flecheGovernments must take action to end violence against schoolgirls
 flecheRwanda abolishes death penalty
 flechePeople’s Republic of China: The Olympics countdown – one year left to fulfil human rights promises
 flecheReport 2007: Politics of fear creating a dangerously divided world
 flecheChina: The human cost of an economic ‘miracle’
 flecheChina: the human cost of the economic "miracle"
 flecheSchluss mit Guantánamo!
 flecheEU muss Führung in der internationalen Menschenrechtspolitik übernehmen
 fleche"Bosnie-Herzégovine: Les Roms et le droit à l'éducation"
 flecheIraq: Amnesty International deplores death sentences in Saddam Hussein trial
 flecheRecognition of the Human Rights of the World’s Indigenous Peoples is Long Overdue
 flecheAmnesty International launches global campaign against internet repression
 flecheSoudan : Protéger les civils du Darfour
 flecheInternational Criminal Court: New strength in the fight against impunity
 flecheAmnesty International Report 2006
 flecheDeath Penalty: 20,000 on death row across the world
 flecheGuantánamo Bay - a human rights scandal
 flecheReject Attempts to Legitimize No-Torture Promises
 flecheNigeria: Claiming rights and resources Injustice, oil and violence in Nigeria
 flecheCôte d'Ivoire - Un avenir lourd de menaces
 flecheThe International Day of the World’s Indigenous People: Dispossessed and in Danger - Time to make the rights of indigenous peoples a reality
 flecheUN reform: Comments and recommendations on second Draft Outcome Document for September summit
 flecheMorocco/Western Sahara: Justice must begin with torture inquiries
 flecheMyanmar: Arrests of political activists increase as Aung San Suu Kyi turns 60 under house arrest
 flecheLe coût humain de la «forteresse Europe» : des demandeurs d’asile détenus et expulsés au mépris des règles d'équité
 flecheNepal: A human rights crisis fuelled by irresponsible arms exports
 flecheUzbekistan: Only an independent investigation will reveal the truth of recent violence
 flecheReport 2005: A dangerous new agenda
 flecheUzbekistan: New clampdown fears as independent investigation urged

 flecheAmnesty International and Anti-Slavery International call on European States to Ratify the Council of Europe Convention against Trafficking
 flecheEurope: Migrant workers denied fundamental rights
 flecheUSA: New Amnesty International report on USA’s "war on terror" detentions
 flechePress Freedom Day: Human rights in the Blogosphere
 flecheLes Roms sous les feux des projecteurs européens
 flecheAmnesty International's Views on the Proposals for Reform of the UN's human rights machinery
 flecheCuba: 71 prisoners of conscience continue to be imprisoned for expressing their ideas
 flecheNew report from the Stop Violence Against Women campaign and the Control Arms campaign: Amnesty International, Oxfam and IANSA
 flecheBeijing +10: No rollback on rights
 flecheWorld Social Forum: Building solidarity
 flecheChina: Horrific New Year
 flecheSudan: Those responsible for indiscriminate Port Sudan killings must be brought to justice
 flecheCouncil of Europe: Recommendations for better protection of trafficked persons
 flecheSudan: North-South peace deal leaves future of human rights uncertain
 flecheIran: Women are terrorized
 flecheSudan: Time running out for two million affected in Darfur
 flecheSudan crisis
 flecheWomen's lives and bodies -- unrecognized casualties of war
 flecheCouncil of Europe: One more chance to enhance the protection of human rights of trafficked persons
 flecheArming the perpetrators of grave abuses in Darfur
 flecheSudan: New report shames countries and companies cashing in on slaughter by selling arms
 flecheAlbania: Disability and the right to marry
 flecheCumbre Unión Europea-Rusia: Amnestía Internacional publica testimonios de la cerciente persecución que sufren los defensores de los derechos humanos en Chechenia
 flecheCEDAW: Women's undeniable right for protection
 flecheViolences sexuelles : un urgent besoin de réponses adéquates
 flecheUSA: Call to presidential candidates to commit to ending torture
 flecheUSA: New report on 'war on terror' calls for Bush and Kerry to tackle 'made in America' torture
 flecheAfrica Human Rights Day
 flecheColombia: "Scarred bodies, hidden crimes": Sexual Violence against women in the armed conflict
 flecheColombia: Women's bodies used as a battleground
 flecheLas exportaciones de armas de la UE amenazan la seguridad mundial
 flecheHuman Rights Must Begin at Home: Amnesty International's Recommendations to the Irish EU Presidency
 flecheAmnesty International, Oxfam, IANSA Control Arms Campaign Media Briefing: key facts and figures
 flecheAfghanistan: No justice and security for women
 flecheIraq: The rights of Iraqi people must not be sidelined on the altar of political agendas
 flecheNigeria: Amina Lawal's death sentence quashed at last
 flecheYemen: United against rights
 flecheWorld Social Forum: All human rights for all, to make another world possible
 flecheForum économique mondial et Forum social mondial
13
SEARCH
Keywords   go
in