Friday, October 24, 2008

  • Friday, October 24, 2008
  • Elder of Ziyon
Iranian authorities have confirmed that they will continue to apply the death penalty to minors.
Deputy prosecutor general Hossein Zebhi told a newspaper that under Sharia law only a murder victim's family could commute a death sentence.

He had suggested last week that judges were being told to stop imposing the death penalty on young offenders.

Iran has been widely condemned for being one of the few remaining nations to execute offenders aged under 18.

Amnesty International says at least six youths have been executed in Iran this year alone.

Mr Zebhi was quoted by the daily Etemad-e Melli newspaper as saying: "The principle of retribution... is not up to the government, rather it is up to the private plaintiff."

"Only if the next of kin give their consent can there be a reduction in the punishment," he added.

Critics say Iran's practice of handing down the death penalty to juvenile offenders - those aged under 18 at the time of the crime - is explicitly banned by the International Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Tehran is a signatory.

Many convicted juvenile offenders have been on death row for years, as negotiations continue over whether victims' families will accept blood money - cash to avoid execution.


In Saudi Arabia, foreigners who work there are playing Russian roulette as to whether they will be found guilty of a crime that has the death penalty.

On Oct. 14, Amnesty International issued its latest warning on Saudi Arabia where "poor foreign workers are literally paying with their lives when accused of capital crimes".

"The death penalty is not only applied unfairly and in a secretive manner, it is discriminatory and used against those who are least able to access their rights. It is little more than a macabre lottery whose consequences, for many, are lethal," Amnesty said.

Three days earlier, three Sri Lankans were sentenced by a Saudi court to public execution for allegedly killing a Yemeni national. Eight others, including two Sri Lankan women allegedly working for the Yemeni as prostitutes, were also sentenced to jail terms and floggings for being linked to the same crime.

All have the right of appeal -- if they can raise the tens of thousands of dollars needed to hire a local law firm to take on their cases.

The average rate of executions in Saudi Arabia is currently two a week. Last year, Saudi Arabia executed more than 143 people, a highly disproportionate number of whom were foreigners.

Pardons for foreign workers in Saudi Arabia are rare, one for every 30 executions. Saudi citizens are eight times more likely to get one, according to Amnesty.


Malaysia's religious authorities just banned women from wearing men's clothing as well as lesbianism:
According to the chairman of the National Fatwa Council, Abdul Shukor Husin, many young women admire the way men dress and behave, which is a denial of their femininity and a violation of human nature.

"It is unacceptable to see women who love the male lifestyle including dressing in the clothes men wear," he complained, adding, "(Masculine behaviour) becomes clearer when they start to have sex with someone of the same gender, that is woman and woman."

"In view of this," Dr Abdul explained, "the National Fatwa Council which met today have decided and taken the stand that such acts are forbidden and banned."


Don't worry, though - these cases represent only a tiny minority of Muslims. I'm sure the vast majority will be putting political and religious pressure on their co-religionists real soon now



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