Sept. 15


Priti Patel finally changes her mind on the death penalty

5 years ago Priti Patel was a strong supporter of the death penalty, arguing on TV that it would "act as a deterrent". Even if innocent people were killed.

More recently, the Tory MP has wriggled out of saying whether she still wants to see a return to the gallows. In 2015 she ducked the question on Sky News by arguing that "it is not something that is relevant to today's political debate or discourse at all".

But during a grilling by MPs today the new international development secretary insisted she no longer held the highly controversial view.

Patel was being quizzed by the Commons international development committee about her approach to the new job, in which she is responsible for allocation 12billion pounds of taxpayers' cash to foreign countries - including some which still execute criminals.

After repeated attempts to clarify whether she still backed capital punishment, Patel finally gave a straight answer.

"The answer is no, I have made that very clear," she insisted, arguing she had raised human rights issues - including the use of the death penalty - abroad.

Elsewhere during the select committee hearing, Patel also revealed that she no longer believed her department should be abolished.

Back in 2011, Patel clearly supported the death penalty on Question Time - while also acknowledging that innocent people had been killed.

She insisted: "I do think that when we have a criminal justice system that continuously fails in the country and where we have seen murderers and rapists ... reoffend and do those crimes again and again I think that's appalling.

"On that basis alone I would support the reintroduction of capital punishment to serve as a deterrent."



Prisoner Executed on Drug Related Charges

A prisoner who was sentenced to death on drug related charges has been identified. 34-year-old Kamran Maleki was reportedly executed at Saqqez Prison (Kurdistan province, northwestern Iran) on Wednesday July 6, 2016.

A source close to Mr. Maleki, who wanted to be anonymous, told Iran Human Rights: "Prior to his arrest, Kamran was a taxi driver. He was arrested by authorities and interrogated. About a kilogram and 250 grams of crystal meth were found in his car, but he told his interrogators he was not aware that the drugs were in his car. Even Kamran's close friends and relatives testified that Kamran was not involved in the buying and selling of drugs."

Kamran Maleki was sentenced to death by the Saqqez revolutionary court October 10, 2015 and transferred to Sanandaj Prison. He was eventually transferred to Saqqez Prison where he was executed.

Iranian official sources have been silent about Mr. Maleki's execution, and human rights groups just recently discovered his case. Iran Human Rights is concerned about the increase in cases of executions in Iran not announced by Iranian authorities, and is worried that the number of executions is even higher than what has already been confirmed. According to the latest annual death penalty report published by Iran Human Rights, more than 95% of the executions carried out in 2015 in Iran were not announced by official Iranian sources, including the Judiciary and the media.

(source: Iran Human Rights)

A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law

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