Oct. 12


Gaza Strip executions need to stop, argues European Union

Hamas must stop meting out death penalties in violation of Palestinian law, argued the European Union Tuesday as it sharply criticized the latest death sentence issued by the de facto government of the Gaza Strip.

"The de facto authorities in Gaza must refrain from carrying out any executions of prisoners and comply with the moratorium on executions put in place by the Palestinian Authority," the EU missions in Jerusalem and Ramallah said after the most recent death sentence, issued Sunday, following a man's conviction for killing another man.

Capital punishment must be approved by the president under Palestinian Basic Law. The sentences signal an escalation between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who controls the West Bank.

The Islamist movement announced in May that it had approved a measure allowing executions to be carried out in Gaza, without being first ratified by Abbas.

Gaza Strip courts have issued 15 death penalties this year, 3 of which have been carried out by hanging.

"After Hamas took control of Gaza, the courts have been acting as de facto courts," Samir Zaquot, director of the law unit at Al Meznan Centre for Human Rights, told dpa.

His comments echo concerns from the United Nations and human rights groups on whether those sentenced to death were given fair trials.

From July 2007 to October, Hamas-ruled courts have issued 120 death penalty
sentences, Zaquot said, adding that "61 had been executed."

Hamas, which has been on the EU's list of terrorist organizations since 2001, has pushed to have the designation removed. A top court adviser to the EU recommended the group's delisting late last month.

(source: europeonlin-magazine.eu)


5 charged with kidnapping, face death penalty

5 of the 9 men arrested in a daring kidnapping case early this month were charged with abduction and wrongful confinement at the magistrate's court here.

The 5 were jointly charged with abducting and wrongfully confining a 60-year-old money changer for a RM3 million ransom.

The 5 are T.Shasitaran, 32, M. Ashogan, 33, Mohamad Sultan Ahmad Kabil, 37, Ong San Chia, 31, and Yeoh Shyh Ming, 27.

They allegedly committed the offence sometime between 10.30am and 10.45am on September 28 at the roadside of Jalan Rumbia near the Crystal Gardens apartment.

All 5 were charged under Section 3(1) of the Kidnapping Act 1961 for abduction and wrongful confinement for ransom which carries the death penalty upon conviction.

No plea was recorded from all 5, 3 of whom were represented by Mathan Anandaram, while Ong and Yeoh were represented by Jason Khor.The prosecution was represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nurul Fatin Hussin.

Magistrate Mohamad Amin Shahul Hamid fixed December 14 for mention of the case.

The 5 were alleged to have kidnapped the money changer by dragging him into a van as he was walking out from his house.

The 60-year-old businessman was held in an apartment while his abductors demanded for RM3 million in ransom from his family.

The businessman was rescued on October 3 when police arrested one of those involved who led the police to where the victim was held.

Police had remanded 9 suspects in connection with the case. It is believed the other 4 other suspects are still under investigations.

(source: themalaymailonline.com)


Mother of death-row inmate: Pray for my son----Sapenah Nawati's son receives birthday cards as Amnesty International appeals for his sentence to be commuted to life imprisonment.

Sapenah Nawati put on a brave face as she stood in front of the entrance of the Sungai Buloh prison, where her son Shahrul Izani Suparman sits on death row.

Fighting hard to hold back her tears, the 58-year-old mother of 4 vowed not to give up hope. He could be executed at any time.

"I am asking everyone to pray for my son as we attempt to save him from the gallows for the last time," she pleaded, her voice cracking a little, before thanking those who had offered her support.

"Whatever happens, happens."

Sapenah was speaking to reporters after passing Shahrul, her 2nd child, birthday greeting cards from Malaysians nationwide, including children.

The birthday cards effort was an initiative by Amnesty International Malaysia in conjunction with the 14th World Day Against Death Penalty, which falls on Oct 10 every year.

As part of Amnesty International Malaysia's campaign against the death penalty, Malaysians can sign an online petition to urge the Selangor Pardons Board to commute Shahrul Izani's death sentence to life imprisonment.

"This campaign is to call for reform towards death penalty laws. Shahrul's case is only 1 of many.

"The public rarely has information on who is being executed and for what crimes. Transparency on the use of capital punishment is important as it is an essential safeguard that not only allows for greater scrutiny to ensure the rights of those facing execution are fully respected, but is also a pre-condition for informed and meaningful debates on the issue," AI Malaysia Executive Director Shamini Darshni Kaliemuthu said Tuesday.

On Sept 25, 2003, Shahrul was arrested at a roadblock when police found 622 grammes of cannabis wrapped in 2 newspapers and placed in separate bags.

He was subsequently charged with drug trafficking under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and sentenced to death on Dec 8, 2009.

For 13 years, Shahrul Izani had maintained he did not know the drugs were stashed in the basket of the motorcycle.

He has already exhausted all his appeals.

(source: freemalaysiatoday.com)


Amnesty decries India's death penalty record

----Says capital punishment used in flawed bid to combat terror

India is among around 20 countries that resorted to death penalty in a "flawed" anti-terror drive in 2015, Amnesty International has said as it called for a complete ban on executions.

In its report 'Stop the Cycle of Violence: The Use of the Death Penalty for Terrorism-related Offences' coinciding with the World Day Against the Death Penalty on Monday, the Amnesty said countries are "increasingly resorting to death penalty in a flawed attempt" to combat terrorism-related crimes.

Besides India, at least 20 countries sentenced people to death or carried out executions for terrorism-related crimes last year and it included Algeria, Bahrain, Cameroon, China, Congo, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, UAE and the USA.

"Although the use of death penalty for such offences is often shrouded in secrecy, in recent years Amnesty International has documented a notable rise in its use," it said.

Rubbishing governments' argument that death penalty serves as a deterrent, it said examples of Cameroon and Iraq undermine claims in favour of the death penalty's role in deterring violent armed attacks.

Authorities in Cameroon introduced the 2014 anti-terrorism law, prescribing the death penalty for acts of terrorism, specifically to combat violent attacks by Boko Haram, but since then, the outfit has "significantly increased its attacks, including suicide bombings," the Amnesty said.

From July 2015 to July 2016, the group carried out at least 200 attacks,
including 38 suicide bombings. The frequency of Boko Haram's attacks in northern Cameroon peaked between November 2015 and the end of January 2016, with a record of 1 attack every 3 days, it said.

On Iraq, it quoted the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, which said, "the government's view according to which the death penalty is a deterrent to violence, including terrorism, appears not to be valid, given the deteriorating security situation over the past years."

"Majority of the states, 103 countries, have now abolished death penalty for all crimes. These countries have accepted that crime in whatever shape or form can be addressed without using death penalty. It is time for countries that use death penalty for terrorism-related offences to accept this fact," it added.

(source: Deccan Herald)


Emergency Advocacy Letter Delivered to Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S.

Asia Bibi, Pakistani Christian and mother of 5, is on death row. Pakistan's Supreme Court is set to hear the final appeal of her case tomorrow - Thursday, October 13th. Today, we delivered an emergency letter in support of Asia to Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States. Our letter requests that he do everything in his power to advocate for Asia's freedom, and for "the protection of the rights and religious freedoms of all Pakistani citizens."

Asia has been death row for her Christian faith for 2,164 days - nearly 6 years. She was accused and convicted of blaspheming the Prophet Muhammad's name. Under Pakistani law, blasphemy is punishable by death, and Asia was sentenced to death by hanging. Her only "crime," however, was publically affirming her faith in Jesus Christ.

Asia was arrested back in 2009, after an argument occurred between her and her co-workers. As we informed the Ambassador:

Asia, who was picking berries, took a break from her work to get a drink of water and offered some water to the other women working with her. Her co-workers informed Asia that they could not drink water from the hands of a Christian woman, because, by handling it, she had made the water haram. Asia's co-workers then demanded that she convert to Islam to be cleansed of her impurity. Asia refused and instead publically affirmed her faith in Jesus Christ.

We've reported before how events then escalated, leading to Asia's arrest 5 days later. Asia's subsequent trial was full of errors, and in November 2010, Asia was sentenced to death. Asia appealed her conviction to the Lahore High Court, which - 4 years later, in October 2014 - upheld her conviction. Now, Pakistan's Supreme Court is about to hear Asia's final appeal.

Our letter to the Pakistani Ambassador discusses Asia's case and addresses key aspects of Pakistani law, as well as its obligations under international law.

Pakistan is a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). It also voted in favor of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), which states: "[e]veryone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

According to the ICCPR, "[e]veryone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference," and "[e]veryone shall have the right to freedom of expression." Freedom of expression under article 19 includes the "freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds." The right to impart information and ideas of all kinds clearly includes communicating and expressing religious opinions to others. Pakistan's blasphemy laws are, on their face, not only contradictory to these provisions, but restrict Pakistan's ability to fulfill obligations it has agreed to with the international community through the ICCPR.

Moreover, article 6 of the ICCPR limits the "sentence of death" to only "the most serious of crimes." Neither the death penalty nor life imprisonment is by any standard proportional punishment to the "crime" of blasphemy.

While the Supreme Court hearing Asia's appeal is a positive development in her case, it does not guarantee that Asia's conviction will be overturned. By becoming a party to the ICCPR Pakistan has voluntarily undertaken the obligation to ensure that religious freedom is guaranteed to all its citizens. Pakistan needs to honor its international legal obligations and release Asia Bibi.

In addition to this letter to Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.S., we are also sending similar emergency legal letters to Pakistan's Ambassador to the U.N., and the U.N. itself.

You can join with over 475,000 people from around the world who are also advocating for Asia's freedom by signing our petition.

As we continue to aggressively advocate for this Christian mom, Asia Bibi, across the globe, our team on the ground in Pakistan will be attending the Supreme Court hearing. We will keep you updated as the fight for her freedom progresses. Please sign the petition and earnestly pray.

(source: aclj.org)


425 executed since abolishment of moratorium on hanging----Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said a total of 425 people have been hanged since Pakistan resumed executions in December 2014.

Pakistan has hanged 425 people since the abolishment of moratorium on executions in terrorism-related cases, becoming one of the top countries in the world to hand down death sentence to convicts. "By executing 333 convicts in 2015 alone, Pakistan joined the ranks of the top executioners in the world. Courts continue to award capital punishment to suspects at a rapid rate," Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said. The commission said a total of 425 people have been hanged since Pakistan resumed executions in December 2014.

In the aftermath of the deadliest attack on an army-run school in Peshawar in December 2014, in which more than 150 people mostly children were killed, Pakistan had lifted a moratorium on executions in terrorism-related cases. "As many as 225 individuals had been sentenced in 2014 and 411 in 2015. The number of convictions had already reached 301 by the end of September this year," it said.

The HRCP has also demanded reform of the criminal justice system before continuing with the death penalty under the National Action Plan (NAP). "Owing to critical and well-documented deficiencies in the law and administration of justice, death penalty allows a very high probability of miscarriage of justice, which is unacceptable in any civilised society, particularly when the punishment was irreversible," said HRCP Secretary General I A Rehman.

"It is obvious that none of the reasons for stopping executions in 2008 have changed. Things have rather deteriorated. We have seen how real the possibility of hanging minors and mentally and physically challenged individuals can be," he said. Noting that "grave concerns" have arisen over the denial of fair trial and due process rights in trial by military courts, Rehman said in such circumstances it was imperative to immediately halt executions, restore the moratorium and move towards abolition of the death penalty.

He said "investigation methods" of police and chronic corruption also added to the troubles of those who were charged with capital offences. "The system of justice is loaded against the poor and lack of financial means put those accused of death penalty offences at a serious disadvantage," Rehman said.

Noting that religion is often invoked to justify capital punishment, he said yet in fact no more than a couple of the 27 death penalty offences on the statute books in Pakistan are mandated by religion. According to latest Amnesty International data on executions around the world, Pakistan is one of the 5 death penalty purveyors in the world, behind only China and Iran.

(source: The Indian Express)


Iranian child bride to be put to death after giving birth to stillborn baby----Zeinab Sokian faces the death penalty for killing her husband in 2012

A child bride is facing execution for the murder of her husband after giving birth to a stillborn baby in prison.

Zeinab Sokian was sentenced to death in 2012 when she just 17 for allegedly murdering her husband in her village in northern Iran.

Under Iranian law, murder carries the death penalty but pregnant women cannot be executed.

Ms Sokian, who was just 15 when she first got married, was pregnant from a relationship she formed with a fellow prisoner while in prison but delivered the stillborn child on 30 September.

Now Iranian authorities have told her she will be executed in the next couple of weeks as she is no longer pregnant.

During her trial the court had disregarded her testimony that she had been frequently beaten and abused by her husband, Human Rights Watch reported.

Iran is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) which outlaws the use of the death penalty on a person who was under 18 when they committed a capital offence but has already executed at least 1 child in 2016.

Another 49 people who were children when they committed the offence are currently on death row.

Origins of forced marriage cases

According to Iran's Civic Code a girl can be legally married at 13 and a boy at 15 despite the CRC saying the minimum marriage age should be 18.

It comes as Save the Children released analysis which showed one girl under 15 is married every 7 seconds.

Girls as young as 10 are being forced to marry men, often a lot older than themselves, in countries such as Iran, Niger, India, Yemen and Somalia.

One girl under 18 is forced to marry every 2 seconds.

In India, which has the most total number of child marriages due to the size of its population, 47 % of girls - around 24.6m - are forced to get married under the age of 18.

Save the Children's new CEO Kevin Watkins said: "Child marriage isn't just a form of discrimination, it's a form of violence.

"Forcing girls to marry much older men robs them of their freedom and amounts to sexual slavery. Instead of being in school, married girls face domestic violence, abuse and rape.

"They fall pregnant and are exposed to STIs including HIV. Bearing children before their bodies are ready means girls suffer complicated deliveries and even death."

(source: The Independent)


World Day Against Death Penalty, Commemoration of 1988 Massacre in Iran

The World Day Against the Death Penalty was celebrated at the mayor's office of Paris' 1st district. On October 10, an exposition about executions in Iran took place. Organized by the Support Committee for Human Rights in Iran (SCHRI), the exposition was interspersed with speeches from elected officials, human rights defenders and witnesses of human rights violations from Iran.

The exposition emphasized the execution of political prisoners in Iran, which often take place en masse in the country with the highest number of executions per capita. These executions were denounced by the U.N. Secretary General's most recent report on Iran submitted to the General Assembly.

In 1988, in the space of just a few months, more than 30,000 political prisoners were executed following the issuing of a fatwa by Khomeini. The majority of the dissidents who were victims of this slaughter were members of the People's Mojahidin Organization of Iran (PMOI). The recent publishing of an audio recording from Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, then heir-apparent to Khomeini, has revived this nearly-forgotten crime against humanity. Montazeri opposed this crime and was thus expelled from leadership in the same year and placed under house arrest.

The speakers at the exposition underlined the need to bring those responsible for this crime to justice. Many organizers of the massacre today occupy high government offices and continue to sentence Iranians to death by hanging throughout the country. Human rights groups from around the world have denounced Iran's use of capital punishment, but we often forget the Islamic Republic of Iran, with more than 1,000 annual hangings, executes more people than the rest of the world combined in proportion to its population.

The mayor of Paris' 1st district, Jean-Francois Legaret, who hosted the exposition in his office, opened the exposition by underlining that there is "a battle to fight against the death penalty and other barbaric acts in Iran", such as the 1988 prison massacre. He said he hopes that this campaign to raise awareness will go on until those responsible are judged before an international tribunal. Mr. Legaret insisted that even if commercial exchanges are important, we must never negotiate with a "barbarous regime" such as that of the Mollahs.

The mayor of Paris' 2nd district, Jacques Boutault, thanked those who fight alongside the Iranian Resistance to bring human rights to Iran. Mr. Boutalt also recalled that the Iranian regime is complicit in the war in Aleppo and called upon the French government to summon the courage to denounce the crimes that Iran has perpetrated in Syria.

Mr. Henri Leclerc, Honorable President of the League for Human Rights, said that "in Iran, the use of the death penalty is massive and we cannot let this go unchallenged." He also stated that "unpunished crimes will recur." Regarding the massacre of political prisoners in Iran, he added: "It is a crime against humanity when we know that thousands were executed while they were in prison. This must be denounced and we must act. We have sufficient materials. I hope that the U.N. conducts an investigation which brings those responsible to trial."

Mr. Leclerc finished by saying that the victims of the 1988 massacre "died for liberty around the world; these men, women, and children have a right to justice. If we leave such crimes unpunished, it is our future that will truly be tragic."

(source: NCR-Iran)


Abduction, rituals now attract death penalty in Ogun...land grabbing, kidnapping, others 25 years jail

Ogun State House of Assembly, OGHA, Tuesday passed into law a bill stipulating a 25 years imprisonment as penalty for anyone caught engaging in forceful takeover of landed property across the state with the use of any fire arms.

In a situation where life is involved, the Ogun Assembly's bill entitled 'H.B. No. 03/2016,' further stipulated death sentence for anyone found guilty of placing on any land or landed property, "any agent for the purpose of forceful takeover of the said land with the use of any fire arms, offensive weapon, obnoxious or chemical materials or the said offender causes any form of injury or uses violence on any person."

The bill was titled: 'H.B. No. 03/2016 - 'A Bill for a law to Prohibit Forcible Entry and Occupation of Landed Properties, Violent and Fraudulent Conducts in a Relation To Landed Properties: Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, Cultism and Allied Matters and For other Matters Incidental thereto or Connected Therewith.'

The passage of the bill during the House's plenary session presided over by the Speaker, Hon. Suraju Ishola Adekunbi, followed the presentation of the report of the Special Joint Committees on Lands and Housing as well as Justice, Ethics and Public Petitions led by the Assembly's Deputy Speaker, Hon. Olakunle Oluomo, who sponsored the bill.

Oluomo had moved the motion for the adoption of the bill, which was seconded by Hon. Adebiyi Adeleye and eventually supported by the Whole House. Other provisions in the bill included that in case of kidnapping, abduction, violent rituals resulting in death or grievous bodily harm, forcible detention and related offense "where the person kidnapped, restrained, detained, kept, abducted or seized dies in the course, the offender shall be liable on conviction to such punishment as provided for the offense of murder under Section 319 (1) Criminal Code Law of Ogun State, 2006 or such other law for the time being in force."

The bill further added that where "the person does no die in the course, the offender shall be liable on conviction to punishment for life with hard labour and without an option of fine."

The new bill also spelt out punishment for robbery, as any person held for robbery shall upon trial and conviction be liable to a sentence of 21 years imprisonment, while anyone convicted for armed robbery attracts death sentence.

Following the passage of the bill by thestate Assembly, Hon. Adekunbi however, ordered that a clean copy of the bill be sent to the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, for assent into law.

(source: nationalmirroronline.net)


Abolition of Death Penalty - MPs Say Their Hands Tied

Legislators have said their hands are tied over abolition of death penalty in Zimbabwe, saying scrapping the sentence rests more with the executive and political party leaders than Parliament.

Speaking during commemorations of the World Day against Death Penalty this Monday, legislators from the parliamentary parties - MDC-T and Zanu PF - said the laws of the country give their superiors control over what MPs do in the August House.

MDC-T legislator Jessie Majome, who also chairs Parliament's Legal committee, said the whipping system compromises their role.

"Our parliament is an arena of party politics. That's the way it is. We take positions in parliament according to what our party decides or doesn't decide.

"I come from a party that has a minority in Parliament therefore I couldn't master enough support when I challenged the death penalty in the house," she said.

Fortune Chasi of Zanu PF concurred, saying MPs could only deliberate and pass such laws with the blessing of the executive.

"The Zimbabwean parliament reacts to what the executive brings before it," he said.

The MPs were responding to advocate Fadzai Mahere who had accused the legislature of dragging its feet on aligning the Criminal Procedure, Evidence Act with the section 48 of constitution which guarantees the right to life.

The constitution now limits the death penalty to cases of aggravated murder while exempting women and only men below 21 and above 70 years.

The death penalty is being challenged on the basis that it is irreversible, colonial, lacks evidence of deterring others from similar crimes while innocent people have been executed in the past.

(source: allafrica.com)


Belarus resumes executions after EU sanctions dropped ---- Human rights report details abuse used to extract confessions in only European country to use death penalty

The last European country to retain capital punishment has resumed sentencing people to death since EU sanctions against its president were dropped this year, according to a landmark investigation.

In recent months Belarus has executed one person and condemned four more to death, with more cases pending in which capital punishment is likely, according to investigators with the Paris-based human rights organisation FIDH, and the Viasna human rights centre in Minsk.

Described by investigators as a "scandal at the heart of Europe", about 400 people have been executed in Belarus since independence in 1991 - more than 1 a month.

The human rights report documents the physical and psychological abuse used to extract confessions and the shocking conditions in which death row inmates are kept and later executed.

Interviews with local journalists and lawyers reveal a practice shrouded in secrecy, with statistics on the numbers killed by the state closely guarded by Belarus's government.

The time and locations of the executions, as well as the places of burial, are also kept classified, with the bodies of prisoners never released to families.

Sacha Koulaeva, head of the FIDH's eastern Europe and central Asia desk, said the abolition of the death penalty in Belarus was an achievable goal if the European Union put pressure on the government. "We would like to mobilise the international community to call for Europe to be a death penalty-free zone," she said.

Koulaeva said evidence suggested international intervention had already proved effective: while the EU was negotiating lifting sanctions between 2013 and 2015, executions almost stopped.

Maya Foa, a director at the UK human rights group Reprieve, said the report showed the EU needed to do more to end the practice.

"The EU and member states are regularly vocal about their opposition to the death penalty, and this is now more important than ever," she said. "Executions are on the rise around the world and it is critical that the EU not only stands by its 'strong and principled opposition to the death penalty', but actively advances this principle in its diplomatic and trading relationships with executing states."

In response to the report's finding, members of the EU mission to Belarus, including the deputy head, Jim Couzens, called for an immediate moratorium on the practice.

Most families only find out a family member has been executed after their prison uniform is sent in a package after their death. The death penalty was introduced in Belarus during Soviet rule as a punishment for murder and economic crimes, as well as "counterrevolutionary acts" including treason and espionage. Since 1991, the government has continued to apply several clauses of the Soviet-era criminal code, the last of the former USSR countries to do so.

Alexander Lukashenko, who assumed office in 1994, has broadened the powers of the president over his 22 years in office, earning Belarus the nickname of Europe's "last dictatorship".

The authorities and state media outlets enthusiastically defend the use of the death penalty by claiming its use reduces crime. However, new analysis by the FIDH and Viasna shows this justification to be false: in 2015, the internal affairs ministry reported 4,018 counts of serious crime, an increase of 17% on 2014.

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign against the death penalty led by Viasna, told researchers the conditions in which inmates are held had deteriorated. He spoke to witnesses who have worked in Belarus's death row facilities, who described cells just 3 metres large, fitted with video cameras to watch inmates at all times.

A former staff member of Pretrial Detention Centre no 1 in the centre of Minsk, told Viasna: "From the very beginning, they face maximum security restrictions ... The rules prohibit them from lying or sitting on the plank beds from 6am to 10pm. They usually walk around the cell all day long."

Another former staff member said death row inmates were kept in complete isolation and treated as if they are no longer "among the living". Those condemned to death are kept without any information about their execution date, a practice Koulaeva described as "cynical" and one that distresses the prisoners.

The report also reveals the trauma inflicted on the families of those sentenced to death.

Though the Belarusian criminal code stipulates that 1 family member must be notified in the event of an execution, it does not specify how. In most cases, families learn that an execution has been carried out only upon the delivery of personal belongings after death.

Tamara Sialiun, whose 27-year-old son Pavel was convicted of 2 counts of murder and mutilating a dead body in 2012, told investigators that the first she knew of her son's execution was when a package arrived containing his prison uniform. He had been shot in the head.

"After everything that happened, I received a notification from the post office to pick up a parcel from Minsk. It was the robe and boots of my son. When I got home, I just didn???t know what to do," said Sialiun, 1 of 3 women interviewed. She has since filed a complaint to the UN human rights committee over the treatment she and her son received.

Koulaeva said the report painted a vivid portrait of the process by which men were being convicted and killed, a process she described as deeply flawed and carried out with "total disregard to international obligations".

"The conditions in which this action takes place are terrible," she said. "[It is] a terrible ritual, and a terrible thing to witness."

(source: The Guardian)

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