October 5, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 40
Indonesia: Thirty-eight-year-old M. Hanafi and Riko Fernando have been sentenced to death for transporting methamphetamine. They can appeal the sentence. Both men were arrested in December 2017, and claim that they were given instructions by a prisoner at Lampung Prison.
Thirty-five-year-old Felix Dorfin, a French national, has been arrested by Indonesian police after it was discovered he was carrying a false bottom suitcase filled with cocaine, ecstasy, and amphetamine. Felix has been in the country several times previously and was in the country on holiday at the time of his arrest. Felix could face the death penalty if convicted. Felix insists that this is the first time he brought drugs into the nation, however officials are investigating the possibility that he is a professional drug courier.
Twenty-nine-year-old Rizky Anbar and 37-year-old Rocky Siahaan have been sentenced to death for smuggling 1.3 tons of cannabis. They were sentenced and convicted in separate trials. Rizky was convicted of being the right-hand man of an infamous drug dealer who remains at large, as well as being involved in past drug smuggling attempts. Rocky has also been convicted of recruiting individuals into drug smuggling and distribution of cannabis. Four others involved in the smuggling have been give various prison sentences.
Iran: After the government has launched an anti-corruption campaign, three unnamed individuals have been sentenced to death for economic corruption. Thirty-two other individuals have been tried on the same charges and were given various prison sentences of up to 20 years.
Truck drivers on strike could face the death penalty, according to threats from top prosecutors in the country. Oil truck drivers have joined the strike, which is calling attention to the terrible working conditions of the drivers, including low pay, bad roads, lack of necessary parts, and limited unions. Some truck drivers are being detained for their participation in the strike. Some prosecutors are arguing that the strikers could be considered Moharebeh (enemy of God)which is punishable by death.
On Tuesday, October 7, 2018, five individuals were executed by hanging at Urmia prison. One of those executed was Zeyab Sekanvand, who was juvenile when she was sentenced to death. Zeyab was convicted of murdering her abusive husband, after being forced to marry him when she was just 15. She was convicted of murdering him when she was 17. The names and crimes of the other four executed inmates were not reported.
Malaysia: Thirty-year-old N. Sanderasegaran has been sentenced to death for murdering his 17-year-old girlfriend in 2016. The accused has alleged that the couple was robbed and that the robbers beat the victim to death. Prosecutors say that there was no indication of a third person based on DNA evidence. Additionally, the victim still had all her jewelry.
Pakistan: Former judge Sikandar Lashari, has been sentenced to death for murder. Lashari is accused of murdering the 19-year-old son of another judge in Hyderabad in 2014. Allegedly the young man was killed because he was in love with one of Lashari’s daughters.
United States of America: The 30-year-old man accused of killing eight individuals, and injuring nearly a dozen others along a bike path in Lower Manhattan, New York, will face the death penalty. Sayfullo Saipov is accused of using a truck to drive down a bike path, which has been deemed a terror attack. He is also accused of being an Islamic State sympathizer. The trial is scheduled to begin in one year.
The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to hear an appeal for Texas death row inmate Paul Wayne Slater. Paul’s attorney was attempting to argue that he should not be sentenced to death due to brain damage and learning disabilities, which was not addressed at Paul’s initial trial. Paul was convicted of murdering two individuals during a drug-deal gone wrong in 1995.
Ethics charges have been filed against Florida lawyer Patrick Megaro, by the North Carolina State Bar. Patrick has been representing North Carolina death row exonerees Henry McCollum and Leon Brown. The half-brothers were exonerated in 2014, after spending 30 years in prison, including death row, for the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. After their release, the brothers, who are intellectually disabled, sought compensation for their time in prison. Patrick is accused of “fleecing” them for the money that was granted to them. The complaint against Patrick by The North Carolina State Bar includes 16 ethical violations, including lying to judges, double billing his clients, and engaging in fraud.
Yemen: Three individuals of the Baha’i faith community have been allegedly sentenced to death by a Houthi court. The names of those convicted have not been released. The Houthi have stated that the Baha’i faith is “satanic” and “wages a war of doctrine” against Islam. Yemen is an overwhelmingly Muslim country, while there are only a few thousand Baha’i worshippers in the country.