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HANDS OFF CAIN PRESENTS 2008 ANNUAL REPORT

July 24, 2008: during the ceremony for the “Abolitionist of the Year 2008” Award, Hands Off Cain presented its 2008 Report on the Death Penalty Worldwide. The report covers the most important facts of 2007 and the first six months of 2008, and was edited by Elisabetta Zamparutti and published by Reality Book. The data confirms the worldwide trend towards abolition that has been underway for more than a decade.
The main point that emerges from the report is the declining number of countries that apply the death penalty, down from 51 in 2006,s already mentioned, in the u palation of executions in ining number of countries that apply the death penalty to 49. Executions, however, increased from at least 5,635 in 2006, to at least 5,851 in 2007. This increase, Elisabetta Zamparutti explained, is mainly due to the escalation of executions in Iran, with an increase of 30% to 355 in 2007, and in Saudi Arabia, where the number quadrupled from 39 in 2006 to 166 in 2007.
 Once again, Asia is the region where the vast majority of executions are carried out. China had at least 5,000 executions, which is approximately 85.4% of the total worldwide executions (despite reports of reductions since the preceding year). China is followed by Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Yemen, North Korea, Syria, Bangladesh, Singapore, Kuwait and Malaysia.
The Americas are practically death-penalty free, the United States was the only country to execute anyone in 2007.
In Africa, the death penalty was carried out in 7 countries in 2007: Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guinea, Libya, Somalia and Sudan. It should be noted that Ethiopia had not carried out an execution since June 1998, while Uganda, which executed two people in 2006, carried out no executions in 2007 and 2008.
In Europe, Belarus continues to be the only exception in an otherwise completely death penalty-free zone. 
Many of these countries do not issue official statistics on the death penalty, Sergio D’Elia emphasised. The death penalty is sometimes considered a state secret; therefore the number of executions may in fact be much higher.
This points to the fact that the fight against the death penalty entails, beyond the stopping of executions, a battle for democracy, for the respect of the rule of law and for political rights and civil liberties.
The worldwide trend towards the abolition of the death penalty by law and de facto of the last ten years was reaffirmed in 2007 and in the first six months of 2008.
Rwanda went from retentionist to abolitionist in July 2007. Kyrgyzstan abolished the death penalty in January 2007, after years of moratorium. Uzbekistan went from retentionist to abolitionist on January 1, 2008. Comoros, South Korea, Guyana and Zambia have gone more than ten years without an execution, establishing themselves as de facto abolitionist countries. (Sources: Hands Off Cain, 24/07/2008)

PAKISTAN: TWO MEN HANGED
IRAN. FIVE KURDS EXECUTED, INCLUDING A FIFTEEN-YEAR-OLD BOY
IRAN: TWO PRISONERS HANGED IN ISFAHAN
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: TWO INDIAN MEN SPARED DEATH ROW IN SHARJAH
USA. BUSH OKS DEATH PENALTY FOR EX-SOLDIER
SAUDIS FACE SOARING BLOOD-MONEY SUMS; TRIBES, FAMILIES ARE DEMANDING MILLIONS
IRAN. MASS EXECUTION IN THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC
IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN- GOVERNMENTS THAT VOTED FOR THE MORATORIUM SHOULD ACT
PANNELLA: HUNGER STRIKE TO SAVE TAREQ AZIZ
PRODI HONOURED WITH “ABOLITIONIST OF THE YEAR” AWARD
ITALY: FUN FAIR ELECTRIC CHAIR
SAUDI ARABIA. NIGERIAN EXECUTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
EXECUTION AT FUN PARK: HANDS OFF CAIN, DEMENTED AND DEVASTATING
IRAN: RIGHTS GROUP PROTESTS HANGING OF MINORS
INDONESIA: THREE EXECUTIONS FOR MURDER
ANOTHER PALESTINIAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR HELPING ISRAEL
IRAN: EIGHT WOMEN, ONE MAN TO BE STONED TO DEATH
INDONESIA. MOTHER AND SON EXECUTED FOR MURDER
ITALY: DRAFT LAW- COUNCIL OF MINISTERS RATIFY EU CONVENTION
FOUR EXECUTED IN CHINA: STATE MEDIA
INDONESIA: MAN EXECUTED FOR MURDER IN JAVA
EU. PRESIDENCY REBUKES IRAN OVER RECENT EXECUTIONS
PAKISTAN: GOVT FAILS TO SEND PROPOSAL ON COMMUTING SENTENCES TO PRESIDENT
ICJ RULES AGAINST IMMINENT EXECUTION OF MEXICANS IN US
IRAN. WOMAN TO BE HANGED AFTER 18 YEARS IN JAIL
PALESTINIAN COURT SENTENCES COLLABORATORS TO DEATH
LIBERIA. DEATH BY HANGING FOR ARMED ROBBERS
UGANDA: APPEAL COURT OKAYS DEATH FOR MURDER
IRAQ. MECACCI AND PERDUCA: SEND A FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMISSION DELEGATION TO VISIT TAREQ AZIZ
OVER 90% OF UZBEKS SUPPORT ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY – POLL

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