Posts Tagged ‘Capital punishment’

‘Do me a solid’ and free American prisoner: Dennis Rodman’s plea to Kim Jong  Un to release tour operator sentenced to 15 years hard labor


Former NBA star Dennis Rodman is tapping his  friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to ask for the release of a  Korean-American man sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in the  North.

‘I’m calling on the Supreme Leader of North  Korea or as I call him “Kim,” to do me a solid and cut Kenneth Bae loose,’  Rodman said on Twitter on Tuesday.

He said the tweet was posted as a direct  response to a Seattle Times editorial that dared him to ask Kim for the release,  if the two are really buddies.

BudsBuds: Dennis Rodman, left, has called on North Korea’s  leader Kim Jong Un, right, to release American prisoner Kenneth Bae (Mr Rodman  with Kim Jong Un in February during his visit to North Korea)


Dennis RodmanSway: Dennis Rodman, left hugging the North Korean  leader in February, referred to the dictator as ‘Kim’ in his Twitter message  asking him to release the American being held captive

Rodman visited North Korea in February and  sat next to Kim as they watched an exhibition basketball game. His trip came at  a time of high tension between Pyongyang and Washington and was not endorsed by  the U.S. State Department.

Kenneth BaeKenneth Bae, a U.S. citizen, is a tour operator who was  arrested in North Korea in November

Bae is a tour operator who was arrested in  North Korea in November.

The North’s Supreme Court sentenced him last  week for unspecified ‘hostile acts’ against the state.

In a Foreign Ministry statement on Sunday,  North Korea said the 44-year-old Washington state man entered the country with a  disguised identity.

Bae is at least the sixth American detained  in North Korea since 2009.

The others eventually were deported or  released, some after trips to Pyongyang by prominent Americans, including former  U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry rejected  speculation that it was seeking a U.S. envoy to negotiate Bae’s release, saying  he is not a political bargaining chip.

Analysts have said North Korea may be using  Bae as bait to open direct negotiations with the United States over its nuclear  arms programs.

Bae’s sentencing came during a lull after  weeks of threats of war from Pyongyang against the U.S. and South  Korea.

 The U.S. has called for the North to  immediately release Bae.

It relies on Swedish diplomats in Pyongyang  to deal with Bae’s case because the North and the U.S. have no formal diplomatic  relations after the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce instead of a peace  treaty.

Social MediaSocial Media: The former NBA star took to Twitter to  send an informal plea to the North Korean leader

In an op-ed piece for the Seattle paper,  dated May 3 by Thanh Tan, the author suggested Rodman try his hand at diplomacy,  given he seemed cozy with the dictator during his recent trip to the country.

‘Dennis Rodman claims to be lifelong buddies  with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. Really?’ she wrote.

‘Well, perhaps now is the time for the NBA  has-been to practice some real basketball diplomacy and call up his so-called  friend for a favor: Grant American detainee Kenneth Bae amnesty and release him  to his family.’

North Korea has not described the exact  nature of Bae’s alleged crimes. Friends say Bae is a devout Christian and tour  operator based in China who traveled frequently to North Korea to feed  orphans.

Rodman said after his trip to North Korea  that he planned to return in August to vacation with Kim, a diehard basketball  fan.

By Daily Mail Reporter

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2321335/Dennis-Rodmans-plea-Kim-Jong-Un-release-tour-operator-sentenced-15-years-hard-labor.html#ixzz2SibnnSWM Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


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Prisoner Profile


Asia Bibi
June 2009
July 17, 2012

Asia Bibi, a 37-year-old Pakistani woman from the village of Ittanwali, was arrested by police on Friday, June 19, 2009. Asia (also called Asia Noreen) is the wife of 50-year-old Ashiq Masih, and their family is one of only three Christian families in a village of 1,500 families.
Many of the local women, including Asia, work on the farm of Muslim landowner Muhammad Idrees. During their work, many of the Muslim women have pressured Asia to renounce Christianity and accept Islam. In June, the pressure became especially strong.
On Friday, June 19, there was an intense discussion among the women about their faith. The Muslim women told Asia about Islam. Asia responded by telling them about her faith in Christ. Asia told the Muslim women Christ had died on the cross for sins, then asked them what Mohammad had done for them, according to VOM sources. She told them Jesus is alive, but Mohammad is dead. “Our Christ is the true prophet of God,” she reportedly told them, “and yours is not true.”
Upon hearing this, the Muslim women became angry and began to beat Asia. Then some men took her and locked her in a room. They announced from the mosque loudspeakers that she would be punished by having her face blackened and being paraded through the village on a donkey. Local Christians informed the police, who took Asia into custody before the Muslims could carry out their plan. She was held at the police station in Nankana city. Christians there urged the police not to file blasphemy charges, but police claimed they were under pressure from local Muslim leaders.
Seventeen months after Asia’s arrest, she was convicted of violating subsection C of Pakistan’s 295 blasphemy law – blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad – and was sentenced to death. No Christian in Pakistan has ever been executed under the blasphemy law, but in several cases,extremists have murdered Christians after their release from prison. Asia’s conviction and death sentence have brought international attention to the country’s blasphemy laws. Christians have called for Asia’s release and for a repeal of the laws, while extremists in Pakistan continue to demand that she be executed.
The Voice of the Martyrs urges Christians around the world to pray for Asia Bibi and her family.
Prison is Tough, Even for the Most Faithful
In April, Asia was going through a rough time. She had to celebrate yet another Easter away from her family. She told her husband, Ashiq, “I am fine, but to be alone and away from my family is frustrating to me. I want to run away from this imprisonment.”
Ashiq encouraged her, and said, “You have been steadfast in your faith so far; be patient and trust in God. He will surely guide you.”
In June, Ashiq reported that Asia was feeling better. She said another group had brought her some food and clothes, and she was thankful for them and for all her prayer supporters.
Monthly Visit With Family
Imprisoned Christian Asia Bibi was visited by her husband, Ashiq, on March 6, 2012. When Asia inquired after her two young daughters, Ashiq told her that the children were healthy and doing well in school. She told him she was feeling discouraged about ever being released.
He said, “Yesterday when we had family prayer, I asked the children what they were praying for. They said, ‘We are praying for those people who are helping us and who are trying to release our Mama.’
At that moment, Ashiq “felt God’s presence, and he said to me, ‘Don’t be afraid, I am with you.'”

Post this PrisonerAlert.com Prisoner Profile on the bulletin board in your church, Sunday School class or Christian school. Share a copy with your pastor, members of your Bible study group or other Christian friends.
Address for Asia Bibi
District Jail
Circulation To Date for Asia Bibi

Please note
When writing a letter, never mention the name of the source of your information or the name of any organization such as Voice of the Martyrs or Prisoner Alert. It is not dangerous for a prisoner to receive letters from individuals, but if an organization is mentioned they may be accused of links with ‘foreign organizations’ and receive harsher sentences. Also, please do not state anything negative about their government. For the latest information, including letter writing tools and helps, please visit PrisonerAlert.com.


Excerpt from an actual letter created on PrisonerAlert.com

I gave thanks for you when I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus. I pray the eyes, ears and hearts of those who persecute you may open to Jesus. Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake. Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

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IRAN: CSW sources confirm that Pastor Nadarkhani is still alive amidst false execution rumours 07/03/2012


Despite rumours circulating that Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was executed last weekend, sources inside Iran confirmed on Saturday that he was still alive. CSW continues to call for prayer and public action to spread the word about his case.

False rumours of execution

Disinformation and false rumours that Pastor Nadarkhani’s execution had already taken place began to circulate last weekend. CSW’s sources were able to verify on Saturday 3 March that he was receiving a visit from his wife at the time these rumours were spreading worldwide.

Why was Pastor Nadarkhani arrested and given the death sentence?

Pastor Nadarkhani was arrested in October 2009, soon after questioning the Muslim monopoly of religious instruction for children in Iran, which he felt was unconstitutional.

In September 2010, he was tried and found guilty of apostasy (abandoning Islam) and received verbal notification of a death sentence, despite the fact that death for apostasy is not codified in the Iranian Penal Code. The written verdict, which arrived in November 2010, confirmed the death sentence. An appeal was heard by the Supreme Court in June 2011, and verbal notification of a lifting of the death sentence was given.

However, the written verdict, which arrived in July, upheld the death sentence, but made provision for its removed if Pastor Nadarkhani recanted his faith. The Supreme Court also asked the court in Rasht to re-examine whether or not he had practised Islam as an adult prior to becoming a Christian. During the subsequent trial, the pastor was found guilty of apostasy due to his Muslim ancestry and given three opportunities to recant, but refused on each occasion.

Pastor Nadarkhani and his family have been waiting for a final verdict on his case since autumn 2011.

International statements condemning his sentence continued to pour in

Pastor Nadarkhani’s case has received widespread international coverage. In since autumn 2011, statements condemning the death sentence poured in from governments and institutions around the world. Renewed statements calling for his release have been made in the last two weeks amidst renewed fears of his imminent execution. CSW continues to lobby for his unconditional release.

Find out more at www.csw.org.uk/nadarkhani


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The Huffington Post | By


Youcef Nadarkhani 


An official from Iran has refuted claims of plans to execute imprisoned pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has been imprisoned for almost three years on accusations of apostasy, a crime where one disaffiliates themselves from a religion.

The refutation came after human rights investigator Ahmed Shaheed delivered a report to the U.N., which, in addition to citing Iran’s “striking pattern of violations of fundamental human rights guaranteed under international law” and the country’s “maltreatment of prisoners, dissidents, minorities and women,” called for the release of Nadarkhani, FOX News reports.

Iran called Shaheed’s 36-page report, which first circulated last week, “false,” “fabricated,” “biased” and manipulated by “certain Western countries and their cronies on the council,” The New York Times reports.

Iran’s insistence that Nadarkhani will not be executed is only the latest development in an ongoing legal nightmare, during which a litany of additional accusations, including rape and extortion, have been made against the Christian pastor by the Iranian government.

In September of last year, the Iranian Supreme Court upheld Naderkhani’s initial conviction of apostasy after he allegedly refused to recant his Christian faith.

Then, in February, the American Center for Law and Justice received reports that Nadarkhani had been sentenced to death for the 2010 charges — a ruling the White House quickly condemned in a statement.

“This action is yet another shocking breach of Iran’s international obligations, its own constitution, and stated religious values,” the White House statement read. “The United States stands in solidarity with Pastor Nadarkhani, his family, and all those who seek to practice their religion without fear of persecution — a fundamental and universal human right.”

Leonard Leo, chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, told the Religion News Service last year that Iran’s court proceedings can’t be trusted.

“The court continues to demand that he recant his faith or otherwise be executed,” Leo told RNS. “The most recent court proceedings are not only a sham, but are contrary to Iranian law and international human rights standards.”

Despite the reported execution ruling last fall, Iranian envoy Mohammad Javad Larijani told the Human Rights Council that such punishment is not permitted in Iran.

“In the last 33 years after [the Islamic] revolution, no single person has been put to death or executed or pursued for changing his religion from Islam,” he told the council, according to FOX News. “Hundreds of people are changing from other religions to Islam. Why we should be so sensitive about a few people to change their religion from Islam?”

Photo courtesy of Youcef Nadarkhani’s Facebook page.

Youcef Nadarkhani, Imprisoned Pastor, Won’t Be Executed, Iran Claims

From the Huffington Post | By

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Ali Khamenei has been the supreme leader of Ir...

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Iran: Pastor Nadarkhani speaks to wife as lawyers seek confirmation of execution order 24/02/2012


CSW’s contacts report that Pastor Nadarkhani was in contact with his wife this week, although his lawyers are still seeking written confirmation of a report that the order for his execution has been issued. CSW continues to call for urgent prayer and action on his behalf.

Pastor Nadarkhani’s lawyers still awaiting confirmation of execution order

CSW has learned that Pastor Nadarkhani spoke to his wife as recently as yesterday, although his lawyers and the Church of Iran leadership are still seeking clarification and written confirmation of a report that the order for execution has been issued.

Mr Sadegh Larijani, Head of the Iranian Judiciary could stop execution

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has not made a decision on Pastor Nadarkhani’s death sentence for apostasy, despite two appeals for him to so from the lower court in Rasht, which originally heard Nadarkhani’s case. He and Mr Sadegh Larijani, the Head of the Iranian Judiciary, are the only people with the authority to stop the execution, but without their intervention the authorities are obliged to carry out the Supreme Court ruling, which stated that Pastor Nadarkhani could be executed if he did not recant.

Pastor Nadarkhani has been offered freedom in exchange for renouncing his faith on at least four occasions, but has consistently refused to do so.

CSW continues calls for Pastor Nadarkhani’s release

According to Iranian law, once the execution order is officially confirmed, Pastor Nadarkhani’s lawyers would have a final opportunity to stop the execution if notified in time. However, it is not uncommon for the Iranian authorities to execute a prisoner without notification. In 1990, Pastor Hossein Soodmand was executed without notification.

CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “In sentencing Pastor Nadarkhani to death for apostasy, Iran has so far flouted its own law and the principles of the international covenants to which it is signatory. We therefore have no confidence that the Iranian authorities will follow due process and notify his family and legal team if a decision to execute him has indeed been taken. We urge the international community to press the Iranian authorities for the release of Pastor Nadarkhani and to urge them to follow their own laws with regards to guaranteeing freedom of religion for Christians and other minorities in Iran.”

I want to…


Learning of the imminent threat of execution, CSW is mobilising worldwide prayer on behalf of Pastor Nadarkhani –you can join CSW’s facebook group in support of Pastor Nadarkhani and receive the latest prayer and action updates.

Download prayer resources


Your voice could help to save Pastor Nadarkhani’s life: Email Iran’s Chief Justice Mr Sadegh Larijani today!

Download CSW’s lobbying guide.


Make a donation to support CSW’s work in Iran and around the world.

Find out more

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Take action – Christian Solidarity Worldwide

Please share on your Blog/Wall/Tweet and let your friends know – take action now! This is wrong and I hope we will not sit back and allow this to happen….Please use your voice and please use it now.

Pastor Nadarkhani’s lawyer is trying to confirm reports that the Iranian authorities have decided to execute the pastor. There are grave concerns that the death sentence could be carried out at any time without prior notification and that the authorities will merely announce it later, a practice that is not uncommon in Iran.

Take action – Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Your voice could help to save Pastor Nadarkhani’s life:
Email Mr Sadegh Larijani today!

Mr Sadegh Larijani, is the Chief Justice of Iran.

Use this link now….Please


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