Executions on the rise around the world….

Execution_of_Beatrice_Cenci_cph,3b31319Last year saw a 15% rise in executions around the world, although these stats from Amnesty International do not include China, which kills more people than all the other countries combined, so the figures are not really indicative of the total scope of violence.
Thirty-nine people were executed in the USA alone, putting us fifth on the list of barbaric states, of which only 22 are left on earth. All but one of our executions was done by lethal injection, which involves a sedative, followed by a paralyzing agent and then a heart stopper. (In recent history, the most executions occurred when Bill Clinton was President. Although remembered as somewhat compassionate, as Paul Krassner pointed out on Abakus the other day, Clinton stopped off to view the execution of a mentally damaged person on the way to his own own coronation, which is a really bizarre way to start a major ceremony unless, of course, it’s the dark side you’re worshipping.)
Here are the top five in order of kills: China (unknown); Iran (369); Iraq (160); Saudi Arabia (79); United States (39). Probably the most horrifying execution last year was Iranian peace poet Hashem Shaabani, hanged after five months of torture in which he was made to confess to many outrageous lies when his real crime was producing a peace festival and publishing poems critical of the ruling regime.
I believe 420 should be a ceremony of peace, simply because pot is the sacrament of peace culture and always has been, which is why you find spiritual cultures attached to it whenever you find the plant. If you make 420 about getting stoned, that leaves out all the people who no longer wish to get intoxicated, or who have a problem with intoxication. But if you make 420 about peace and respecting non-violence, then everyone is invited to attend.
JohnGriggsAltarViolence has been on the decline in most of the civilized world for centuries, but in the USA we have a problem with it. And we also have a lot of victims suffering from PTSD, most of whom do not have access to the best possible medicine for that disorder, which, of course, is cannabis. But when you hold ceremonies of peace, they help heal that PTSD. This is the spiritual-medicine connection Western science has been slow to pick up on. And you don’t have to be a victim of violent crime or even a soldier returning from the front to have PTSD. You can get it from playing violent video games and watching violent media content all day long for months, while popping ritalin and Prozac.
So when you think about your 420 ceremony this year, why not have a moment of silence for the thousands of people executed last year, and maybe put out a prayer the last 22 barbaric nations on earth will surrender the practice of murdering their own citizens? And maybe even another prayer that a future generation will emerge to turn against all the violence programming that’s been fed to our kids for the last fifty years.


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Iran executes Peace Poet Hashem Shaabani

Hashem-Shabani-NejadA poet was hanged in Iran. I confess to paying little attention to the Middle East these days because I believe it’s an Orwellian endless war being milked for profit with the Saudi’s on one side and Israel on the other, and MI6 and the CIA pulling strings all over the place. Forget about any peace movement ever emerging anywhere over there. Any potential messiahs are killed as quickly as they appear. Nothing political happens by accident in this environment and the nastiest of spook ops unfold on a daily basis. But still, I had to know more about this peace poet and why he had to die.
220px-Hassan_Rouhani_official_portraitHassan Rouhani (left, wearing turban) is the villain in this tragedy. He’s the 7th President of Iran and has quietly executed over 400 dissidents, while projecting himself as a moderate in favor of women’s rights. Time magazine fawns on him, calling him the 9th most powerful person in the world? One wonders why his reign of terror gets virtually no play in the Western media. But then, Western media is really a carefully controlled cartel run by a handful of global corporations.
Hashem Shaabani is the poet and hero of this tragedy. He held a Masters in Political Science and taught Arabic literature in high school. He also wrote poetry in both Arabic and Farsi. He leaves behind a widow and child and invalid parents he had been caring for until his arrest in February of 2011 in Khalafabad.
After months of torture, Hashem confessed to some outrageous statements on Iranian television, many of which were patently absurd, like his being an agent of Hosni Mubarak and Muammer al-Qadafi and bent on violent terrorism. In truth, this poet began his political career by organizing peace festivals. I could go on about him, but why not just read excerpts from his final statement released prior to his execution? I have provided my own edited translation:
500x375xhashem_shaabani.jpg.pagespeed.ic.VIzFnvn0jcAfter our peace festivals were banned by the government, we aspired to study our mother tongue as stated in Articles 15 and 19 of the Islamic Republic Constitution. We soon realized the constitution was a mirage and it was futile to try and work through local media, so I began publishing my poems on social media to reveal sufferings of the Ahwazi Arabs and used my nickname “Abu Aala Al-ofoghi.” I posted a report on the “Black Wednesday” massacre that happened in Mohammarah in 1979.

On 11th of February 2011, when I was staying at home and after I came back from the Shaihk Ansari high school, where I used to teach in Khalafyeh, I was arrested by the Iranian intelligence service (Etelaat) and accused of being a member of the resistance. I suffered physical and mental tortures and was forced to make false confessions. I stayed five months in the detention center of the intelligence services and transferred to Karoun prison. I first appeared in court on 21st of May, 2012. I tried to say the truth in front the judge and honestly stated the so-called “popular resistance” did not exist, that I only represented “Hashem Shabani” and that I was forced under physical and mental tortures by Etelaat to confess things I never committed. I made my statement in front of the judge three different times. I was surprised and angry when I heard the final verdict. They gave me and four of my friends death sentences, and another friend, Rahman Asakereh, received 20 years imprisonment in exile. I’d like to confirm that I never participated in any armed activity as I totally disagree with violence.
Hashem Shabani (Abu Aala Al-ofoghi)