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I spent many years writing letters to support the release of Herman Wallace back in the 80s and 90s when I was very active with Amnesty.

Today, I read the news, Herman Wallace, the innocent man who sat in solitary confinement for the past 15000 days, died as a free man.

I was so happy the other day to hear about his release, I told my kids and my wife that it was like waking up from a bad dream, knowing that Wallace was still in solitary confinement after all these years that I left his case, but then I saw the news on CommonDreams, tears started falling off my eyes in an uncontrolled reaction.

He died as a free man! The bastards who took years of his life only released him days before his death, but the shame of keeping a man in shackles and in a small room, all by himself for 41 years, will stain the history of a country that sends 1000s of troops to far away countries to wage wars to “free” other nations, but fails to free innocent people in their own country from such barbaric punishment.

Rest in peace Herman Wallace, we all miss you, at least you proved them wrong and you died in freedom, you will be in our minds for ever.


“I Am Free. I Am Free.” Prisoner Herman Wallace Dies Just Days After Release

– Jacob Chamberlain, staff writer

Herman Wallace, the “Angola 3” prisoner who was released from jail earlier this week after being held in solitary confinement for 41 years, died early Friday morning after a battle with liver cancer.

Herman Wallace rides in an ambulance taking him away from prison. (Photo: Democracy Now!)Among his last words, according to those in attendance, were: “I am free. I am free.”

71-year-old Wallace, who was wrongfully accused of murdering a prison guard 41 years ago, maintained his innocence for that duration and finally had his case overturned Tuesday.

However, as he lay on his death bed,Wallace was re-indicted by a Louisiana grand jury on Thursday, according to District Attorney Samuel D’Aquilla who filed for the re-indictment.

Wallace died shortly after on Friday morning at 5:30 am Louisiana time.

“He passed away in my home,” saidAshley Wennerstrom, a long-time friend and program director at Tulane’s School of Medicine. “He was surrounded by friends and family and love in his last few days.”

“He completed that mission,” said longtime friend Parnell Herbert. “And he was able to see himself a free man. He passed away peacefully in his sleep.”

Following Wallace’s release from prison earlier in the week, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! wrote of Wallace’s final days:

As he lies dying, Herman Wallace knows that after a lifetime of enduring the torture of solitary confinement for a crime he did not commit, he is now a free man. […]

The Angola 3 were united for the last time Tuesday. The prison rules allowed King and Woodfox to say their final goodbyes to Wallace, not because he was leaving prison, but because he was dying. By sheer coincidence, that was when the judge overturned Wallace’s conviction, and they were the ones who gave Wallace the news. Robert King described their final moments together: “Albert’s last words were, ‘Herman, we love you, and you’re going to get out today.’” King described how Albert Woodfox leaned over, hands and feet shackled, and kissed Herman goodbye on his forehead. […]

Wallace was transferred to an ambulance and driven to the Louisiana State University Hospital in New Orleans. He has dreamed of his release for years, and describes it in “Herman’s House”:

“I got to the front gate, and there’s a whole lot of people out there. … I was dancing my way out. I was doing the jitterbug. … I turn around, and I look, and there are all the brothers in the window waving and throwing the fist sign—it’s rough, man. It’s so real. I can feel it even now.”

Herman Wallace was strapped into an ambulance, not dancing, as he left the prison, hanging on to life by a thread. But he was free, after almost 42 years in solitary confinement, longer than any other prisoner in U.S. history.

“Nothing can undo the authorities’ shocking treatment of (Wallace), which led more than 200,000 people to act on his behalf,” said Amnesty International USA Executive Director Steven Hawkins, in reference to an Amnesty campaign for the release of Wallace and the last co-defendant of the Angola 3 case who remains behind bars, Albert Woodfox. “The state of Louisiana must now prevent further inhuman treatment by removing Wallace’s co-defendant Albert Woodfox from solitary confinement.”


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One more victim of disgusting rules of the Islamic repiblic. I don’t care what the story behind his conviction is, if he is guilty of murder or not, the whole thing is a shameful proof of injustice in our society ruled by a barbaric bunch of lunatics.

Mohammadreza Haddadi

Mohammadreza Haddadi

Murder is murder, no matter if a person does it or a government does it in the name of revenge, justice or national security. Killing a human being, specially when he is so young, is WRONG PERIOD.

AIUK : Iran must halt tomorrow’s hanging of Mohammad Reza Haddadi, convicted aged 15

Iran must halt tomorrow’s hanging of Mohammad Reza Haddadi, convicted aged 15

Posted: 06 July 2010

Amnesty International is urgently calling on the Iranian authorities to halt the imminent execution of Mohammad Reza Haddadi, who could face death by hanging as soon as tomorrow (Wednesday 7 July) for a murder he allegedly committed when he was 15 years old.

Mohammad Reza Haddadi’s family were told by judicial officials on Sunday (4 July) that they should arrange a last visit to their son before he is executed in the early hours of tomorrow at Adelabad prison in the city of Shiraz.

Mohammad Reza Haddadi was sentenced to death in 2004 for the murder of Mohammad Bagher, who was killed while driving between Shiraz and Kazeroun, a town south of Shiraz. He confessed to the killing initially but during the trial he retracted this confession and said he’d made it because his two co-accused said they would give his family money if he did so. He then denied that he had taken any part in the murder and his co-defendants are said to have since supported his claims of innocence and withdrawn their testimony implicating him in the murder.

Despite this, his death sentence was confirmed by Iran’s Supreme Court in July 2005. Since then, his execution has been scheduled several times – for October 2008, when it was stayed on the order of the Head of the Judiciary, and then for 27 May and 16 July 2009.

Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director Malcolm Smart said:

“Mohammad Reza Haddadi must not be executed for a murder that he is alleged to have committed when only 15 years old.

“This constant and repeated threat of imminent execution hanging over Mohammad Reza Haddadi, and the fear and anguish that this is causing him and his family is no less than a form of torture. The threat of execution must be lifted now, once and for all.

“The Iranian authorities must immediately cease executing convicted juvenile offenders, in breach of international law.”

Convicted juvenile offenders have previously been executed without prior warning to their lawyers, although Iranian law requires that their lawyers receive 48 hours’ notice. The death penalty is used for a wide range of offences in Iran, and is still applicable to those who are convicted of committing a capital offence while under the age of 18.

Note to editors
Since 1990 Iran has executed at least 46 people convicted of crimes committed when they were under 18 years old. Eight of these executions were in 2008 and five in 2009.

Delara Darabi was executed on 1 May 2009 despite her having been given a two-month stay of execution by the Head of the Judiciary. Neither her parents nor her lawyers were notified before her execution despite the legal requirement on the authorities to inform her lawyer 48 hours in advance.

Behnoud Shojaee was executed on 11 October 2009, for allegedly killing another youth when only 17 years old. His execution had previously been postponed six times.

On 17 December 2009, Mosleh Zamani was executed. He was sentenced to death in 2006 for allegedly raping his girlfriend, a woman several years older than him, with whom he was allegedly having a relationship, when he was 17. His death sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in July 2007. He may not have had adequate legal representation.

At least 135 juvenile offenders remain on death row in Iran.

The execution of juvenile offenders is prohibited under international law, including Article 6(5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, to which Iran is a state party.

In Iran a person convicted of murder has no right to seek pardon or commutation from the state, in violation of Article 6(4) of the ICCPR. The family of a murder victim have the right either to insist on execution, or to pardon the killer and receive financial compensation (diyeh).