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USA | The Dreadful Failure of Lethal Injection

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Editor’s Note: This column is the product of a research collaboration with five Amherst College students, Mattea Denny, Nicolas Graber-Mitchell, Greene Ko, Rose Mroczka, and Lauren Pelosi. America’s death penalty continues to fall out of favor, a well-known fact. When the year started, eight executions were scheduled for February and March in five different states. But all of them are now on hold, and two of the three executions that were set for April already have been halted. While advocacy for the end of the death penalty has played some role, it is the decomposition of the lethal injection paradigm that has truly driven down execution numbers. We have now seen a decade of chaos and experimentation as death penalty jurisdictions tried to find reliable sources of drugs to carry out executions. States rolled out new drugs, but things did not go smoothly. The number of mishaps associated with lethal injection increased substantially. From 2010-2020, an already problematic method of ex

UK and France condemn killing of Rizana Nafeek in Saudi

SAUDI ARABIA/ SRI LANKA: UK Foreign Office and France condemn killing of Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia

Both the United Kingdom Foreign Office and France issued statements condemning the killing of Rizana Nafeek.

However, the Sri Lankan government which expressed sadness about the killing did not make any statement specifically condemning the killing.

Commenting on reports that Sri Lankan national, Ms Rizana Nafeek, was executed yesterday in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt said:

"I condemn the execution of Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia yesterday, despite the many appeals for her sentence to be commuted. The UK opposes all use of the death penalty as a matter of principle, whatever the crime committed. The beheading of Ms Nafeek is particularly concerning as reports suggest she may have been a child of 17 at the time the crime was committed. We also find the practice of beheading to be particularly cruel and inhuman. We continue to raise our concerns about human rights with the Saudi authorities, including its frequent use of the death penalty".

France also issued a statement condemning the execution. "France condemns the decapitation on January 9 in Saudi Arabia of Rizana Nafeek, a young woman from Sri Lanka, a minor at the time of the event. France is committed to a campaign in favor of the universal abolition of the death penalty and takes numerous initiatives in that area. As the Minister of Foreign Affairs M. Laurent Fabius reminded, France expresses its determined and continual opposition to death penalty in any place and any circumstances. France exhorts Saudi Arabia to put an end to executions and implement a moratorium".

Source: Asian Human Rights Commission, Sunday, 13 January 2013


Saudi Arabia stands by Sri Lankan maid Rizana Nafeek's beheading

SAUDI Arabia has criticised world reaction to its beheading a Sri Lankan maid convicted of killing her employer's baby.

Riyadh "deplores the statements made... over the execution of a Sri Lankan maid who had plotted and killed an infant by suffocating him to death, one week after she arrived in the kingdom," the official SPA news agency SPA quoted a government spokesman as saying.

Rizana Nafeek was beheaded on Wednesday in a case that sparked widespread international condemnation, including from rights groups which said she was just 17 when she was charged with murdering the baby in 2005.

Nafeek was found guilty of smothering the infant after an argument with the child's mother.

The case soured diplomatic relations with Sri Lanka which on Thursday recalled its ambassador to Saudi Arabia in protest.

The government spokesman condemned what he called "wrong information on the case," and denied that the maid was a minor when she committed the crime.


Source: The Telegraph, January 14, 2013 (local time)


The maids on Saudi Arabia's death row: Scores of foreign women facing execution for child abuse, witchcraft... and killing would-be rapists

Foreign workers are being warned of the 'deadly risks' they face in Saudi Arabia, with more than 45 maids awaiting execution despite growing anger at the country's mistreatment of migrants.

The death row prisoners include a domestic worker convicted of beating her employer to death when he allegedly tried to rape her.

On Wednesday, authorities in the Middle Eastern country ignored international pleas and beheaded maid Rizana Nafeek, 24, who was convicted of killing a baby despite protesting her innocence.

Human rights groups believe Indonesians account for the majority of the maids on death row and that there are Sri Lankans, Filipinos, Indians and Ethiopians also facing execution.

Campaigners say many of Saudi Arabia's 1.5 million migrant workers, around 375,000 of whom are Sri Lankan, are attracted to the country by the prospect of working for wealthy families but face exploitation and abuse.

This can range from months of hard work without pay to physical violence, in a country where legal protections are particularly weak, and access to lawyers, translators and embassies is often blocked.


Source: Daily Mail, January 13, 2013

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