Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MARCH 13, 2018): The 10th annual report on the death penalty in Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM shows that in 2017 at least 517 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
This number is comparable with the execution figures in 2016 and confirms the relative reduction in the use of the death penalty compared to the period between 2010 and 2015. 
Nevertheless, with an average of more than one execution every day and more than one execution per one million inhabitants in 2017, Iran remained the country with the highest number of executions per capita.
2017 Annual Report at a Glance:
At least 517 people were executed in 2017, an average of more than one execution per day111 executions (21%) were announced by official sources.Approximately 79% of all executions included in the 2017 report, i.e. 406 executions, were not announced by the authorities.At least 240 people (46% of all executions) were executed for murder charges - 98 more than in 2016.At le…

Senegalese maid in Saudi Arabia could face death penalty after murder charge

DAKAR (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Human rights activists on Thursday demanded clemency for a Senegalese maid who was trafficked to Saudi Arabia and may face the death penalty after being charged with killing her employer.

Mbayang Diop, 22, was arrested in June, weeks after arriving in the world's largest oil exporter, and accused of stabbing her employer to death in the capital of Riyadh, rights groups said.

Senegalese civil society groups say Diop may have killed the woman she worked for in self-defense after a dispute, and that the Saudi authorities had not properly investigated the case.

On Wednesday, the Senegalese ambassador to Saudi Arabia visited Diop in prison in the eastern city of Dammam to provide assistance, Senegal's foreign ministry said in a statement.

The Saudi embassy in Dakar was not immediately available to comment on the case.

Diop left Dakar without telling her family, having been approached and offered work as a maid, said her brother, Fallou.

"If she had consulted us, we would have told her not to go," he said, explaining how other women from their neighborhood in Dakar had also moved to Saudi Arabia with the promise of work.

"She said she couldn't rest - that the work was very hard."

Diop, who is in jail awaiting trial, is one of a growing number of Senegalese women heading to the Middle East for domestic work, lured by the prospect of a salary and a chance to escape joblessness at home, according to Amnesty International.

But many have their passports confiscated by their employers and face abuse, said Amnesty's regional director Alioune Tine.

"These women are of victims of violence and rape ... they are at the mercy of their employer, they are the property of their employer," Tine told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"They are the victims of a system of modern slavery."


Diop has not yet seen a lawyer, appeared in court or entered a plea to the charge of murder, which is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, said Bara Gaye, the mayor of Yeumbeul, a suburb on the outskirts of Dakar that is home to Diop's family.

Senegal's foreign minister Mankeur Ndiaye described Diop last week as "a victim like many others", and said the West African nation's government would crack down on traffickers.

Traditionally, domestic workers in the Gulf have come from Asia but the number of African migrants is increasing, driven by the lack of opportunities at home, human rights activists say.

Women are often trafficked to Saudi Arabia, one of the world's largest employers of domestic workers, and forced into domestic servitude, said the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, which grades countries on their anti-slavery efforts.

Civil society groups and protesters this week gathered in central Dakar to demand clemency for Diop.

Boubacar Seye, head of migrant rights group Horizon Sans Frontieres, called for an investigation into the case, saying none had taken place so far.

"Everyone knows the conditions these women live in - they're like slaves," said Iba Sarr of the human rights group Raddho, urging the Senegalese authorities to pursue the case.

Source: Reuters, August 4, 2016

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