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2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

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With crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, 2018 was a deeply violent and barbaric year for Saudi Arabia, under his de facto leadership.
PhotoDeera Square is a public space located in front of the Religious Police building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which public executions (usually by beheading) take place. It is sometimes known as Justice Square and colloquially called Chop Chop Square. After Friday prayers, police and other officials clear the area to make way for the execution to take place. After the beheading of the condemned, the head is stitched to the body which is wrapped up and taken away for the final rites.
This year execution rates of 149 executions, shows an increase from the previous year of three executions, indicating that death penalty trends are soaring and there is no reversal of this trend in sight.
The execution rates between 2015-2018 are amongst the highest recorded in the Kingdom since the 1990s and coincide with the ascension of king Salman to the t…

Malaysia: Death row inmate spared the noose thanks to royal pardon

Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah
Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (center)
A man who was sentenced to death for drug trafficking in 2009 has received a 2nd chance at life after Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah granted him a pardon.

Shahrul Izani Suparman, 33, and his family were told of the news a week ago at the Sungai Buloh prison.

His mother, Sapenah Nawawi, 59, who had been working together with Amnesty International Malaysia to save his life, said she was very happy that her son got a second chance.

"I am very grateful to God. I would like to thank His Royal Highness for granting him a pardon and thank you to everyone who has been fighting to save his life," she told a press conference on Monday.

In September 2003, Shahrul Izani, then 19, was arrested during a routine roadblock after being found in possession of 622gm of cannabis.

In December 2009, he was convicted by the Shah Alam High Court for drug trafficking, an offence that carries the mandatory death penalty.

Amnesty International Malaysia took up Shahrul's case, making calls to the Selangor Pardons Board to commute the death sentence.

More than 10,000 signatures from all over the world were collected in an appeals campaign that began in 2015.

Amnesty International Malaysia executive director Shamini Darshni said that while this battle was won as a life had been saved, the use of the death penalty continues.

"The secrecy surrounding executions in Malaysia (further) tarnishes our eroding human rights record at the global level.

"Now that the Sultan of Selangor has granted Shahrul's clemency application, we hope that the Federal Government will exercise its political will and abolish the mandatory death penalty as a 1st step towards total abolition," she said.

Source: thestar.com.my, February 27, 2017

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