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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 to charge 2 foreign women for airport murder of Kim Jong-nam

Kim Jong Nam
Kim Jong Nam
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian prosecutors will charge two women - an Indonesian and a Vietnamese - with murder over their alleged involvement in the killing of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, the Southeast Asian country's attorney general said on Tuesday.

Kim Jong Nam, who had criticised the regime of his family and his half-brother Kim Jong Un, was killed in Kuala Lumpur earlier this month after the two women allegedly smeared VX nerve agent, a chemical described by the United Nations as a weapon of mass destruction, across his face.

Attorney general Mohamed Apandi Ali said the women will be formally charged on Wednesday under section 302 of the penal code, which carries the death penalty. "I can confirm that," he told Reuters in a text message.

South Korean officials believe the murder was carried out by North Korean agents, and Malaysia has identified eight North Koreans suspected of involvement in the killing.

Jong-nam, 45, was killed by two women, who wiped his face with a chemical at the KLIA2 departure hall on Feb 13.

He was about to leave for Macau.

The North Korean embassy continues to be a focal point for the media.

Source: Asia One, February 28, 2017


2 women to be charged with Kim Jong Nam murder


Doan Thi Huong (left) and Siti Aisyah (right), suspects in the death of Kim Jong-nam
Doan Thi Huong (left) and Siti Aisyah, suspects in the death of Kim Jong-nam.
2 women will be charged with the murder of the estranged half-brother of North Korea's leader, Malaysian officials said Tuesday.

If convicted, Indonesian Siti Aisyah, 25, and Doan Thi Huong of Vietnam, 28, could face the death penalty.

Malaysian Attorney General Mohamed Apandi said the pair will be charged Wednesday over Kim Jong Nam's Feb. 13. death at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

No decision has been made over whether to charge 2 other suspects, a Malaysian out on bail and a North Korean in custody.

Authorities are seeking 7 other North Korean suspects in the incident that resembles the plot of a spy thriller. Several may have already returned to North Korea.

Malaysian police said Siti and Doan placed the deadly nerve agent VX on Kim's face amid crowds of travelers at Kuala Lumpur's airport.

Kim died on the way to a hospital, in pain, within about 20 minutes of the attack.

The women claim they thought they were taking part in a televised prank. South Korea has accused North Korea of orchestrating Kim's death on behalf of the North's leader Kim Jong Un.

But North Korea has resisted that characterization and refused to accept Malaysia's identification of the victim, acknowledging only that a North Korean national with a diplomatic passport was killed.

News that Siti and Doan will be charged under a section of the penal code that carries a mandatory death sentence, came as a high-level delegation including North Korea's former deputy ambassador to the United Nations arrived in Malaysia on Tuesday to discuss the escalating diplomatic row.

Ri Tong-il, the former U.N. deputy ambassador, will request that Malaysia hand over Kim's body to North Korea, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap. Ri will also ask Malaysia to release the North Korean suspect who remains in custody.

The North has accused Malaysia of colluding with South Korea in the investigation.

Kim, who died aged 45, was the eldest son and onetime apparent heir to North Korea's late leader Kim Jong Il. But he fell out of favor with his father, which led to exile, and his younger paternal half-brother - Kim Jong Un, 33 - assumed the role on Kim the elder's death in 2011. He was on his way home to Macau when he was killed and he didn't appear to have any political ambitions, although he had been critical of his half-brother's regime and may have been viewed as a threat.

Police have released few details about the women charged with Kim's murder, but believe they were aware of what they were doing.

Local media reports said Doan is the daughter of a rice farmer from Vietnam. She was caught on security cameras at the airport wearing a shirt with the acronym "LOL" across it.

Siti said she was paid $90 to smear what she thought was a harmless liquid similar to baby oil on Kim's face.

Police said both women washed their hands shortly after the encounter.

Source: USA Today, February 28, 2017

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