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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…

Philippines: House poised to pass 'watered-down' death penalty bill

MANILA - The House of Representatives is poised to pass a watered-down version of the bill reimposing the death penalty.

The Supermajority will meet in a closed door caucus again on Monday to perfect the amendments to the bill which is now one step short of the vote on 2nd reading—-which is indicative of the vote on final reading.

The plenary adjourned last week after adopting the substitute bill during the period of amendments. 

The substitute bill reduced the crimes that will be punishable with death penalty to just 4 from the original 21--rape, treason, plunder and illegal drugs.

House Justice Committee Chair Rey Umali said he thinks they can no longer water down the bill.

"I don't know how much more we can water it down. It's already watered down, from 21 crimes down to 4," he said.

"We have agreed through the causes to reduce the crimes covered to 4 namely treason, plunder, rape and drugs and even within drugs binawasan pa natin yun possession is not covered," he added.

He admitted that the amendments of the bill made it more acceptable to lawmakers.

The Monday meeting will be a fine tuning of the gravity of provisions of the bill according to Umali, such as the specifics of the 4 crimes.

"We will just tweak the substitute bill to just make sure ma-cover yung the more grave crime doon sa final version namin but only will fall within the 4 crimes covered," he said.

Umali also raised the possibility of voting on the bill earlier than scheduled—which is on Tuesday.


'NO PRESSURE FROM CATHOLIC CHURCH'


Meanwhile, Rep. Estrelita Suansing and Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia both maintained there is no Church pressure on them to vote against the bill.

"The answer is no. There is no movement from the Church convincing us [how] to vote," Suansing said.

"Our archbishop of the Diocese of Cebu, Archbishop Palms, has not made any move whatsoever. Perhaps they also know my position is for the death penalty. [I'm] supporting the same position my father had in [the] 8th and 9th congresses," Garcia added.

Source: ABS-CBN News, February 27, 2017

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