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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…

Jordan executes 15 people, including 10 on terrorism charges

Country restored capital punishment by hanging in 2014 after eight year moratorium

Jordan executed 15 people on Saturday, including 10 convicted on terrorism charges, government spokesman Mohammad al Momani said.

Momani said those executed included one man who was convicted of an attack last year on an intelligence compound that killed five security personnel.

Another five were involved in an assault by security forces on a militant hideout in Irbid city in the same year that led to the death of seven militants and one police officer, while the rest related to separate incidents that go back as far as 2003.

The five other executions were for rape and sexual assault.

Jordan restored the death sentence by hanging in 2014 after a moratorium on capital punishment between 2006 and 2014.

The executed included those convicted for the attacks on the Jordanian embassy in Baghdad in 2003, on tourists at the Roman amphitheatre in the capital Amman in 2006, on intelligence officers in the Baqaa refugee camp in 2016, and the killing of writer Nahid Hattar, also last year, Mr Momani told the Petra news agency.

King Abdullah II had said in 2005 that Jordan aimed to become the first Middle Eastern country to halt executions in line with most European countries.

Courts continued to hand down death sentences but they were not carried out.

But public opinion blamed a rise in crime on the policy and in December 2014 Jordan hanged 11 men convicted of murder, drawing criticism from human rights groups.

Opinion hardened after the murder by the Islamic State group of captured Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh whose plane had crashed in a jihadist-held region of Syria in December 2014 while serving with a US-led coalition.

Grisly footage posted in February the following year of him being burnt alive in a cage outraged the public.

Swiftly afterwards, Jordan hanged two people convicted of terrorism offences, one of them Sajida al-Rishawi.

She had taken part in a 2005 suicide attack on luxury hotels in Amman organised by IS's forebear, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but her explosives failed to detonate.

Sources: The Guardian, BBC News, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, March 4, 2017

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