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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…

Pakistan: Prisoners' request for painless execution denied

Noose
A court has turned down attempts by 2 death row prisoners who wanted the way death sentences are carried out to be changed.

A 2-judge bench of the Peshawar High Court (PHC) comprising Justice Roohul Amin and Justice Qalandar Ali Khan on Thursday dismissed petitions filed by 2 death row prisoners who have challenged the penalty of "hanging till death" and instead asked for a 'less painful' mode of execution in accordance with modern scientific developments.

The petitioners, Jan Bahadur and Gul Wali, on death row at the Haripur prison for the past 20 years, had challenged hangings.

"Hanging to death is unIslamic and unconstitutional," Khurshid Khan, the lawyer for the petitioners, told the court. He insisted that it was painful and against human values.

"If you are punishing them according to the English law, why do you not execute them through a modern mode?" he asked, noting that the prisoners preferred to have their sentence carried out through a lethal injection instead of being hanged by their necks.

Bahadur had been sentenced to death by an additional district and sessions judge in Takht Bhai on April 7, 2000, for a 1993 murder. After he challenged the mode of execution in July 2017, a stay was granted on the execution of his sentence.

Wali has been on the death row at the Haripur jail for past 22 years and recently submitted a similar application.

"We are not against the executions, but against the mode of execution in Pakistan, which is a cruel one," Khurshid argued. He added that before the arrival of the British in united India, there was no concept of hanging to death.

He further argued that Article 2 of the constitution provides that no law in the country will be made against Islam.

"As hanging by neck till death is not in accordance with Islamic teachings, therefore it is requested to amend section 368," the petitioners contended. Section 368 of the Pakistan Criminal Procedure Code provides that when "any person is sentenced to death, the sentence shall direct that he be hanged by the neck till he is dead."

Khurshid further argued that the court should seek the viewed of the Council of Islamic Ideology.

LHC CJ inaugurates special court to deal with harassment of women cases

The 2-judge bench, though, dismissed the petitions, on the basis that the matter did not fall within the high court's jurisdiction, rather, it should be taken up with the Federal Shariat Court instead to decide whether or not any law is repugnant to the injunctions of Islam.

"There is no subordination in judicial matters," justice Qalander said.

"If a judgment is upheld by the Supreme Court, then there is no jurisdiction of the High Court. Hanging to death is maintained by the Supreme Court," he maintained.

Source: The Express Tribune, January 11, 2018


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