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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…

Pakistani man sentenced for rape, murder of Zainab Ansari

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Karachi, Pakistan (CNN) - A Pakistani man was sentenced to death Saturday for the rape and murder of a 7-year-old girl whose killing last month led to widespread protests.

Imran Ali, 24, was found guilty by a court in Lahore on four counts of murder, abduction, rape and sodomy of a minor.

Zainab Ansari's body was found dumped in garbage close to her home in the city of Kasur, in eastern Punjab province, authorities said.

The Prosecutor General of Punjab, Eihtesham Qadir Shah, announced the court's verdict at a televised news conference. The trial lasted four days, he said.

A series of attacks on girls in Kasur over the past two years have left parents angry and afraid to let their daughters leave the house.

Zainab was taken from near her home in Kasur on January 4 while her parents were in Saudi Arabia on a pilgrimage. Her uncle reported her missing the next day, police said.

Speaking to CNN last month, her family recalled a girl who loved mangoes and ice cream, and who wanted to be a doctor or a teacher.

Muhammad Amin Ansari and Nusrat Amin -- the parents of Zainab Ansari -- hold up her school uniform, jacket and schoolbag.

"Allah had made her so lovely that anyone who met her instantly fell in love with her," said her father, Muhammad Amin Ansari.

Her brother said that he hadn't been able to sleep since Zainab's brutalized body had been found.

"She was so funny," Abu Zar Ansari said. "I miss her laughter, I can't forget her laughter."

Kasur district was previously at the center of a child sexual abuse scandal in which a gang of up to 25 men was accused of blackmailing scores of children into making sex videos between 2009 and 2014.

The abuse was uncovered in 2015 and a number of suspects were arrested.

Source: CNN, Sophia Saifi, February 17, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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