2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

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.
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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…

UK will not extradite suspect in murder of Yangon teacher

Harris Binotti
The British government has turned down a request from Myanmar to extradite Harris Binotti, the prime suspect in the Nov. 2016 murder of fellow British national Gary Ferguson in Yangon.

“In April 2017, the Burmese did submit an extradition request to the Home Office, asking that Harris Binotti be extradited from the UK to Burma to stand trial. After careful consideration, earlier this year, the decision was taken by the Home Office to refuse the extradition request,” an official from the UK Home Office told Martin Ferguson, the victim’s brother, via email on Friday.

“The request was refused due to there being no extradition treaty in place between the UK and Burma. In addition, to extradite Mr. Binotti, the UK would violate several human rights obligations,” the email went on.

Binotti fled Myanmar on the afternoon of Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, hours after a fight broke out in his downtown Yangon apartment. Neighbors told Coconuts at the time that they heard people fighting, a woman screaming, and then silence. One neighbor reported seeing one man trying to move the incapacitated body of another man while “apologizing.”

Police were called to the apartment the next day by the victim’s wife, Thai national Supatchaya Sichompor, who goes by the nickname Nong. She and Binotti’s girlfriend, Belgian national Elsie Devolder, told police that they went there looking for Ferguson after he did return several calls and had not been seen for a day. They told police they broke the lock to the apartment with the help of a neighbor and discovered Ferguson’s body inside.

However, neighbors question called the discovery into question, saying Devolder had been at the apartment during the fight. When she was seen removing items from the apartment on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, she ignored questions from journalists asking why she had not reported the situation earlier and whether she had helped Binotti flee the country.

The pair were seen in Glasgow in April 2017. Scottish police said at the time that they could not arrest Binotti until an extradition request from Myanmar was approved by the British government. When Myanmar filed the request that same month, the rights group Amnesty International advised the UK government not to send Binotti back to Myanmar on the grounds that Myanmar still has the death penalty on its books as a punishment for murder.

Martin Ferguson has said he will not stop seeking justice for his slain brother. He wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday: “We will not stop before Binotti is behind UK bars for the murder of our brother, son, husband, and father Gary Ferguson. We will need legal assistance in the UK…We will never give up. No matter what.”

In addition to his widow Nong, Ferguson is survived by a six-year-old son named Jeremy.

In Interpol’s Red Notice database, Binotti is still listed as wanted in Myanmar on suspicion of murder.

Source: Coconuts News, Jacob Goldberg, June, 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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