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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…

Chinese court sentences man to death over school stabbings

Zhao Zewei
A Chinese court sentenced a man to death Tuesday for a knife attack that killed 9 children and wounded another 11 as they returned home from school in northern China.

Zhao Zewei, 28, was arrested in April following the killings that he said were in response to a long-held grudge against the school.

The attack was "premeditated murder," the Yulin Intermediate Court said in a statement, adding that the circumstances warranted the death penalty.

"The goal of the crime was clear, the murderer's methods were despicable, and the consequences were extremely grave," it said on a statement on its website.

After his arrest, Zhao said he had been bullied when he attended the school, "hated" his classmates and decided to use a "dagger" to kill people, the court said in its verdict.

In preparation for the crime, he purchased 5 knives online. He carried 3 of them to the school, where he waited outside the gate for classes to finish before "rushing headlong into the stream of students and ... stabbing wildly," the court said.

9 students died, another 4 were seriously wounded and 7 others received light injuries from the assault, it said.

Zhao was subdued by teachers, security guards and students and then handed over to the police.

Photos from the trial show an emaciated Zhao being held by 2 police officers in the dock as he received his sentence.

Knife attacks are not uncommon in the country.

2 boys were stabbed to death outside a Shanghai elementary school in June.

In February, a knife-wielding man with a personal grudge killed a woman and injured 12 others in a busy Beijing shopping mall - a rare act of violence in the heavily policed capital.

In the southern city of Shenzhen, a man armed with a kitchen knife killed 2 people and wounded 9 others in a supermarket last July.

Source: Agence France-Presse, July 11, 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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