» 06/06/2013, 00.00
Not enough executioners for Saudi Arabia's death row inmates
Justice Ministers plans to add shooting to beheading as a method of execution; not out of compassion, but because the lack of executioners is causing a backlog. Since January 2013, at least 40 people have been executed, the last one on 14 May. Last year, 76 people were executed.
Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Saudi Arabia is governed by Sharia and people
sentenced to death are executed with a sword in accordance with Islamic law. However,
fewer people are interested in a "career" in executing others, a task
that requires a lot of cold blood and a lot of training in how to swing
properly the sword. In
fact, a memo from the Saudi Justice Ministry is bemoaning a labour shortage in
people trained to use the blade.
Within the kingdom, courts are forced to compete for executioners, who must
travel around the country to carry out sentences. This is slowing down the
justice system. To speed matters up, the Justice Ministry has issued an order
allowing courts to shoot prisoners on the grounds that this method is not
the lack of trained executioners has not slowed down executions in Saudi
the beginning 2013, at least 40 people have been put to death. The
last case occurred on 14 May in Najran, in the country's south-west. The
executed felon, Maneh al-Daen, had been convicted of stabbing to death a fellow
tribesman. Last year, the kingdom executed 76 people.
years, the main human rights groups and many Western governments have tried to
get the Saudi kingdom to implement fairer trials and less cruel executions. However, Saudi
Arabia is the only country in the world where the death sentence by beheading can
be carried out in a public place.
death penalty is applied in cases of murder, armed robbery, rape and drug
trafficking, as well as witchcraft and sodomy.
cruel are sentences for minor offences s such as theft and crimes of opinion,
which in addition to jail time, may include public flogging or the chopping off
of hands or feet.
a case involving two men, a Lebanese and a Saudi, sentenced to six years in
prison and 300 lashes for pushing a young woman to convert to Christianity, generated
a lot of discussion in the country. They were convicted despite the fact that
the young woman, who is a refugee in Sweden, defended the two, saying in a
video that she had converted without compulsion.
20/04/2012 SAUDI ARABIA
Sri Lanka woman accused of sorcery could be beheaded in Saudi Arabia
She was arrested after a man complained that his daughter started acting strangely during a trip to a shopping centre in Jeddah after they came close to the Sri Lankan. Since September, two people have been put to death for the same reason.
20/07/2016 15:25:00 SAUDI ARABIA
With Ramadan over, Saudi executions pick up; so far almost 100 carried out this year
Two people, a Saudi convicted of murder and a Pakistani sentenced for drug trafficking, are executed, bringing to 98 the number of executions in 2016. Rights groups note that this year’s rate of executions is higher than last year’s at this point in time.
10/10/2011 BANGLADESH – SAUDI ARABIA
Eight Bangladeshis publicly beheaded in Riyadh, five more at risk
The men were migrant workers. Pleas by human rights activists against the “barbaric”, “appalling” and “medieval” practice fell on deaf ears. The government and embassy of Bangladesh are criticised for the way they dealt with the matter.
26/11/2009 SAUDI ARABIA
Riyadh: man to be decapitated for witchcraft
In a recent report, Human Rights Watch calls for the sentence to be overturned. Each year, dozens of people are convicted in the desert kingdom for acts against Sharia.
21/06/2011 INDONESIA – SAUDI ARABIA
Indonesian woman beheaded in Saudi Arabia, Jakarta threatens to stop flow of migrants
A 54-year-old woman was beheaded last Saturday for killing her employer. The Indonesian Embassy was unaware of her trial because Saudi authorities failed to inform them. Indonesian public opinion reacts strongly to the incident.
Defeated on ice, but 'first' in history, joint Korean hockey team players hug
After losing to Sweden in their last match, the Korean team ends up in seventh place. Players burst into tears at their imminent separation. "Politicians made that executive decision [to have a joint team]. Our players and staff are the ones that made it work,” said the team’s proud Canadian coach. One South Korean athlete hopes the country is proud of them. "It was bigger than hockey."
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