» 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.
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.
24/06/2011 INDONESIA – SAUDI ARABIA
After Ruyati’s beheading, Jakarta stops migrants from going to Saudi Arabia
A migrant worker, Ruyati Binti Satubi Saruna, was sentenced to death for murder and then executed by beheading without Indonesian authorities ever being informed. An additional 28 Indonesian nationals face the death penalty. The Indonesian government and embassy are accused of showing little interest for the fate of Indonesian migrant workers.
Pope Francis tells young people that “genuine love” is not a “soap opera”, but Christians’ real identity card
In his homily for the Jubilee of Teens, Pope Francis asked questions and gave answers to the 70,000 present. Stressing the great ideal of love as giving oneself “without being possessive”, he noted that freedom is “being able to choose the good”. He warned young people “who dare not dream,” telling them that “If you do not dream at your age, you are already ready for retirement”. He also received funds raised for the Ukraine, and appealed for the release of bishops and the priests held in Syria.
Odd alliance between the US and Iranian fundamentalists
Washington is still preventing the use of US dollars in transactions with Iranian banks, preventing business with the outside world in spite of the nuclear deal. This way, the US is helping Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, who want to torpedo the agreement in order to maintain their hold on power. Meanwhile, most Iranians hold down two or three jobs just to make ends meet. An unstable and bellicose Iran is a boon for arms sales. A report follows.
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