One death every two days. That’s the current execution rate in Saudi Arabia, according to a report from Amnesty International
Much has been written recently of the spate of executions in Pakistan - more than 200 now, and counting - since the moratorium was lifted last December. While this spate of execution surely merits the international condemnation it has provoked, it must not be permitted to obscure the nightmare that is being faced by Pakistani citizens on death row in other countries. Most pressing, perhaps, is the fate of those who face execution in Saudi Arabia.
Given of course we're already talking about a criminal justice system which effectively says to the accused: you're on trial for your life; if we find you guilty we're going to kill you. Given this - and everything that may go with it (concocted or withheld evidence, highly political cases, bungled trials, disparities between the imposition of a death sentence in one case and not in another almost identical one, and so on and so on), does it even matter which method they use? I'd say no, not really. They're all inhumane in principle. The practice is simply another layer of inhumanity, to a greater or lesser degree.
An American state has voted in favour of resuming executions by firing squad. The Utah House of Representatives approved
The disappearance of up to six senior members of the North Korean regime has prompted fears the country’s leader has carried
Islamic State's blood-thirstiness has been much commented on, as has its use of modern technology. Posting videos of a man issuing threats before killing a hostage ... this is the "new normal" for Islamic State comms, but somehow it's exercised a strange power over many western commentators and politicians.
The brutal footage of what appears to be the beheading of US journalist James Foley is not the first of its kind to appear
Human rights activists fear that in spite of its complicity in human rights abuse, Press TV may soon be back on the airwaves, broadcasting more forced confessions and propaganda at a time when President Rouhani is presiding over a bloodbath of political prisoners.
One of the biggest justifications for the death penalty is that it supposedly acts as a deterrent against committing the most serious crimes. But let's call this argument what it really is: wishful thinking. There is simply no convincing evidence that the death penalty deters from crime more than other forms of punishments. In fact, there is evidence to the contrary.
A German crane manufacturer has denied selling its wares to Iran, which were subsequently used in public hangings. Human
Today, Ohio killer Dennis McGuire is sentenced to die in prison, using a drug cocktail which has never before been used to
Eighty people have been executed in North Korea for watching foreign TV and owning bibles, a South Korean newspaper has claimed
Last month, on 27 March to be exact - a Yemeni man was beheaded in the Saudi Arabian city of Jizan and then had his body 'crucified' (ie displayed in public on a pole). It wasn't a one-off. Last year the Saudi authorities also crucified a Sudanese man after his head had been severed by the executioner.
Earlier in March, Indonesian authorities carried convicted drug courier Adami Wilson, a Nigerian, to a remote location and executed him by firing squad. Wilson had complained that he had paid what he had been told was the necessary bribe to secure commutation of his sentence, but the promised mercy never came. He was executed in part because he admitted to corruption.
Saudi Arabia is reportedly considering abolishing beheadings – because of a shortage of swordsmen. Egyptian website Al-Ahram
The death sentence passed two weeks ago by the Iraqi courts on the exiled Vice President of Iraq, Dr. Tariq al-Hashemi, is another milestone on that country's pathway to disaster and civil war.
The west has failed in Iraq. After the fall of Saddam Hussein, not only has Iraq not gone towards more democracy, but the