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Death sentences and executions in 2013

The authorities in Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco/Western Sahara, Qatar and Tunisia continued to impose death sentences but not to carry out executions. Executions were carried out for crimes not involving intentional killings – therefore not meeting the threshold for the use of the death penalty under international standards. Death sentences were implemented for crimes such as armed robbery and “adultery” (Saudi Arabia), drugs offences (Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE), rape (Iran, Kuwait), and vaguely worded political “offences”, such as moharebeh (“enmity against God” – Iran), “collaboration” with Israel (Palestinian Authority), and charges under broad anti-terrorism laws (“belonging to a terrorist group” – Iraq). Death sentences were imposed for rape (UAE), “collaboration with Israel” (Lebanon) and for terrorism offences (Algeria). However, in UAE and Yemen, reports indicated a reduction of death sentences for crimes other than murder. People who were under the age of 18 at the time of their alleged crimes were executed in Saudi Arabia, in violation of international law, and may have been executed in Iran and Yemen. Foreign nationals were at particular risk of capital punishment in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE, in part because adequate interpretation facilities were not available during interrogations or trials. Fair trial concerns in 2013 included, among other things, military courts imposing death sentences, sometimes on civilians, in Egypt, Lebanon, Libya and the Palestinian Authority (PA, West Bank; Hamas authorities, Gaza). Death sentences were handed down by courts despite the suspect being tried in their absence (in absentia) in Algeria, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya and the Palestinian Authority. In Algeria and Lebanon, death sentences were imposed posthumously. In Iran and Iraq, “appeals” procedures did not provide a genuine review of sentences. The widespread use of “confessions” obtained under torture or other ill-treatment continued to be of serious concern, especially in Iran, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority (Hamas authorities, Gaza) and Saudi Arabia. At least 40 death sentences were imposed in Algeria, for acts such as murder and related to terrorist attacks. Most were sentenced to death in connection with attacks carried out by the armed group al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). At least 26 death sentences were handed down in absentia, and at least one was imposed posthumously, on a man already killed in a police operation. In May, two men were given the death penalty for killing hundreds of civilians and soldiers between 1996 and 2004. In December, amendments to the Penal Code were adopted, which included the death penalty for kidnappers of children if the victim dies. No executions took place in Bahrain and, for the first time in four years, no new death sentences were imposed. However, the death sentence of Ali Yousef Abdulwahab al-Taweel was upheld on 23 January 2013 following a retrial by the High Criminal Court of Appeal. It had first been imposed by a special military court in 2011 in connection with the death of a police officer in March that year. Punishments laid out in the 2006 anti-terrorism law were toughened through emergency decrees issued by the King of Bahrain. Decree no. 20 of 31 July 2013 expanded the scope of capital punishment to include bomb attacks which result in casualties. At least 109 death sentences were handed down in Egypt, but it could not be confirmed

Index: ACT 50/001/2014

Amnesty International March 2014

Death sentences and executions 2013  

This report is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Russian and Spanish at the following link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AC...

Death sentences and executions 2013  

This report is also available in Arabic, Farsi, French, Russian and Spanish at the following link: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AC...

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