EYE FOR AN EYE---- Paralysis, eye gouging and crucifixion -- the Medieval and
grotesque punishments faced by criminals in Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabia
continues use barbaric methods of execution claiming they are justified by the
Quran and its traditions
Saudi Arabia has some of the most barbaric and bizarre punishments in the
world. Public beheadings, amputations, eye for an eye retribution and flogging
all form part of the justice system.
As The Sun reported this week, a murderer was crucified after being found
guilty of repeatedly stabbing a woman, his body hung on a cross after
Crown Prince Salman wants to make the desert kingdom a tech savvy 21st century
nation and has introduced liberal reforms.
Yet for all his ambitions, the country still has the trappings of one caught in
a altogether different era, particularly when it comes to its justice system.
Saudi Arabia retains the death penalty for a large number of offences including
drug trafficking and "sorcery" as well as murder.
The majority of death sentences are carried out in public by beheading, drawing
comparisons with the shocking brutality of the Islamic State.
The system is based on Shariah law, which the Saudis say is rooted in Islamic
tradition and the Quran.
While they insist trials are conducted to the strictest standards of fairness,
evidence has emerged from the country to suggest the opposite.
Trials are reported to have lasted a day and confessions extracted under
The country has no written penal code and no code of criminal procedure and
That allows courts wide powers to determine what constitutes a criminal offence
and what sentences crimes deserve.
The only means of appeal is directly to the King, who decides whether the
condemned lives or dies.
The list of punishments makes for grim reading.
Last year the kingdom year carried out 146 executions, the 3rd highest rate in
the world behind China and Iran, according to Amnesty International.
In the first 4 months of this year alone it has carried out 86 beheadings, 1/2
of them for non-violent crimes such as drugs offences.
There has been a surge in executions since last month, with at least 27 people
executed in July alone, say Amnesty International.
Beheading remains the most common form of execution and the sentence
traditionally carried out in a public square on a Friday after prayers.
Deera Square in the centre of the capital Riyadh is known locally as "Chop Chop
The work maybe grim but country's chief executioner appeared to take pride in
After visiting the victim's family to see if they want to forgive the prisoner,
they are then taken for beheading.
"When they get to the execution square, their strength drains away," the BBC
reported Muhammad Saad al-Beshi as saying.
"Then I read the execution order, and at a signal I cut the prisoner's head
A recent surge in rate of executions led to ads place for an 8 executioners on
the civil service jobs website.
In Saudi Arabia, the practice of "crucifixion" refers to the court-ordered
public display of the body after execution, along with the separated head if
In one case pictures on social media appearing to show 5 decapitated bodies
hanging from a horizontal pole with their heads wrapped in bags.
The beheading and "crucifixion" took place in front of the University of Jizan
where students were taking exams takes place in a public square to act as a
The ability of courts to decide for themselves sentences that fit the crime has
led to sentences of "qisas" or retribution.
The most high profile example was that of Ali al-Khawahir, who was 14 when
stabbed a friend in the neck, leaving him paralysed from the waist down.
10 years later was sentenced to be paralysed unless he paid a million Saudi
riyals to the victim.
At the time Amnesty International said the sentence was "utterly shocking" even
for Saudi Arabia.
In such cases, the victim can demand the punishment be carried out, request
financial compensation or grant a conditional or unconditional pardon.
Stoning remains a punishment for adultery for women in Saudi Arabia.
According to 1 witness, the accused are put into holes and then have rocks
tipped on them from a truck.
In 2015 a married 45-year-old woman, originally from Sri Lanka, who was working
as a maid in Riyadh, was sentenced to death by stoning.
Her partner, who was single and also from Sri Lanka, was given a punishment of
100 lashes after being found guilty of the same offence.
Abd ul-Latif Noushad, an Indian citizen, was sentenced to have his right eye
gouged out in retribution for his role in a brawl in which a Saudi citizen was
He worked at a petrol station and got into an altercation about a jump lead a
customer wanted a refund for and in the ensuing struggle struck the other man
on the head, hitting his eye.
A court of appeal in Riyadh has reportedly merely asked whether the Saudi man
would accept monetary compensation instead, according to Human Rights Watch.
On September 16, 2004, the Saudi newspaper Okaz reported that a court in Tabuk
ordered the right eye of Muhammad `Ayid Sulaiman al-Fadili al-Balawi to be
The court gave him the option of paying compensation within one year and it was
reported he had raised the 1.4 million riyals required.
Another Saudi newspaper, ArabNews, reported on December 6 that a court had
recently sentenced an Egyptian man in to having his eye gouged.
He was accused of throwing acid in the face of another man, who subsequently
lost his eyesight.
Those convicted of insulting Islam can also expect to be flogged.
In a case that has brought international condemnation, blogger Raif Badawi was
sentenced to 1000 lashes as well as 10 years behind bars.
Video shows a crowd cheering as the first 50 lashes of his sentence was carried
out, an ordeal which his wife Ensaf Haidar, who says nearly killed him.
Last year a man was sentenced 10 years in prison and 2,000 lashes for
expressing his atheism on Twitter.
The 28-year-old reportedly refused to repent, insisting what he wrote reflected
his beliefs and that he had the right to express them.
Bulawayo 'serial killer' gets death sentence
BULAWAYO "serial killer" Rodney Tongai Jindu yesterday pulled another shocker
when he pleaded for assisted suicide before he was eventually sentenced to
death for the callous murder of 2 of his friends last year.
Jindu (27) of Glengarry suburb in the city was arrested 8 months ago in
connection with the deaths of Mboneli Joko Ncube and Cyprian Kudzurunga.
He shot dead Kudzurunga (28) of Queens Park East on January 29, buried him in a
shallow grave in Burnside suburb and sent a message to the deceased's mother
pretending to be her son who had suddenly decided to leave the country.
He also shot Ncube and maimed his body and set the parts on fire before burying
them in 4 shallow graves in Burnside.
During trial, Jindu told the court that he was sent by the devil to kill 2 of
his victims and threatened to unleash the evil spirit on prosecutors.
He said when he committed the 2 murders, he was under the influence of heroin
and methamphetamine (crystal meth) which created an urge for him to kill.
Jindu also confessed that he ate the pair's raw livers and cooked the brains
before consuming them.
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Nokuthula Moyo ignored Jindu's "unreasonable
plea" when she convicted him of murder with actual intent.
In sentencing Jindu, Justice Moyo said capital punishment was the most
"The accused person is convicted of 2 counts of murder with actual intent. You
killed 2 people in a space of 3 weeks. You mutilated the body of the deceased
in count 1; you took away property belonging to the deceased in count 2.
He (Jindu) executed the murders meticulously by first of all carrying a gun
which should have been kept at his mother's home. He then tried in a very
clever way to conceal the murders by first sending text messages to the
relatives of his victims as to the deceased whereabouts. He also deceived the
police," she said.
Justice Moyo said Jindu then came up with a flowery story that Lucifer
commanded him to murder the 2.
"He even refused to divulge intricate details of the murders hiding behind his
fabricated Lucifer image. He cannot be found to be remorseful. His Lucifer
version means that he is still bent on tricking the court right up to the end,"
Justice Moyo said Jindu committed murder with 4 aggravating features:
mutilation of the deceased's body in count 1, 2 series of murders in a short
space of time, pre-planning and theft of a laptop which amounts to a robbery in
relation to the deceased in count 2.
"The accused played God when he decided when his 2 friends would die. He
breached the trust they bestowed upon him when he decided to end their lives,"
Justice Moyo ruled that under the circumstances, Jindu deserved nothing else
other than capital punishment.
"If the accused person does not deserve capital punishment or if he is spared
capital punishment then it means the relevance of capital punishment as
enshrined in our law will become meaningless," she said.
"There is no weighty mitigation that has been submitted neither has there been
any glaring facts in the court record that could outweigh the meting out of
capital punishment in these circumstances. It is for these reasons that the
court finds that the only punishment that befits the circumstances of this case
is capital punishment".
Asked if he had any reasons or objection as to why the death sentence cannot be
passed on him, Jindu responded: "It's fine, it's fine, it's fine".
Justice Moyo told him that he has a right of appeal against both conviction and
As Jindu's lawyer, Mr Dixon Abraham, was presenting his mitigation, Jindu
abruptly interjected and asked for assisted suicide much to the shock of his
"My Lady, I don't mean to be disrespectful but could I get assisted suicide?"
However, Justice Moyo quickly interjected and said he would get a chance to
In mitigation, Mr Abraham appealed for a lesser sentence saying Jindu had been
remorseful as he had apologised to his mother and the deceased's families.
"How does it benefit society or the court to extinguish another life?" he said.
The State represented by Chief Public Prosecutor Mrs Tariro Rosa Takuva and
prosecutor Ms Nokuthaba Ngwenya pushed for the death sentence saying the
murders were committed in aggravating circumstances.
Man gets death sentence for killing PKR man Bill Kayong
A 30-year-old man, accused of murdering Miri PKR secretary Bill Kayong 2 years
ago, was sentenced to death by the High Court here today.
The punishment was meted out by High Court Judge P. Ravinthran after the
accused, Mohamad Fitri Fauzi was found guilty of fatally shooting the native
rights activist on June 21, 2016.
The offence, under Section 302 of the Penal Code, carries the mandatory death
Ravinthran also ruled that the prosecution that the prosecution had proven its
case beyond reasonable doubt.
According to the charge sheet read by Deputy Public Prosecutor Nur Nisla Abdul
Latif, Mohamad Fitri was accused of committing the offence at a traffic light
junction at Jalan Miti-Kuala Baram on June 21, 2016 at 8.20am.
Bill Kayong or Mohd Hasbie Abdullah died of gun shot wounds at the scene.
4 suspects, including Mohamad Fitri and a 'Datuk', were detained since 2016 to
facilitate police investigations into the murder.
3 of them were freed on June 6, last year, as there was insufficient evidence
linking them to Mohamad Fitri and the crime.
Iran's Judiciary Threatens Executions for Economic 'Crimes'
Iran's senior officials are attempting to head off a looming economic crisis -
triggered by the return of US sanctions - with threats of new rights-abusing
Tehran's prosecutor, Jafari Dolatabadi, on Wednesday warned that importers who
abuse government subsidies could be charged with "corruption on earth," which
carries a possible death sentence.
Several hardliner newspapers and parliamentarians have echoed Dolatabadi's call
to execute people found responsible for contributing to the country's economic
After the US withdrawal from the nuclear agreement with Iran, the economy is in
dire straits. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the Iranian rial has lost 70
% of its value since May. Possible massive corruption will not help protect
people's economic rights. Amidst these deteriorating economic conditions,
Iranians have sporadically protested economic conditions, government
corruption, and lack of social and political rights since late December 2017.
While Iranian officials have called on the judiciary to prosecute economic
crimes, the threat of applying the death penalty is very alarming. Iran is
notorious for executing people for crimes that do not meet the basic
international standard of limiting capital punishment to the most serious
offenses. According to Amnesty International, in 2017 alone, Iran executed at
least 507 people, including those who were convicted for crimes they committed
Iran has also executed several people on vague fraud charges with little
transparency or due process. In 2014, authorities executed Mahafarid Amir
Khosravi, a billionaire businessman at the heart of a US$2.6 billion state
banking scam in Iran, without even informing his lawyer. Today, Babak Zanjani,
a businessman, is on death row on charges of withholding billions in oil
revenue channeled through his companies as part of Iran's efforts to evade
The Iranian economy became increasingly non-transparent while it was under
heavy international sanctions between 2010 and 2013. Today, officials
increasingly talk about the need to combat corruption at every level. Yet to do
so requires an independent judiciary that ensures due process rights for all
The judiciary's long record of violating detainees' rights and wanton
application of the death penalty raises grave concerns. Executions, an inhumane
and inherently irreversible punishment, are never the answer, and in this case
can only distract from other causes of this economic turmoil.
(source: Human Rights Watch)
A service courtesy of Washburn University School of Law www.washburnlaw.edu
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