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Dino Bernard Lapitan

Human Rights
June 29, 2017

Democratic Republic of Congo

Methods of Execution
Pursuant to an 1898 decree, civilians are executed by hanging. The DRC penal code, however, states that the
President has the power to designate the method of execution.
Pursuant to an 1898 decree, members of the military are executed by shooting. The DRC penal code, however, states
that the President has the power to designate the method of execution.
Public executions are forbidden without executive approval, and a 1936 law forbids the photographing of executions.
Congo has executed at least one other child soldier, a fourteen-year-old who was put to death shortly after being
sentenced in January 2000. The execution of individuals for crimes committed below age eighteen violates the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, international
human rights treaties to which Congo is a party. On March 20, 2016, a tense presidential election in the Republic of
the Congo resulted in the re-election of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who has been in power for a total of 32
years. One of the elections least discussed outcomes is its solidification of the new constitution that President
Sassou introduced last year and that provides for abolition of the death penalty.
Death Penalty Law Status
Abolitionist de facto. The last execution took place in 2003.

Methods of Execution
Under secular law, hanging is the method of execution. Under Shariah law (applied in some northern Nigerian
states), executions can be carried out by hanging. Under the Federal Robbery and Firearms Act, applicable in the
Federal Capital Territory, death sentences can be carried out by hanging, if so decided by the governor. The High
Court of Lagos declared that execution by hanging is unconstitutional, however the ruling is only enforceable within
Lagos State.
Under Shariah law (applied in some northern Nigerian states), executions can be carried out by firing squad. Under
the Federal Robbery and Firearms Act, applicable in the Federal Capital Territory, death sentences can be carried out
by firing squad, if so decided by the governor. The High Court of Lagos declared that execution by firing squad is
unconstitutional, however the ruling is only enforceable within Lagos State.
Stoning (rajm) is a Shariah law punishment applied in some northern Nigerian states and reserved for Muslims. The
punishment applies broadly for adultery, rape (if the offender is married), incest (if the offender is married) and
homosexual sodomy. Evidentiary requirements for demonstrating these offenses, if enforced, are very demanding.
Crucifixion (salb) is a form of punishment under Shariah for hirabah (armed robbery) resulting in death when
property is actually taken. Shariah law punishments are applied in some northern Nigerian states. Nigerian states
differ on what is meant by crucifixion. Methods of executions include hanging, shooting and stoning and are
carried out for crimes ranging from murder, terrorism-related offenses, rape, robbery, kidnapping, same-sex
marriage, treason, and mutiny. No executions took place from 2006 to 2013, when four prisoners on death row were
executed. In a 2014 research made by Amnesty International, about 697 people were sentenced to death by firing
squad or by hanging. On 17 December 2014, about 54 Nigerian soldiers were sentenced to death by firing squad
after they were found guilty of mutiny.

The use of the death penalty in Nigeria has generated mixed opinions among people in society. Some people find this
form of punishment as a tool which violates the human rights to live which is considered as a fundamental human
right. Public activists also see this type of punishment as a tool meant to discriminate against the masses.
In recent years, there have been protests and calls from reputable organizations including the Economic Community of
West African States (ECOWAS) for the abolition of capital punishment in the country. In October 2014, former Governor
of Delta State Emmanuel Uduaghan pardoned three inmates who were on death row following the recommendations by
the State Advisory Council on Prerogative of Mercy.

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. Nigeria executed four individuals in 2013.

Palestinian Territories
Death Penalty Law Status
Methods of Execution
(firing squad).
According to Nutzworld website two methods of execution are currently applied in Palestine, namely hanging and
firing squad. According to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, from 2006 through 2010 five death sentences
were carried out, of which two by firing squad and three by hanging. This seems to confirm the Nutzworld website
Two men were hanged, one after being found guilty of beating another man to death with a hammer in August,
Alresalah reported, and the other on a murder conviction. A third man was executed by a firing squad after he shot and
killed a man in 2014 who was trying to collect a debt.

No one should be put to death, certainly not as a part of a legal system in which torture and coercion are common,
Sari Bashi, the Human Rights Watch director for Israeli and Palestinian issues, said in a statement.
Hamas officials have carried out the death penalty at least 67 times since taking control of the territory in 2007,
according to the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights. That figure does not include extrajudicial killings by
Hamas of people suspected of collaborating with Israel during the three wars of the past decade.
Most Palestinians approve of the death penalty for those convicted of spying for Israel, a crime that is viewed as deeply
shameful in a society long under the shadow of a military occupation.
The Palestinian people want this, and we are doing what they asked for, said Mushir al-Masri, a Hamas lawmaker.
Long-established tribal laws among Palestinians in Gaza allow a family to accept compensation for the killing of a loved
one, to pardon the killer or to demand retribution.
Hamas leaders had halted the use of the death penalty for convicted collaborators and murderers in June 2014, but
lawmakers argued that it should be revived to help address concerns about rising crime.
Confession obtained through torture

Saudi Arabia
Death Penalty Law Status
Methods of Execution
Sources indicate that public beheading is probably the common method of execution in Saudi Arabia. The
condemned are sedated prior to execution.
Public stoning can be used to execute individuals who have been convicted of acts such as adultery. The condemned
are sedated prior to execution.
There are reports that at least one execution in January 2009 and two in 2008 may have taken place by shooting.
Over the past few years, reported executions have been almost exclusively by beheading, despite the prevalence of
media discussion of the possibility of death by stoning. There are reports that Saudis have exposed the body (with
head sewn back on) of the condemned to public indignity, including crucifixion, after execution for the crime of
highway robbery resulting in death.

Capital punishment is a legal penalty in Saudi Arabia, and is based on Shari'ah (or Islamic law).
The wide range of crimes which can result in the death penalty and the use of public beheading are condemned
internationally. In 2011, the Saudi government reported 26 executions in the country. Amnesty International counted a
minimum of 79 in 2013. Foreigners accounted for "almost half" of executions in 2013, mainly on convictions for drug
smuggling and murder, although there has not been any report of a Western national being executed in the recent
history of Saudi Arabia. In 2015, the number of beheadings reached a two decade high of "at least" 157 and 47 were
executed on 2 January 2016.
Saudi Arabia has a criminal justice system based on a hardline and literal form of Shari'ah law reflecting a particular
state-sanctioned interpretation of Islam.
The death penalty can be imposed for a wide range of offences including murder, rape, false prophecy, blasphemy,
armed robbery, repeated drug use, apostasy, adultery, witchcraft and sorcery and can be carried out by beheading with
a sword, or more rarely by firing squad, and sometimes by stoning.
The 345 reported executions between 2007 and 2010 were all carried out by public beheading. The last reported
execution for sorcery took place in August 2014. There were no reports of stoning between 2007 and 2010, but
between 1981 and 1992 there were four cases of execution by stoning reported.
Crucifixion of the beheaded body is sometimes ordered. For example, in 2009, the Saudi Gazette reported that
"An Abha court has sentenced the leader of an armed gang to death and three-day crucifixion (public displaying of the
beheaded body) and six other gang members to beheading for their role in jewelry store robberies in Asir. (This practice
resembles gibbeting, in which the entire body is displayed).
In 2003, Muhammad Saad al-Beshi, whom the BBC described as "Saudi Arabia's leading executioner", gave a rare
interview to Arab News. He described his first execution in 1998: "The criminal was tied and blindfolded. With one
stroke of the sword I severed his head. It rolled metres away...People are amazed how fast [the sword] can separate the
head from the body. He also said that before an execution he visits the victim's family to seek forgiveness for the
criminal, which can lead to the criminal's life being spared. Once an execution goes ahead, his only conversation with
the prisoner is to tell him or her to recite the Muslim declaration of belief, the Shahada. "When they get to the
execution square, their strength drains away. Then I read the execution order, and at a signal I cut the prisoner's head
off," he said.
As of 2003, executions have not been announced in advance. They can take place any day of the week, and they often
generate large crowds. Photography and video of the executions is also forbidden, although there have been numerous
cases of photographed and videoed executions in the spite of the law against them.

Sharia background
The Saudi judiciary can impose the death penalty according to three categories of criminal offence in Sharia law.

Hudud: Fixed Quranic punishments for specific crimes. Hudud crimes which can result in the death penalty include
apostasy, adultery, and sodomy.
Qisas: Eye-for-an-eye retaliatory punishments. Qisas crimes include murder. Families of someone murdered can
choose between demanding the death penalty or granting clemency in return for a payment of diyya, or blood
money, by the perpetrator. A trend has developed of exorbitant blood-money demands: a recent report mentions a
sum of $11 million demanded in exchange for clemency.
Tazir: A general category, including crimes defined by national regulations, some of which can be punished by death,
such as drug trafficking.
A conviction requires proof in one of three ways.

1. An uncoerced confession.
2. The testimony of two male witnesses can result in conviction. This excludes "hudud crimes", in which case a
confession is also required.
3. An affirmation or denial by oath can be required.
Giving an oath is taken particularly seriously in a religious society such as Saudi Arabia's, and a refusal to take an oath
will be taken as an admission of guilt resulting in conviction.
People convicted of treason can be sentenced to death, as with many other countries.
However, Saudi Arabia still ranks behind China and Iran in execution rates.

Death Penalty Law Status
Retentionist. While many executions in Somalia should be considered extrajudicial executions because they are not
carried out by a functioning government, there were legal executions carried out in 2008, and the TFG, Somaliland,
Puntland and militia-controlled regions retain the death penalty. In January 2011, the TGF executed three soldiers
for murder.
Methods of Execution
The unrecognized Republic of Somaliland continues applying the old Somali Penal Code, under which executions are
by shooting. The federal government has carried out executions by shooting. Extrajudicial tribunals associated with
militias carry out executions by shooting. Death is by shooting under the Military Penal Code.
Somalia recognizes Sharia law (alongside existing law) and Islamic tribunals, which could authorize other methods of
execution. Various methods of execution are used, including beheading and stoning, but these have been
extrajudicial executions by militias. In fact, these executions were illegal under Sharia law, and it may be wise to
view them as acts of terrorism by militias to frighten and subjugate the population in areas under militia control.

Military firing squads are officially used for capital crime offenses. They are reserved for capital crimes like treason,
sabotage, desertion and mutiny. Methods such as stoning and hanging are also used, but are not as common as
military firing squad

Capital Crimes

Seventeen Articles in the national law officially provide for the death penalty for capital crimes. These include:
Article 1
"committing offences adverse or damaging to the independence, unity and security of the Somali State"
Article 2
utilizing weapons against the State when it is at war
Article 3
establishing organizations "whose purpose and work is hostile to the security of the Somali State"
Article 4
conspiring with a foreign power
Article 8
engaging in armed banditry
Article 12
"using religion for the purpose of breaking up the unity of the Somali people or weakening or damaging the authority of
the Somali state"
Article 16
engaging in trade with a nation hostile to the Somali Democratic Republic
Article 18
displaying or disseminating information "aimed at damaging the sovereignty of the revolution of the Somali nation"
n Somalia, a country long troubled by deadly violence, there's a disturbing new trend: an increase in summary
Somali military courts and the militant group al-Shabab have each executed about a dozen people so far in 2017, all of
them killed in public settings as crowds of between 30 and 300 people looked on.
Military courts put to death 11 people in April alone, including a policeman convicted of murdering a civilian, a soldier
convicted of killing a civilian, and four al-Shabab militants sentenced for explosions that killed some 80 people in the
town of Baidoa.
The execution of five young men by firing squad in the semi-autonomous Puntland region on April 8 sparked the most
controversy. Amnesty International says the defendants, all accused of murdering officials in the town of Bossaso, were
too young to be tried as adults, never given access to a lawyer and coerced into giving false confessions.

The rights group says that according to family members, the boys confessed to the killings only after being beaten,
raped, subjected to electric shocks and burned with cigarettes on their genitals.

On May 1, al-Shabab executed two other men -- Ahmed Ibrahim Ragow, 29, and Yusuf Ali Bajin, 22 -- for allegedly
raping a girl and killing her brother in the city of Beledweye. One was shot by firing squad; the other was publicly

Retentionist countries: 58
Abolitionist-in-practice countries (have not executed anyone during the last 10 years and are believed to have a policy or
established practice of not carrying out executions): 29
Abolitionist countries except for crimes committed under exceptional circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime): 7
Abolitionist countries: 104