News / Middle East

Amnesty Alarmed About Middle East Executions

Amnesty International Calls Executions in the Middle East Alarmingi
X
April 10, 2013 2:44 PM
Twenty-one nations carried out the death penalty in 2012, according to Amnesty International's yearly report published on Wednesday. That's the same number as in 2011 - but a marked shift from ten years ago, when 28 countries carried out executions. In London, Selah Hennessy reports for VOA.
Selah Hennessy
Twenty-one nations carried out the death penalty in 2012, according to Amnesty International's yearly report, published Wednesday. That is the same number as in 2011 - but a marked shift from ten years ago, when 28 countries carried out executions.

Kamil Alboshoka is an Iranian Arab who sought asylum in Britain seven years ago.

Two of his cousins and his three best friends, all from the Ahwazi Arab minority, are accused of treason and are facing execution.

He says had he not left Iran he may have faced the same fate.

"Definitely, if I didn't flee I would be being executed with them, in the same situation. It is just I was lucky to flee," he said.
Now, when he is not studying, he campaigns with the support of global human rights organizations to stop the executions of his friends and family.

"I was very close with them so we had a very good time with each other. So I cannot imagine them being executed," he said. "I can't, it's too hard."

The London-based human rights group Amnesty International monitors executions.  It says the number of executions last year in Iran and elsewhere in the Middle East was alarming.

"Seventy-five percent of all confirmed executions that we are counting were carried out in three countries worldwide, which are Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. And, especially in Iraq and Iran," said Jan Wetzel, the author of Amnesty's 2012 report.  "We see hundreds of executions -- that's just the ones we know about -- hundreds every year."

Wetzel says 70 percent of executions in Iran are related to drugs charges.

According to the report, 682 executions were recorded worldwide, last year, two more than in 2011. Methods included lethal injection, hanging, beheading and firing squads.

Amnesty says aside from Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, China and the United States were the worst offenders.

The United States was the only country in the Americas to carry out executions. The number was 43, which is the same as in 2011. In April, Connecticut became the 17th state to abolition the death penalty.

Although China's figures are a state secret, Amnesty believes thousands are executed there every year.

Wetzel says the report highlights some bad news in the Asia-Pacific region: the resumption of executions last year in Japan, India and Pakistan.

But he says there was also good news.

"On the positive front, we do see a lot of movement specifically in West Africa, where governments in Benin, in Ghana, in Sierra Leone are actively taking steps to move away from the death penalty and are preparing legal abolition," he added.

Despite those moves in West Africa, the number of death sentences across Sub-Saharan Africa rose in 2012 because of higher tallies in Sudan and the Gambia. In Gambia, nine people were killed in August - a major shift after a 30-year hiatus.

You May Like

Photogallery Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had earlier warned storm could be one of worst the city has ever faced More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: someone from: internet
April 11, 2013 8:18 PM
How about american executing thousand in middle east?

In Response

by: JKF from: Ottawa, Canada
April 13, 2013 1:11 AM
What are you talking about, the US is not in charge of the ME, it does not execute people in the ME? look at the maps provided in the article and look at the definition in the Amnesty site..? The US does execute criminals in the US, as the article clearly points out! Amnesty international puts out all the information on executions around the world, read their reports before you make uninformed assertions; and no they do not work for the US gvmt...


by: Brian from: USA
April 11, 2013 12:51 PM
Amnesty, what about the victims?


by: Sarah
April 11, 2013 9:03 AM
The last time I checked, China was not in the Middle-East.
The title of this article is extremely misleading.


by: Dana from: Washington state
April 10, 2013 10:21 PM
According to the graph, CHINA had the most executions...then the Middle East, and then The United States.


by: Hovhannes from: Montevideo
April 10, 2013 1:21 PM
Why does Amnesty only care about the fate of criminals, murderers and drug smugglers? What about the victims of the murderers? Does Amnesty think drug smuggling is an honorable job?


by: Muhamad Falful from: Egypt
April 10, 2013 10:37 AM
I know that almost all of these criminals in my country are agents of US/Israel.

In Response

by: Mr. President from: United States
April 11, 2013 9:48 AM
So I guess that means the whole population of Egypt are agents of the United States/Israel because Egypt gets the most U.S. foreign aid of any country except for Israel. (This doesn't include the money spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.) The amount varies each year and there are many different funding streams, but U.S. foreign assistance to Egypt has averaged just over $2 billion every year since 1979, when Egypt struck a peace treaty with Israel following the Camp David Peace Accords, according to a Congressional Research Service report from 2009.

So in my countries eyes (at the expense of the taxpayers) it is everyone in your country who accepts money from us that are criminals.

In Response

by: Dirk Silver from: Los Angeles
April 10, 2013 2:21 PM
Your comment is typical blood libel and paranoia of your region. You make that comment because it is an easy way to avoid real issues. Your opinion lacks analysis and is thoughtless. One day your neighbor will accuse you of being an agent of US/Israel, and nobody will defend you.


by: Dirk Silver from: Los Angeles
April 10, 2013 6:40 AM
Did the Amnesty report mention anything about the victims of these criminals or was the focus solely on a liberal emotional love affair with criminals and terrorists?

In Response

by: Anonymous
April 10, 2013 10:21 PM
In the U.S., executions are far more costly than life imprisonment due to the extensive appeals process.

In Response

by: kamil Alboshoka from: London
April 10, 2013 12:03 PM
Great report Selah. I really thank Amnesty and VOA English.

In Response

by: Henry from: Sydney
April 10, 2013 11:26 AM
I think the Amnesty mob should pay for the upkeep of criminals since they want to keep them alive as pets of the state. Why should the taxpayer feed these criminals for life when its cheaper to execute them and use the money to feed the World's starving children?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid