Thursday, 3rd January 2013
The death penalty in the Middle East and North Africa
Source: European Parliament
The abolition of capital punishment is a key objective for the European Union’s human rights policy. While a handful of countries in the region no longer apply capital punishment, all retain the death penalty on their books. None of the MENA Countries has signed the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, which aims to abolish the death penalty. In most countries in the MENA region, the legal system is mainly based primarily on Shari'a. Unsurprisingly, Israel's legal system has different sources. In criminal law determined by Shari'a, most crimes classified as Hudud are punishable by death, because they represent a threat for Islam. In 2012, Iran confirmed its lead position in the region with two executions per day. Despite its international obligations, Iran continues to execute juvenile prisoners. Iraq executed more than 62 people In 2011, and more than 102 in the first nine months of 2012. The number of executions per capita in Gaza is the highest in the region. Apostasy and sorcery are among the crimes punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. In Yemen, more than 29 people have been executed in 2012. The UN launched three moratoria on the use of the death penalty between 2007 and 2011.
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By Adrian Janes
Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.
A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.
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