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Jordan: NCHR opposes executions

Graphic: Man sitting

Prison authorities have executed 11 men convicted of murders, signalling the reinstatement of the death penalty in Jordan.

Prison authorities have executed 11 men convicted of murders, a move that signals a reinstatement of the death penalty in Jordan that has been frozen since March 2006.

The Jordan Times reported that the executions, carried out at Swaqa Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre started at 4am on Sunday 21 December and ended at 7:45am.

"All the individuals who were executed on Sunday were convicted by the Criminal Court in 2005 and 2006 of committing heinous premeditated murders, with some murdering more than two people," Amman Public Attorney Ziad Dmour told The Jordan Times.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Ziad Zubi said the government decided to reinstate the capital punishment as "a deterrent, especially since it has become a public demand following the occurrence of dozens of murders in our society".

Several local organisations criticised the decision.

The National Centre for Human Rights (NCHR) issued a statement expressing regret over the "new circumstances and the conditions that led to commencing the executions in Jordan".

The NCHR urged authorities to ensure the application of just trials for individuals as stipulated in human rights conventions and urged the government to sign the international protocols that call for ending capital punishment.

Adaleh Centre for Human Rights Studies also issued a statement condemning the executions.

Meanwhile, the Lower House's Islamic Centrist Bloc hailed the executions saying "it complies with the rulings of our religion and is a punishment for those who committed actions that are in violation of the law and norms".

In November 2014, a special committee was formed by the government to examine whether or not to reinstate capital punishment in Jordan.

Article 93 of the Constitution reads that "no death sentence may be carried out unless ratified by the King. Every such sentence shall be submitted to him by the Council of Ministers along with the council's view on it".

Date: 21 December 2014

Source: Jordan Times

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