Irish teenager’s death penalty in Egypt for attending pro-democracy rally?


This video from Ireland says about itself:

Free Ibrahim Halawa

10 December 2014

Ibrahim Halawa is an Irish citizen who has been imprisoned in Egypt for over a year. He is a prisoner of conscience and Amnesty are calling for his immediate release.

Sign the petition here.

On Saturday the 13/12/14, Ibrahim’s birthday, join us as we protest outside the Egyptian embassy and call for Ibrahim’s release!

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Ibrahim Halawa: Irish teenager faces execution in Egypt after attending pro-democracy rally

He is one [of] 493 detainees charged collectively

Cahal Milmo

Monday 02 March 2015

An Irish teenager held in Egypt for nearly two years after he attended a pro-democracy protest has been moved to a purpose-built prison where he faces a mass trial and possible execution, campaigners have warned.

Ibrahim Halawa was just 17 when he was arrested with his three older sisters after they sought shelter in a Cairo mosque during the demonstration in August 2013.

Although his siblings were released, Ibrahim was placed in adult custody, suffered alleged beatings and had medical treatment withheld for a bullet wound to a hand which is now permanently disfigured. He is one 493 detainees charged collectively with causing deaths and criminal damage.

Legal charity Reprieve said the Irishman, who had been in Egypt to visit relatives, had recently been moved out of Cairo’s notorious Tora prison, where he shared a cell with Al Jazeera journalist Peter Greste until the Australian’s release last month.

Mr Halawa is now being held at Wadi el Natrun between Cairo and Alexandria in a jail complex specially built for mass trials.

Maya Foa, head of Reprieve’s death penalty team, said: “Before this farce of a trial resumes, and Ibrahim’s life is put at risk, the Irish government and the EU must do all they can to ensure his return to his family in Dublin.”

Report thy neighbour: policing Sisi’s Egypt. A regime bereft of legitimacy, save for its promise to guarantee national security, turns citizens into active players in a new culture of surveillance and reporting: here.

Death penalty for Saudi Arabian blogger?


This video says about itself:

Bring Raif Badawi home to his family

13 November 2014

10 year old Doudi writes to his dad Raif Badawi in prison in Saudi Arabia.

Raif Badawi was jailed for 10 years and sentenced to 1,000 lashes after starting an online forum for social and political debate in Saudi Arabia. Demand his immediate release – write to the King of Saudi Arabia today.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger sentenced to 1,000 lashes, may now face the death penalty

Chris Green

Sunday 01 March 2015

Raif Badawi, the Saudi Arabian blogger whose punishment of 1,000 lashes has prompted international condemnation, may now face the death penalty.

Mr Badawi’s wife, Ensaf Haidar, told The Independent in a series of messages that judges in Saudi Arabia’s criminal court want him to undergo a re-trial for apostasy. If found guilty, he would face a death sentence.

She said the “dangerous information” had come from “official sources” inside the conservative kingdom, where Mr Badawi has already been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes – administered at a rate of 50 per week – for criticising the country’s clerics through his liberal blog.

In 2013, a judge threw out the charge of apostasy against the 31-year-old blogger after he assured the court that he was a Muslim. The evidence against him had included the fact that he pressed the “Like” button on a Facebook page for Arab Christians.

The news that the charge may now be re-examined will come as a bitter blow to Mr Badawi’s family and supporters, who had hoped that the international pressure over his case would prompt Saudi Arabia to reduce his sentence.

Although he remains in prison, he has only been flogged once since his sentence was passed, with subsequent punishments being repeatedly postponed.

More follows…

British Prince Charles visits Saudi Arabia, where beheadings continue


This video from the USA says about itself:

Saudi King Abdullah‘s Revised Human Rights History

27 January 2015

World leaders are paying tribute to late Saudi King Abdullah in spite of his seemingly deplorable human rights record, a tyrannical government that treated women as second class citizens, and an aggressive foreign policy. President Obama and Prince Charles, who went to Jeddah to pay his respects in person, are among the offenders with human rights advocates criticizing their sympathetic response. We take a look at the reverential reactions, in this Lip News clip with Elliot Hill and Mark Sovel.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Saudi Arabia executions ‘extraordinarily high’ as state executes 28 people in five weeks

The Syrian man was found guilty of smuggling amphetamines

Heather Saul

Tuesday 10 February 2015

Saudi Arabia has reportedly executed a Syrian man on the same day Prince Charles arrived in the Kingdom amid calls from campaigners to raise human rights concerns.

The Saudi Press Agency said Abdullah Mohammed al-Ahmed was executed Tuesday in the northwestern al-Jawf province after the Supreme Court confirmed his conviction and sentence for smuggling amphetamines into the country.

It does not say how he was executed, … although methods used in the Kingdom include beheading and firing squad. His death marks the 28th execution in 2015 alone, according to Human Rights Watch (HRW).

Prince Charles has a good relationship with the Saudi royal family and has been under pressure to use his trip to raise the case of Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison.

Amnesty International had expressed hope that Charles would use his unique position to “pass on a few well-chosen words” to King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and his royal hosts.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia explains difference between state executions and Isis’s

But this latest execution casts doubts as to how willing the Kingdom might be to listen to fears over human rights abuses. King Salman oversaw his first beheading just five days after succeeding his late brother King Abdullah.

The kingdom follows a strict interpretation of Islamic law and applies the death penalty on crimes such as murder, rape, apostasy and witchcraft. Rights groups have criticised executions carried out for non-lethal crimes.

Adam Coogle, a MENA researcher for HRW, said there are so many executions taking place in the Arab state that it is not unusual for one to take place on the same day as an international visit.

He told The Independent that out of the 28 executions which occurred in January and February 2015, 11 were for non-violent drug offences – an “extraordinarily high” figure he condemned as “particularly egregious”.

“Between 1 January and 4 August 2014, only 15 executions took place. They finished the year on 87, and that pace has continued,” he said. “If they keep on this pace it will be a record in the context of the past two years.”

Mr Coogle says he is unsure what is behind the surge in executions. “It could be that they are trying to appear as though they are tough on crime and willing to deliver ‘justice’, but I don’t know. I haven’t seen any official comments on this jump.

“The major point is that although executions are not prohibited under international human rights law, they are strongly discouraged and they should be reserved only for only the most serious crimes.

“It’s been made clear under international human rights law that people should not be killed for non-violent drug laws. Saudi Arabia, a member of the Human Rights Council, is clearly flouting this.”

Total number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year reaches 28: here.

FOREIGN DONORS AND THE CLINTON FOUNDATION: “The Clinton Foundation has dropped its self-imposed ban on collecting funds from foreign governments and is winning contributions at an accelerating rate, raising ethical questions as Hillary Clinton ramps up her expected bid for the presidency. Recent donors include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Australia, Germany and a Canadian government agency promoting the Keystone XL pipeline.” [WSJ]

Jordanian monarchy’s eye for an eye ‘helps’ making the whole world blind


This video from the USA says about itself:

Jordan executes ISIS prisoners in retaliation for pilot burning

4 February 2015

Jordan executed two prisoners, including a female Iraqi militant whom it had sought to trade with ISIS, on Wednesday morning in retaliation for the death of a Jordanian pilot who was reportedly burned alive in an ISIS video, Jordanian state media and police said.

The title of this video is misleading. These two prisoners had not been arrested for being ISIS members. ISIS did not exist yet when they were arrested.

As we know, the self-styled ‘Islamic State’ ISIS are criminals, committing rape, torture, beheadings and other atrocities.

One of their more recent crimes is murdering Jordanian prisoner of war Muath Al-Kaseasbeh.

ISIS’ evil actions did not arise suddenly, out of thin air.

Their ill-treatment and torture of prisoners is derived from the ill-treatment and torture of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and other secret and not so secret prisons of the government of the USA, close allies of the absolute monarchy Jordan. The CIA used Jordanian territory for torturing its prisoners.

The US Bush administration’s Iraq war is at the origin of ISIS. ISIS was greatly helped by the CIA’s and US NATO allies’ undeclared war against the Syrian regime in Damascus. An undeclared war which in 2013 almost escalated into an official war, in which ISIS would have been allies of the self-styled ‘free world’. Anti-war demonstrations in many countries and a vote in the British Parliament against warmonger David Cameron’s plans stopped that then.

Some of the ISIS torturers learned their trade of abuse while serving in the police force of the absolute monarchy Bahrain, also close allies of the absolute monarchy Jordan (and of the United States Pentagon).

The ISIS beheadings are imitations of the beheadings in Saudi Arabia, the only government in the world practicing the death penalty in this way.

The ISIS ideology of fanatical salafism, a perversion of Sunni Islam, is derived from the state religion of the Saudi absolute monarchy; again, close allies of the absolute monarchy Jordan.

How did the absolute monarchy Jordan react to ISIS killing Jordanian prisoner of war Muath Al-Kaseasbeh? According to the ‘logic’ of ‘An eye for an eye’, as the Bible calls it. Mahatma Gandhi replied, correctly, to that maxim, saying ‘An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind’.

From Associated Press:

Jordan Executes 2 Prisoners After ISIS Killing Of Pilot, Official Says

By OMAR AKOUR and KARIN LAUB

AMMAN, Jordan — Islamic State group militants burned a captured Jordanian pilot to death in a cage, according to a purported video of the violence released Tuesday. The kingdom, which had vowed a swift and lethal response, executed two al-Qaida prisoners by hanging early Wednesday. …

The Jordanian military confirmed the death of 26-year-old Lt. Muath Al-Kaseasbeh, who was captured by the extremists in December when his F-16 crashed while he was flying a mission as part of the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group. …

In a first response to the killing of the pilot, Jordan executed Sajida al-Rishawi and Ziad al-Karbouly, two Iraqis linked to al-Qaida, government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani said. Another official said they were executed by hanging.

The executions took place at Swaqa prison about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the Jordanian capital of Amman. At sunrise, two ambulances carrying the bodies of al-Rishawi and al-Karbouly drove away from the prison with security escorts.

Over the past week, Jordan had offered to trade al-Rishawi, a failed suicide bomber, for the pilot, but froze any swap after failing to receive any proof that the pilot was still alive.

The man and the woman killed today by Jordanian state violence did not kill prisoner Muath Al-Kaseasbeh. They did not plan the death of Muath Al-Kaseasbeh. They had not been arrested for membership of ISIS. ISIS did not exist then yet. This was revenge. Which may lead to more revenge killings by ISIS, very probably of people not connected to the hangings of the two people in Jordan today. And so on. And so on.

Another example of this clueless ‘eye for an eye’ mentality: Isis militants should be crucified for the burning of Jordanian hostage, says Sunni academic.

Meanwhile, the bombing campaign against ISIS controlled areas, a campaign in which the late air force Lieutenant Muath Al-Kaseasbeh participated, continues. The Pentagon has confirmed that civilians are being killed in this campaign. Which may lead to civilians, whose friends or family are killed by coalition bombing, joining ISIS as fighters. Which they may have never wanted to do before, but which they may want to do now. In blind rage. As revenge. Which will lead to more revenge. Etc.

Read the story of a Sudanese family forced to flee Mosul following airstrikes against ISIS: here.

There is an anti-war movement in Jordan. One should hope pro-peace in Jordan, and everywhere in the world, will help to stop this escalation to a completely blind world.

The release of a video showing the immolation of captured Jordanian pilot First Lt. Moaz al-Kasabeh by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been followed by a wave of hypocritical moralizing, combined with threats of more violence, from the imperialist powers and their regional allies. The killing of al-Kasabeh, which apparently took place in early January, not long after the fighter jet he was piloting crashed in Syria, has evoked revulsion among ordinary people around the world. It is a reflection of the backward and reactionary character of ISIS. However, this act did not occur in a political vacuum. Both ISIS and the disaster unfolding in Iraq and Syria are the direct products of the criminal policies of the governments that now proclaim their moral indignation: here.

The latest ISIS atrocity – releasing a video of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive – prompted substantial discussion yesterday about this particular form of savagery. It is thus worth noting that deliberately burning people to death is achievable – and deliberately achieved – in all sorts of other ways: here.

BRITISH TROOPS FOR JORDAN! – Stop the War demands issue be put before parliament: here.

USA: Code Pink Leader Gives Fox News Sound Advice On Nonviolent Ways To Fight ISIS: here.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has seized on the brutal murder of two citizens—Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa—by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to press for new legislation to further extend the government’s powers to dispatch military forces overseas. A video of Goto’s execution was released by ISIS last weekend, and followed the Islamist organisation’s beheading of Yukawa a week before: here.

Saudi Arabia’s new king, already another beheading


This video says about itself:

Amnesty remains worried on human rights after Saudi King death

23 January 2015

The Secretary General of Amnesty International says in Davos that the death of Saudi Arabia’s King was not a surprise and that Amesty remains concerned with “the complete lack of basic human rights in that country.”

From daily The Independent in Britain:

King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia’s new king has already overseen a beheading

King Salman refused to intervene in the beheading of an alleged rapist

Heather Saul

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud has already overseen his first beheading just days after succeeding his brother, ignoring widespread claims that the case against the man was weak.

The controversial killing of Moussa al-Zahrani came shortly before President Barack Obama arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday to pay respects to the late King Abdullah.

Al-Zahrani, a teacher, was executed in the city of Jeddah. He had been convicted of sexually assaulting underage girls in a string of attacks in 2011. Al-Zahrani had maintained his innocence throughout two appeals and released a 20-minute video urging King Abdullah to intervene last year.

His case drew an unprecedented reaction from those living in Saudi Arabia on social media but King Salman, 79, refused to intervene and he was beheaded on Monday.

An Arabic hashtag on Twitter, “We are all Moussa al-Zahrani”, garnered thousands of comments by Saudis, with conflicting opinions over the case.

Al-Zahrani’s relatives had gone on Saudi talk shows and claimed the case against him was riddled with inconsitancies. They said several cases of assault against young girls took place while al-Zahrani was already jailed.

Amnesty International condemned news that an execution had already taken place.

Sevag Kechichian, Amnesty’s Saudi Arabia researcher, told The Independent: “It’s extremely distressing to see that the Saudi executioner has already been at work, just days after King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ascended the throne.

“The Saudi Arabian authorities should establish an immediate moratorium on executions with a view towards abolishing the use of the death penalty once and for all.”

Al-Zahrani’s brother, Hassan al-Zahrani, said after the execution that his brother, a father of six, could not have committed the crimes he was convicted of.

His death comes after the state publicly beheaded a woman in the holy city of Mecca last week for murdering her seven-year-old daughter. A gruesome video of her death marked the tenth execution in 2015, while 87 people were executed the year previous.

King Salman was governor of Riyadah for 48 years and had already taken on many duties as his brother’s health declined.

The King is believed to be less interested in social reform as King Abdullah was, who engendered a very moderate series of reforms during his reign.

President [Obama] addressed the Kingdom’s poor human rights record before embarking on his visit. He acknowledged that the US willingness to pursue close ties with Saudi Arabia despite human rights abuses often makes America’s allies uncomfortable.

“Sometimes we need to balance our need to speak to them about human rights issues with immediate concerns we have in terms of counterterrorism or dealing with regional stability,” he told CNN.

Mr Obama also suggested he would not be raising concerns about Saudi Arabia’s flogging of blogger Raif Badawi, who was convicted of insulting Islam and sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

Return of the Religious Police Worries Reformers in Saudi Arabia: here.

Saudi video maker arrested for filming beheading of woman


This video is about the horrible beheading of Ms Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim in Saudi Arabia. Not fit to watch for children and sensitive people.

From the International Business Times:

Saudi Arabia: Man arrested for filming officers publicly beheading woman in street

By Jack Moore

January 19, 2015 12:02 GMT

Saudi authorities have arrested a man who filmed a viral video of authorities publicly beheading a woman in the street, according to local media reports.

Saudi news outlets revealed that the man had been arrested but did not state what he would be charged with.

However, an Interior Ministry spokesman confirmed that filming the incident would be classed as a cybercrime under the country’s strict form of Sharia law, based on the Quran.

The Burmese woman, Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, was hacked to death by sword in the holy city of Mecca after being dragged through the street and held down by four police officers.

She was convicted of the sexual abuse and murder of her seven-year-old step-daughter.

In the video she can be heard saying in Arabic: “I did not kill. There is no God but God. I did not kill.”

Haram. Haram. Haram. Haram. I did not kill … I do not forgive you … This is an injustice,” she continues.

The arrest of the man who documented the execution comes after the kingdom suspended the public flogging of a Saudi activist, Raif Badawi, on medical grounds and sent his case for review at the Supreme Court.

Badawi’s sentence of 1,000 lashes has been condemned by the United States and United Nations.

Woman publicly beheaded in Saudi Arabia


This 11 January 2015 video is called Leaked video – Raif Badawi flogged by Saudi government.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Saudi Arabia publicly beheads woman in holy Mecca as blogger lashings are postponed

The Burmese woman was beheaded prompting criticism of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record, following Raif Badawi’s sentence

Ben Tufft

Friday 16 January 2015

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have publicly beheaded a woman in Islam’s holy city of Mecca, prompting further criticism of the country’s human rights record.

Laila Bint Abdul Muttalib Basim, a Burmese woman who resided in Saudi Arabia, was executed by sword on Monday after being dragged through the street and held down by four police officers.

She was convicted of the sexual abuse and murder of her seven-year-old step-daughter.

A video showed how it took three blows to complete the execution, while the woman screamed “I did not kill. I did not kill.” It has now been removed by YouTube as part of its policy on “shocking and disgusting content”.

There are two ways to behead people according to Mohammed al-Saeedi, a human rights activist: “One way is to inject the prisoner with painkillers to numb the pain and the other is without the painkiller,” he told the Middle East Eye.

“This woman was beheaded without painkillers – they wanted to make the pain more powerful for her.”

READ MORE

RAIF BADAWI: SENTENCED TO 1,000 LASHES HAS IGNITED A GLOBAL DEBATE

SAUDI ARABIA’S HISTORY OF HYPOCRISY WE CHOOSE TO IGNORE

The Saudi Ministry of the Interior said in a statement that it believed the sentence was warranted due to the severity of the crime.

The beheading is part of an alarming trend, which has seen the kingdom execute seven people in the first two weeks of this year. In 2014 the number of executions rose to 87, from 78 in 2013.

Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger, was due to receive the second set of 50 lashes today for insulting Islam, but it has been postponed on medical grounds.

Ali A Rizvi, one of the blogger’s best best friends told The Independent: “His wife told me that the lashings have been postponed, but it is only temporary.”

He was sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in prison after creating a liberal, secular website, Free Saudi Liberals. He faces lashings every Friday for the next 18 weeks, until the sentence is completed.

He narrowly avoided the death penalty when a court threw out apostasy charges in 2013.

Sarah Leah Wilson, the Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said: “Corporal punishment is nothing new in Saudi Arabia, but publicly lashing a peaceful activist merely for expressing his ideas sends an ugly message of intolerance.

“Saudi Arabia is showing a willingness to inflict vicious and cruel punishments on writers whose views it rejects.”

Amnesty also condemned the sentence and has launched a campaign to release the blogger.

In Saudi Arabia a number of crimes, including murder, rape, adultery and armed robbery, can carry a capital sentence.

Beheading is considered one of the more humane punishments the authorities can mete out, a firing squad and stoning are other methods open to judges.