Jordan hangs 11 men after eight-year death penalty moratorium

AMMAN // Jordan executed 11 men convicted of murder by hanging on Sunday, as it ended an informal eight-year moratorium on the death penalty.

“Eleven criminals convicted in different cases of murder were executed at dawn,” interior ministry spokesman, Ziad Al Zuabi, was quoted as saying by the official Petra news agency.

He said the hangings took place at a prison in the country’s south.

Mr Al Zuabi did not identify the convicts beyond saying they were all Jordanians convicted on murder charges in 2005 and 2006. He said the men had exhausted all legal channels for appeal.

Jordan’s last previous executions took place in June 2006. Since then, 122 people have been sentenced to death, including militants convicted of terrorism.

Interior minister Hussein Majali recently suggested that the moratorium might end, saying there was a “major debate” in Jordan on the death penalty and that “the public believes ... the rise in crime has been the result of ... non-application” of capital punishment.

A number of countries in the Middle East continue to impose the death penalty for serious crimes, including Saudi Arabia which has executed 83 people so far this year.

China carried out the most executions by far last year, numbering in the thousands. It was followed by Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United States, human rights group Amnesty International said in a report in March.

* Agence France-Presse

Published: December 21, 2014 04:00 AM