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Jordan: first executions in eight years

December 21, 2014

Jordan says it has hanged several people following a ban on the death penalty being lifted. Capital punishment has been reinstated in the country in response to an increase in crime.

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Image: vkara - Fotolia.com

Jordan's Interior Ministry said on Sunday the kingdom had executed 11 people convicted of murder ending an informal eight-year moratorium on the death penalty.

The official Petra news agency quoted ministry spokesman Ziad al-Zuabi as saying the men, who were convicted in 2005 and 2006, were hanged at a penitentiary in southern Jordan.

Petra reported al-Zuabi confirmed that "eleven criminals convicted in different cases of murder were executed at dawn."

Details of the crimes and the identity of the convicts were not revealed, however, al-Zuabi was quoted as saying they were all Jordanians.

The Associated Press also quoted him as saying the men had "exhausted all the legal channels for appeal."

Jordan declared a moratorium on the death penalty in 2006, but several lawmakers recently called for it to be reinstated to curb a marked increase in crime.

The AFP news agency said Interior Minister Hussein Majali had suggested that the moratorium may end, saying there was a "major debate" in Jordan on the death penalty and that "the public believes that the rise in crime has been the result of the non-application" of capital punishment.

Human rights group Amnesty International said in a report earlier this year that China carried out the highest number of executions in 2013, followed by Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the US.

lw/shs (AP, AFP)