01 February 2018 :
In 2016, at least 17 women have been executed in 7 States: Egypt (1), e Indonesia (1), Iran (10), Japan (1) Saudi Arabia (3) and Somalia (1). Women exe- cuted represent 0,6% of worldwide total, their executions are carried out mainly by those States who strictly apply Sharia and are sent to the gallows mainly for drug rela- ted crimes.
In retentionist countries for which information are available, is indeed rare for a woman to be given the death sentence and fewer women than men are executed. In the united States of America for exemple, only 2,1% of death sentences issued between 1973 and 2011 refers to women and 2,9% of executions carried out since 1608 were of female offenders. Some argued that there is a gender discrimination on the use of the death penalty, other said that being the death penalty mainly for violent crimes, these kind of crimes are more frequently committed by men.
According to a research made by the Death Penalty Worldwide in 2012, while infor- mation on the gender of death row inmates is difficult to obtain, women are under sentence of death in less than half of the countries that retain the death penalty China, Egypt, India, Japan, Kenya, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Tanzania, the united States and Vietnam. In three of these countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia), at least one women under sentence of death is a foreign national and a domestic worker.
According to Hands off Cain data, Thailand, is the top country for women detai- ned: at least 50 out of a total of 427 dprisoners on death row, mainly for drug related crimes. According to official data, since 1934, when firing squad was changed with hanging, Thailand executed 3 women out of a total of 325 people. In the United States, there are 2,848 men (98,14%) and 54 women (1,86%) on death row. As of 1° ottobre 2016 there were 61 male and 1 female on the federal death row. Since 1977, 16 women (4 black and 12 white) have been executed out of a total of 1,442 people, as of 31 December 2016. In Pakistan, according to the Interior Ministry, there are 44 women on death row out of a total of more than 6,000 people senten- ced to death. Pakistan executed 9 women and the last execution occurred in 1985. In Sri Lanka, at the end of April 2016, there were 28 women on death row out of a total of 1,004 people sentenced to death, according to Thushara upuldeniya, Commissionair for prisons and port parole of the Prison Department. In Tanzania there would be 20 women on death row out of a total of 491. Since the indepene- dence, 6 women have been sent to the gallows out of a total of 238 executed for murder. In Uganda, in 2016 there were 11 women on death row out of a total of 208 prisoners. Since 1938 a woman has been executed out of a total of 377 people sent to the gallows. In Ghana, as of 10 October 2016, there were 3 female out of a total of 137 prisoners on death row, according to the Prison Service. In Kuwait, as of 14 August 2016, there were 36 prisoners, including 6 women, sentenced to death for different crime sas murder, drug traffiking, kidnappin or rape, informed the daily Al-Shahed. Three women have been executed in January 2017. They were sentenced to death in March 2016.
In Zambia, where clemency acts are adopted to adress the overcrowding, there are 170 people on death row, including 2 female, according the General Commissioner for prisons, Percy Chato on 27 April 2017.
In five countries the death penalty is excluded by law for women: Belarus, Guatemala, Russia, Tagikistan and Zimbabwe. The international law excludes the death penalty for expectant mothers and mothers of small children to protect the life of the baby. According to the article 6 (5) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights “the death penalty shall not be carried out on pregnant women” and ECOSOC Safeguard 3 of 1984 states that a death sentence shall not be carried out on ‘new mothers’ (without further explanation of that term). Similar rules are in Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions and in regional Charters (Article 30(e) of the 1990 African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child requires states to prohibit the passing of a death sentence on ‘mothers of infants and young children’ (without specifying an age); Article 4(2)(j) of the 2003 Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa forbids the execution of ‘nursing women’ (without further explanation); and Article 7(2) of the 2004 Arab Charter on Human Rights bars execution of ‘a nursing mother within two years from the date of her delivery’. The Eu Guidelines on the Death
Penalty state that ‘Capital punishment may not be imposed on: […] new mothers’,1
with ‘new mothers’ being considered ones who are still breastfeeding).
In almost every country in the world, it is illegal to execute a pregnant woman. In 8 countries this is because the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right: Afghanistan, Gambia, Grenada, Guyana, Liberia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Tanzania. In Afghanistan, women who are more than 6 months pregnant at the time of sentencing will not be imprisoned until 4 months later – in effect, after delivery. In Papua New Guinea, a pregnant woman will be spared exe- cution upon request. The only country in the world where a pregnant woman may legally be executed is Saint Kitts and Nevis.
States that prohibit the execution of pregnant women fall into two main catego- ries: those which delay execution until after the woman has given birth, and those which commute the death sentence into a term of imprisonment for life or less. In some countries, the law specifies the grace period which can be as short as 40 days in Morocco, 2 months in Egypt or 3 months in Bahrain, and as long as 3 years in Thailand and the Central African Republic. In other countries, such as Burkina Faso, Chad, Iran, Japan, Lebanon and South Korea, execution is delayed for an undefined period of time after childbirth. Several countries with unspecified grace periods have ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which prohibits state parties from imposing the death penalty on “mothers of infants and young children” (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Niger, and Tunisia).
Countries which commute the death sentence into a term of imprisonment for life or less include: the Bahamas, Botswana, Ghana, India, Kenya, Kuwait, Laos, Malawi, Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, uganda and Zambia. In almost all of these countries, the pregnant woman is sentenced to life imprisonment. In Belize, she is sentenced to a life term with hard labor. In Malaysia, she is sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.
There are also 6 countries (Bangladesh, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Myanmar, and Pakistan) which have adopted an intermediate position where courts are empowered to exercise discretion in deciding whether to commute a pregnant woman’s death sentence to life imprisonment after her delivery.
A number of countries prohibit the execution of women with small children, for periods varying from 40 days (Morocco) to 3 years (Thailand). Malian law provides that a mother will not be executed until her children are weaned. Taiwanese law man- dates that mothers of small children be spared execution for “some time.” In Vietnam, a death sentence pronounced on a woman with a child under the age of 3 will be commuted to a life sentence. In Iran, the law provides that a woman cannot be executed while she is nursing if it would endanger the life of the child. In prac- tice, however, there have been reports of women with young children being execu- ted in Iran.
Two international human rights treaties prohibit the execution of women with small children: the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the Arab Charter on Human Rights. Article 30(e) of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child prohibits state parties from imposing the death penalty on expectant mothers and “mothers of infants and young children.” Of the 22 coun- tries that have enacted such prohibitions at the national level, 8 are state parties to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Algeria, Egypt, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali and Sudan). A further 23 retentionist countries (including Botswana, Cameroon, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Tanzania, uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) have ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, but have not passed dome- stic legislation implementing the provision.
With regards the African treaties which prohibit the execution of women with small children (the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and the Arab Charter on Human Rights) there are 8 are state parties to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (Algeria, Egypt, Guinea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali and Sudan) which have enacted such prohibitions at the national level and further 22 retentionist countries (including Botswana, Cameroon, DRC, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritania, Nigeria, Tanzania, uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) which have ratified the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, but have not passed domestic legislation implementing the provision.
With regerds to the Arab Charter on Human Rights which, at art 12 states that the death penalty shall not be imposed on a pregnant woman before delivery or on “a nursing mother within two years from the date on which she gave birth”, there are 4 are parties with domestic laws which prohibit the execution of women with small children: Saudi Arabia, the united Arab Emirates, yemen, and the Palestinian Authority. Four additional countries have ratified the Arab Charter but have not enacted the prohibition in their domestic legislation: Kuwait, Qatar, Syria, and Tunisia.
Adding together the countries that have enacted legislation prohibiting the exe- cution of women with small children and those that have undertaken to respect the prohibition at the international level, there are 50 countries in which it is illegal to execute women with small children. Additionally, three countries grant their courts discretion to exclude women with young children from the death penalty: Bangladesh, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. This corresponds to more than half the number of countries practicing the death penalty worldwide.
Gender and sexual orientation discrimination
In some States, the death penalty can be imposed for adultery and extramarital sexual relations. Studies repeatedly show that women face a higher likelihood of being sentenced to death on the basis of such provisions, due to deeply entrenched discriminatory societal attitudes, and to judicial and law enforcement negative biases towards women suspected of adultery or of engaging in extra-marital relationships. Several academic studies also reveal the role of gender bias and gender disparity in death penalty cases, and reveal discrimination against women.
The united Nations called to Governments to repeal laws criminalizing adultery noting that the enforcement of such laws leads to discrimination and violence again- st women in law and in practice. “ Adultery laws have usually been drafted and almo- st always implemented in a manner prejudicial to women. Provisions in penal codes often do not treat women and men equally and establish harsher rules and sanctions for women “, has written Frances Raday, former Vice President of the uN Working Group (WG) on discrimination against women.
These practices violete the basic principle for which the “death sentences may only be imposed for the most serious crimes, a stipulation which clearly excludes matters of sexual orientation.”
The uN Human Rights Committee has interpreted ‘most serious crimes’ as not including apostasy so the death penalty in these circumstances violates article 6 of ICCPR (CCPR/C/79/Add.85, para. 8) and the uN Commission on Human Rights, replaced by the Human Rights Council in 2006, has interpreted ‘most serious crimes’ as not including non-violent acts such as religious practice, expression of conscience or sexual relations between consenting adults (E/CN.4/RES/2005/59).
The uN Human Rights Council in September 2017 passed a resolution on the death penalty which calls on any states who have “not yet abolished the death penalty to ensure that it is not imposed as a sanction for specific forms of conduct such as apo- stasy, blasphemy, adultery and consensual same-sex relations”. The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions has noted that the “death sentences may only be imposed for the most serious crimes, a stipulation which clearly excludes matters of sexual orientation.”
Adultery is legally punished with the death penalty, in some cases by stoning [see chapter “Stoning”] in 12 States (fourteen if parts of Syria and Iraq occupied by Isis are included): Afghanistan, Brunei Darussalam, Iran, Mauritania, Nigeria (a third of Nigeria’s 36 States), Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In these countries also homosexsuality is a capital crime but in the UAE, lawyers and other experts disagree on whether federal law prescribes the death penalty for consensual homosexual sex or only for rape.
In Iraq, the death penalty is not provided by the law in such cases but judges and militia apply it all over the country. Then, in 12 Northern States of Nigeria and in some autnomous regions of Somalia it is officially applied. In Brunei Darussalam, where a new Sharia penal code was adopted in 2014, the death penalty would enter into force for extramarital sexual relations and between people of the same sex in 2018 but eventually is not applied as has never been applied in Afghanistan, Mauritania, Pakistan and Qatar, where is the interpretation of Sharia law which technically permits the death penalty.
As “extrajudiciary executions” should be considered the dozen executions decided by the Sharia courts and implemented by the Islamic State (IS) in Sirya and Iraq and by Al-Qaeda in Yemen.
The country by country situation
Adultery and consensual sexual relations between adults of same sex are “Zina offenses” which carry capital punishment as “hudud penalties” by Article 1 of the Penal Code of 1976. A married person who commits adultery is eligible for the death penalty while the unmarried person is eligible for severe lashing. However, stringent evidentiary requirements must be met, with the result that scholars report that no convictions for sexual offenses have ever been made without the confession of the accused (for purposes of the hadd penalty).
The treatment of homosexual sodomy varies between the schools and the Hanafi’s opinion is that a tazir penalty (not a hadd penalty) should apply.
Hands off Cain did not record executions in these cases, since the end of Taliban rule in 2001 by official courts. However the Taliban-controlled courts and other tri- bal systems of justice have continued to apply it.
In 2016 two women were executed by Taliban in 2016, according the New york Times. On 7 May 2016, the American daily revelead that one of them, a pregnant 22-year-old woman named Rabia, a mother of two young children, was accused by her husband of adultery, tried and convicted by the Taliban on the spot, and then publicly shot three times. The second Jowzjan execution is believed to have taken place four months before. In a video the victim is seen in a blue burqa, sitting on the ground. A Taliban court convicted her of killing her husband, whose family crow- ded around the execution site and loudly voted to execute her in the Khanaqa district. The executioner’s face is covered, but he was believed to be the district’s Taliban commander.
Pregnat women are excluded from execution by the ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Then, women who are more than 6 months pregnant at the time of sentencing will not be imprisoned until 4 months later – in effect, after delivery.
On 22 October 2013 a new Sharia Penal Code was enacted and the first phase of enforcement started on 1 May 2014. It is expected to enter into force in 2018.
This new penal code introduces stoning to death as the specific method of exe- cution for crimes of a sexual nature, flogging for crimes which could rise from abor- tion to abuse of alchool and amputation for thefts.
For Muslim and non-Muslim, robbery (art 63), rape (art 76), adultery and sodomy (art 82) and for Muslims, extramarital sexual relations (art 69), insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non- Muslim, and murder are the other offences for which the death penalty could be applied under the revised code.
The revised code introduces stoning to death as the specific method of execu- tion for rape, adultery, sodomy and extramarital sexual relations.
The united Nations voiced deep concern about the revised penal code in Brunei Darussalam. “Application of the death penalty for such a broad range of offences contravenes international law,” said Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the Office of the uN High Commissioner for Human Rights who said: “We urge the Government to delay the entry into force of the revised penal code and to conduct a comprehen- sive review ensuring its compliance with international human rights standards,” and urged the Government to establish a formal moratorium and to work towards abo- lishing the practice altogether “under international law, stoning people to death con- stitutes torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and is thus clearly prohibited,” stated Mr. Colville. He added that a number of uN stu- dies have also revealed that women are more likely to be sentenced to death by sto- ning, due to deeply entrenched discrimination and stereotyping against them, inclu- ding among law enforcement and judicial officers.
The criminalization and application of the death penalty for consensual relations between adults in private also violates a whole host of rights, including the rights to privacy, to equality before the law, the right to health and freedom from arbitrary arrest and detention, Mr. Colville noted. “The provisions of the revised penal code may encourage further violence and discrimination against women and also against people on the basis of sexual orientation,” he warned.
Brunei decided that the implementation of the new Penal Code would be done in 3 phases, whereby the phases were determined based on the type of penalty: phase 1(fines and/or jail), phase 2 (severing of limbs, flogging,…) and phase 3(death).
His Majesty added that before the second phase can be implemented, the coun- try has to wait for another 12 months after the CPC can be gazetted. In February 2016, he added: “Now two years have gone by, but the CPC is not gazetted yet and the vetting process has not even started. This means that after it is gazetted in 2016, we have to wait another year, until 2017 before the second phase can be implemen- ted.” He said it will be 2018 by the time the third phase of the Syariah law can be enforced.
Uunder the Brunei Criminal Procedure Code (art. 246) pregnant women face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, and a lighter sentence may be passed when possible.
The last execution was in 1957.
In Iran the gender discrimination is widespread with parosistic forms: in legal proceedings, a woman’s testimony is worth half of that of a man and the Iranian version of the “blood money” for the life of a woman is one half of that of a man. Moreover, if a man kills a woman, he can not be executed, even if sentenced to death, without the woman’s family having first paid the half of her “blood money” “ to the murderer. The minimum age for criminal liability is just six years for women, just 15 for men. Marital rape and domestic violence are not considered criminal offenses. No wonder the equality of women’s rights is systematically denied when it comes to marriage, divorce, child custody, inheritance, travel and even clothing. In fact, in Iran women and even girls over the age of nine who do not cover their hair with a veil and do not follow the mandatory codes of clothing can be punished with a fine and even with prison. Iran ranks 139/144 in the Global Gender Gap Index.
under Article 6 of the Iranian Penal Code, a woman cannot be executed while pregnant.
In 2016, executions of women decreased: at least 10, were hanged out of a total of at least 530 executions, including 3 from official sources (1 for murder and 2 for drug) and 7 from non-official sources (1 for murder and 6 for drug).
In 2015, women hanged were at least 19 out of a total of at least 970 executions.
In 2014, at least 26 women were hanged.
On 6 January 2016, a woman, Zahra Nemati with another four people, identified as Tofigh Mohammad Far, Hossen Zadegan, Amirali Zadegan, was executed after being convicted of drug related crimes.
On 14 April 2016, eight people, including three women, were hanged in two dif- ferent cities for drug-related offenses. Seven prisoners, including two unidentified women, were hanged in Birjand for drug-related crimes, reported the HRANA. Two of them were identified as Mohammad Niazi and Moheb Rahmati. A 43-year-old woman, Ameneh Rezaeyan, was hanged in Kashmar prison, reported the Kurdistan Human Rights Network.
On 17 April 2016, a woman with three men were hanged at the Dastgerd Prison in Isfahan for drug-related crimes, reported the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI). Three of them were identified as Mojtaba Kazemi, Hamid Shahsavand and Hamid Mahdavi.
On 3 June 2016, a woman was hanged with a man in the Qazvin prison, in the north ouest of Teheran. The woman has not been identified, but the prosecutor office said that she was in prison since 2014.
On 17 July 2016, twelve prisoners were hanged in two different prisons for drug trafficking, reported the HRANA. Nine of them, including Saeed Saberi, Moslem Bahrami, Saed Haghani, Reza Rad and Salman Bahrampour, were executed in the prison of Ghezel Hesar in Karaj. Three other detainees, identified as Mansour Zafarani, yousef Barahouei and Ghasem Delshad, were hanged on the same day in the prison of Birjand. Those executed in the prison of Ghezel Hesar also included a woman from Shahre Rey Prison in the province of Tehran.
On 25 August 2016, seven prisoners were executed in the Central Prison of yazd, state-run Rokna news agency reported. Among the prisoners was a woman and four men who were hanged on drug related charges. The other two prisoners were hanged on murder charges.
On 29 September 2016, eight prisoners were executed at Orumieh’s central pri- son for drug related offences, reported the HRANA. They were identified as: Behnam Pirkozadegan, Ismael Ayoubi, Karam Kolshi, Ghader Mahmoudi, Effendi Omri, Karim (Reza) Abdollahzadeh, Farhad Maleki, and Malouk Nouri (woman).
On 4 October 2016, a woman was hanged with another seven in the central pri- son of urmia, for drug related crimes.
On 2 February 2017, the Criminal Court of the Western Lorestan province in Iran, condemned a man and a woman accused of so called unethical relation to capi- tal punishment of death by stoning. According to the verdict of the Criminal Court Branch 1, in Lorestan Province, the sentence of death by stoning has been issued, for Mr. KH. A and Mrs. S-M.Th. The state run website called Kashkan reported on February 2, 2017. The source said: “At the moment the sentence is issued by the lower court and the track is communicated to the attorneys of the defendants and added, in this case the role of the city administration chief, the Public Prosecutor Bureau, feta police intelligence and police has been outstanding in gathering eviden- ce, arresting suspects and transferring the case to legal authorities. The source also stated that the two accused are already in custody, awaiting final approval of the sen- tence by the court.
Women are discriminated also in case of homosexuality. until 2013 the term “homo-sexual” had criminal relevance only with regard to relations between women and not for relations between men. With the reform of the Islamic Penal Code approved in its latest version by the Guardian Council in April 2013, the term “homosexual” also applies to relations between men. According to article 233 of the new code, the person who play an active role (in sodomy) will receive lashes if the sexual relationship was consensual and was unmarried and the death penalty if mar- ried but the one who played a passive role will be sentenced to death regardless of his marital status. If the active party is a non-Muslim and the passive part is a Muslim, both will be sentenced to death. According to articles 236-237, homosexual acts (except for sodomia) will be punished with 31-99 lashes (for both men and women). According to article 238, the homosexual relationship between women in which there is contact between their sexual organs will be punished with 100 lashes and, in the case of a fourth recidivism, with the death penalty.
On 18 July 2016, Hassan Afshar, 19, was hanged in Arak’s Prison in Markazi Province on 18 July, after being convicted of “lavat-e be onf ” (forced male-to-male anal intercourse), Amnesty International has revealed on 2 August. Hassan Afshar was arrested in December 2014 after the authorities received a complaint accusing him and two other youths of forcing a teenage boy to have sexual intercourse with them. Afshar maintained that the sexual acts were consensual and that the complai- nant’s son had willingly engaged in same-sex sexual activities before.
The penal code punishes adultery with prison and does not explicitly prohibit homosexual acts, but people have been killed by militias or sentenced to death by judges on the basis of Sharia. A report published by the united Nations in 2014 shows that many women in detention said they had been sentenced in place of one of their male relatives.
In the ’80 the Islamic law was introduced and the death penalty is for apostasy, hosexuality and rape, buti t was rarely applied.
under the Penal Code of Mauritania, of 1983, stoning is the method of execu- tion provided for adultery (arts 2, 307) and homosexual relations onl (art. 308). Adultery is defined under Islamic law as voluntary sexual relations without the sub- stance of a legal right, whether or not the adulterer is married. A Muslim person who commits adultery is punished by death if he or she is married or divorced. Stringent rules of evidence apply: adultery must be proved by 4 witnesses, a confession, or, for women with no legal partner, pregnancy.
under domestic law (penal code arts 17 and 307), pregnant women may not be executed before they have given birth to their child in conformity with Mauritania’s international human rights obligations under the ICCPR, which prohibits the execu- tion of pregnant women. Mauritania has also ratified the Protocol on the Rights of Women to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which respectively exclude nursing mothers from execution and prohibit the imposition of a death sentence on mothers of infants and young children.
Since 1999, twelve States of the Federation introduced Sharia in their penal codes and the Safiya Hussaini and Amina Lawal cases were at the center of an inter- national outcry despite Federal Government gave assurances that no stoning or punishment according to Sharia may be carried out according the Federal Consititution. However, since 2000 a lot of cases of people sentenced to death for sexual acts (adultery, homosexuality, etc) have been recorded but no execution was carried out.
On January 7, 2014, Nigeria’s former president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Same-Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Bill (SSMPA) into law. The notional purpose of the SSMPA is to prohibit marriage between persons of the same sex. In reality, its scope is much wider. The law forbids any cohabitation between same-sex sexual partners and bans any “public show of same sex amorous relationship.” The SSMPA imposes a 10-year prison sentence on anyone who “registers, operates or participates in gay clubs, societies and organization” or “supports” the activities of such organizations. Punishments are severe, ranging from 10 to 14 years in prison. Such provisions build on existing legislation in Nigeria, but go much further: while the colonial-era crimi- nal and penal codes outlawed sexual acts between members of the same sex, the SSMPA effectively criminalizes lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) per- sons based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
According to article 368(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act, applicable in federal courts throughout Nigeria, pregnant women cannot be sentenced to death and their sentences should be commuted to life imprisonment instead. Section 300(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code, applicable in state courts in the northern states and the Federal Capital Territory, also includes a similar provision. Reportedly, Shariah penal laws in some states in Nigeria authorize the imposition of death penalties on pre- gnant women. The practices in these states seems to be out of line with observations of Shariah law outside of Nigeria, which generally does not condone the execution of pregnant women.
As a party to the ICCPR, and the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, Nigeria is under an international obligation to exclude pregnant women from capital punishment.
In Pakistan, the penal code do not provides the death penalty for adultery or homosexuality.
Adultery is a crime under the controversial Islamic Hudud [Koranic punishment] Ordinances - passed in 1979 as part of Zia ul-Haq’s Islamisation programme. Men and women found guilty of adultery face stoning or 100 lashes. However, only cor- poral punishment and prison have been applied.
One of the most controversial provisions states that a woman must have four male witnesses to prove rape or face a charge of adultery herself.
On December 1, 2006, Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf signed into law a bill amending the country’s Islamic rape legislation. The bill places rape laws under Pakistan’s British-influenced penal code and scraps the harsh conditions placed on rape victims. The amended law would drop the death penalty for people found to have had sex outside of marriage, though they still would be subject to a five-year prison term or $165 fine. However, thousands of women still languish in prison for adultery.
Abduction to submit another to unnatural lust, which may include homosexual sex, is punishable by death, according sec. 354 of the amended code.
Judges also will be able to choose whether to try a rape case in a criminal court or Islamic court. Despite the 2006 law, in remote areas of the Country where tribal and feudal systems still dominate, the tribal jury (jirga) continues to operate as the people’s recourse to the law – instead of the police – for resolving inter-tribal dispu- tes and questions of “honour.” under tribal codes, women are seen as men’s pro- perty and an allegation of unfaithfulness is punished by death. A woman suspected of having extramarital relations is declared a kari (sinful) and tribal honour requires a family member to kill her.
By the Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, honor killings are to be treated as aggravated killings but in practice, honor killings may be treated more leniently than murder.
The government-appointed National Commission on the Status of Women said the law was a weak one as it did not cover the crime fully, but nevertheless a step in the right direction. The law was changed after a prolonged protest by women’s and human rights groups. According to the non-governmental Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), hundreds of women are killed every year in Pakistan in the name of ‘honour.’
Pregnant women subject to the death penalty have their executions postponed, and the High Court may commute their sentences to life imprisonment.
In Pakistan there are 44 women on death row and 9 women have been executed, the last occurred in 1985.
The penal code of 2004 does not provide the death penalty for adultery or con- sensual acts of hosexuality. However, the interpretation of Sharia law technically permits the death penalty, but it is thought to not be invoked. The crime of Zina punishes with death any sexual act comitted by married people and with lashes if comitted by non married. Executions are rarely in Qatar but capital punishment is issued frequently.
under Qatar’s 2004 Criminal Procedure Code, women sentenced to death as qisas (a kin’s right of retaliation such as for murder) or hadd (a Quran-prescribed punishment) will be executed after delivery; however, women sentenced to death as tazir (a merely statutory penalty) are not executed until two years after delivery, and their sentences may be commuted. In 2009, Qatar ratified the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which prohibits the execution of pregnant women and of nursing mothers, so the exception for nursing mothers may now be complete regardless of the nature of a woman’s crime.
The last execution was on 11 March 2003.
According to the Saudi Arabia Law of Criminal Procedure (art. 10) public ston- ing can be used to execute individuals who have been convicted of acts such as adul- tery but the penalty has not been executed for many years.
Saudi Arabia strictly applies Sharia and ranks 141/144 for gender equality in the 2016 Global Gender Gap Index. In September 2011, Saudi Arabia tripled “diya” but the “blood money” paid for the killing of or injury to a woman is always half that of a man.
The death penalty is prescribed for adultery, a sexual relation between a woman and a man out of marriage (Zina). If the person is married, the penalty is stoning, if not married, 100 lashes.
Homosexuality is punished by behading.
Although the crime of adultery is difficult to prove, as four eyewitnesses of the penetration act serve, the law is applied more to women.
Pregnant women and those with children under the age of three are exempted from the death penalty.
The latest news of a woman’s conviction for adultery dates back to 20 November 2015, when a Sri Lanka woman, married and mother of two children, who was in the country for work, was sentenced to stoning after confessing to having commit- ted adultery with another Sri Lankan worker, who was instead sentenced to 100 lashes because he was not married. The sentence of the woman was subsequently reduced to three years on appeal.
In 2016, Saudi Arabia executed at least 154 people, including 3 were women, two of whom were Ethiopians. In 2015, out of 159 people executed, 3 were women. As of August 14, 2016, there were 36 prisoners, including 6 women, sentenced to death for various crimes.
On 10 January 2016, an Ethiopian woman, Jinat Damti Farid, was executed in the city of Taif after being found guilty of killing a Saudi female, Ghalia Eida al- Harithi, by striking her repeatedly with an axe as the victim knelt to perform Muslim prayers. After killing Harithi, Farid stole two gold rings and an unspecified amount of money.
On 26 September 2016, an Ethiopian woman, Zamzam Abdullah Boric, was put to death in Riyadh after being convicted of killing a Saudi child, the interior ministry said. Boric cut the girl’s throat “and left her in the bathroom until she died,” the ministry said, without giving a motive for the crime or stating the Ethiopian’s occupation.
On 18 November 2016, Saudi national Munira bint Zuweid Al-Hadhli was exe- cuted in the city of Mecca for killing her husband. The woman was charged and con- victed of setting fire to her sleeping husband. She confessed to locking the door of the room to prevent her husband from escaping the flames.
The penal code stipulates prison for adultery and hosexuality, but in some southern regions, Islamic courts have imposed sharia law and the death penalty.
As “extrajudicial executions” should be considered those carried out by the Islamic extremists of Al-Shabaab.
The execution of nonpecuniary punishments is suspended for pregnant women and for women with newly born infantsunder the 1962 Penal Code.
On 17 January 2016, three people, including a woman and her son, were executed by firing squad in Somaliland after being convicted of murdering a woman. A court in Hargeisa found the boy and his mother guilty of murdering Ruqiya Saeed Ayanle by burying her alive inside their house. The police said Ayanle had been killed due to an argument over a debt she owed. According to witnesses the three were tied to poles outside a notorious Mandera military prison before masked soldiers randomly shot them to death.
In the country, the law is based on the “Islamic Sharia as the main source of the law”. According to this, a Muslim woman is not allowed to marry a non-Muslim man and such a marriage is considered adultery. The penalty for adultery under Article 146 of the Criminal Code is 100 lashes if the offender is not married, stoning if he is married and the male non-spoiled can be subject not only to flogging but also to exile for a year. The 1991 penal code also criminalizes homosexuality. Three-time offenders under the sodomy law can be put to death; first and second convictions result in flogging and imprisonment. usually, men are executed in the third case, while the woman can be executed in the first case.
The National Constitution at art 25 prohibits the execution of pregnant women and of nursing women for 2 years after giving birth.
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
In the uAE, adultery is punished by stoning according the Sharia law, but it is thought to not be invoked. Lawyers in the country and other experts disagree on whether federal law prescribes the death penalty for consensual homosexual sex or only for rape.
In the past, courts issued death setences by stoning but no recent execution by stoning in the country has been recorded. According to Sharia stringent evidentiary requirements must be met to impose a death sentece: the testimony of four eyewit- nesses or the confession of the accused and also pregnancy is admissible as circum- stantial evidence, but only for unmarried women, who would as unmarried persons not face the death penalty as hadd.
The last news of stoning, refers to 12 May 2014, when an Asian housemaid to stoning to death after she was found guilty of committing adultery while married.
The maid had been rushed to hospital following abdominal pains and tests showed she was pregnant after sleeping with another man.
Newspapers said the maid confessed in court that she committed adultery and the judge handed down the sentence on the basis of her confession in line with Islamic law.
The last execution of a woman was on 3 July 2015 when Ala’a Badr Abdullah al- Hashemi, 31, was executed by firing squad for stabbing, in 2014, Romanian-born Ibolya Ryan, a mother of 11-year-old twins, in the toilet of an Abu Dhabi shopping centre and attempting to bomb an American-Egyptian doctor. Police said last year Hashemi had become radicalised over the internet and had not been targeting a uS citizen in particular, but was looking for a foreigner to kill at random.
Pregnant women and those with children under the age of two are exempted from the death penalty. This is in respect of the rights of the child set forth in the Quran and Sunna. Additionally, the uAE have ratified the Revised Arab Charter on Human Rights, which prohibits execution of pregnant women as contrary to the interests of the infant and of nursing women as contrary to the interests of the infant for at least two years after giving birth.
The legal system of yemen is based on Sharia and customary law.
The death penalty is provided by the penal code for different crimes, including of sexual nature. According to the 1994 penal code adultery out of marriage is pun- sihed with 100 lashes and if married with stoning. married men can be sentenced to death by stoning for homosexual intercourse. unmarried men face whipping or one year in prison. Women face up to seven years in prison.
Pregnant women and nursing mother cannot be executed until two years after giving birth, unless someone else is found to care for the child. yemen is also a party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Arab Charter on Human Rights, which prohibit the execution of pregnant women and of nursing mothers.
On 4 January 2016, a woman was stoned to death in Yemen after being accused of adultery and prostitution by an Al-Qaeda Sharia court. The married woman was reportedly killed in a public execution in Al Mukalla, a city under the control of Al- Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) since April 2015. Al-Qaeda militants placed the woman in a hole in the middle of the courtyard of a military building and stoned her to death in the presence of dozens of residents, according to an eyewitness report. A copy of the purported verdict issued by a local Sharia court set up by the militants in December, said the married woman had confessed in front of the judges to committing adultery. The verdict said the woman also admitted that she practised prostitution. She also confessed to smoking hashish, it added. The verdict said the woman was sentenced to be stoned to death for committing adultery as a married woman and eighty lashes for consuming hashish.
The war against women and gay by the Islamic State
As “extrajuciary executions” should be considered those for adultery or hosexua- lity decided by tha Sharia tribunals and carried out by the Islamic State (IS) in Siria and Iraq. In Iraq, on 11 February 2016, four women were stoned to death by ISIS militants in front of a crowd in the city of Mosul, in Iraq, for having “committed adultery.” On 9 June 2016, the Islamic State stoned an Iraqi woman to death in al- Tahrir district in the city of Mosul, after the Sharia Court convicted her of commit ting adultery. On 8 October 2016, the Islamic State executed a 32-year-old woman in Mosul city after accusing her of “committing adultery.” Dozens of people parti- cipated in stoning the woman. Informed sources in Mosul told ARA News that the woman was sentenced to death for refusing to marry an ISIS jihadi. In Syria, the IS forces continued their campaign to strike terror, through public executions, amputa- tions, lashes and crucifixions on the public square with residents, including children, forced to watch. Executions in public spaces have become a common spectacle on Fridays in Raqqa and in the areas controlled by IS in the Aleppo governorate. In early 2016, militants of the Islamic State threw a 15-year-old boy accused of being gay from the roof of a building in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Sor. The boy had been discovered in the house of an ISIS leader, who was spared the brutal punishment inflicted on adolescents. On 6 January 2016, a 21-year-old member of the Islamic State, Ali Saqr, killed his mother, identified as Lena al-Qasem, reportedly 47, in front of several hundred people near a post office building where the woman worked. She would have urged her son to leave the Islamic State and flee Raqqa. After Saqr repor- ted her comments to ISIS leaders, they arrested his mother declaring she was guilty of apostasy.