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Bangladesh

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Information current as of: April 22, 2020

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Urgent Action: Five Men Executed in Bangladesh, ASA 13/004/2010, Feb. 1, 2010.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder. [1]

Murder. [2]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Robbery resulting in death is a death eligible offense for each of the offenders involved in the robbery. [3] Maiming of women and children by explosive, poisonous or corrosive substances is, when resulting in death, a capital offense. [4] The likelihood of or intent to cause death or grievous injury may not be an element of the offense. Bearing false witness in a capital case, with intent or knowledge that the defendant could be executed, and resulting in the defendant’s conviction and execution, is punishable by death. [5]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death. [6]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death. [7]

Rape Not Resulting in Death. [8]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping of a child under the age of 10 for the purpose of murder, grievous injury, slavery, or sexual exploitation, or abetting (by concealment or confinement) such a kidnapping may be punishable by death. [9]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Any person who cultivates, produces, transports, carries, supplies, or purchases any of the following substances may receive a death sentence: more than 25 grams of heroin, cocaine, and cocaine derivatives; [10] more than ten grams of pethidine, morphine and tetrahydrocanbinal; [11] more than 2 kilograms of opium, cannabis resin or opium derivatives. [12] In addition, since December 2018, any person who transports, trades, stores, or produces more than 200 grams of yaba, or its principal ingredient amphetamine, is eligible to receive a sentence of death. [13]

(This question was last updated on January 16, 2019.)

Drug Possession.
Any person who keeps, preserves, stores, exhibits or uses any of the following substances may receive a death sentence: more than 25 grams of heroin, cocaine, and cocaine derivatives; [14] more than ten grams of pethidine, morphine and tetrahydrocanbinal; [15] more than 2 kilograms of opium, cannabis resin or opium derivatives. [16] Since 2018, any person found in possession of more than 200 grams of yaba is liable to capital punishment. [17]

(This question was last updated on January 16, 2019.)

Treason.
Waging war against Bangladesh, or attempting or abetting such an act, is punishable by death. [18]

Espionage. [19]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Civilians may be executed for abetting mutiny. Offenses not involving death committed by military personnel in the Army, Navy and Air Force such as desertion, cowardice, inducement to such, espionage, aid to the enemy, treacherous or cowardly use of a flag of truce, false alarm in time of war, desertion in war, or any act calculated to imperil Bangladesh may be punished by death. Some offenses committed by military personnel, such as against persons not subject to the law of the service or the law of Bangladesh, may be punishable by death. The Bangladesh Guard may be included along with other military branches, per legislation pending during our research. [20]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Attempted Dowry Murder. [21]
- Abetting or Conspiring to Commit Capital Offenses.
It is unclear whether individuals may be sentenced to death for limited participation or for inchoate crimes. [22]
- Human Trafficking. [23]

References

[1] Bangladesh Oppression of Women and Children (Special Provisions) Act, art. 4, No. 18 of 1995, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[2] Bangladesh Penal Code, art. 302, No. 45 of 1860.
[3] Bangladesh Penal Code, arts. 391, 396, No. 45 of 1860.
[4] Bangladesh Oppression of Women and Children (Special Provisions) Act, art. 4, No. 18 of 1995, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[5] Bangladesh Penal Code, art. 194, No. 45 of 1860.
[6] Bangladesh Suppression of Terrorist Offenses Act, art. 4, No. 44 of 1992.
[7] Bangladesh Suppression of Terrorist Offenses Act, arts. 4, 5, No. 44 of 1992; Bangladesh Explosive Substances (Amendment) Act, art. 2, No. 21 of 1987.
[8] Bangladesh Oppression of Women and Children (Special Provisions) Act, art. 6, No. 18 of 1995, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[9] Bangladesh Penal Code, arts. 364(A), 368, No. 45 of 1860.
[10] Bangladesh Intoxicant Control Act, arts. 9, 19(1)(b), No. 20 of 1990, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[11] Bangladesh Intoxicant Control Act, arts. 9, 19(2)(b), No. 20 of 1990, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[12] Bangladesh Intoxicant Control Act, arts. 9, 19(3)(b), No. 20 of 1990, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[13] Dhaka Tribune, Revised narcotics control law gets tough with drug traders, https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2018/12/21/revised-narcotics-control-law-gets-tough-with-drug-traders, Dec. 21, 2018.
[14] Bangladesh Intoxicant Control Act, arts. 9, 19(1)(b), No. 20 of 1990, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[15] Bangladesh Intoxicant Control Act, arts. 9, 19(2)(b), No. 20 of 1990, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[16] Bangladesh Intoxicant Control Act, arts. 9, 19(3)(b), No. 20 of 1990, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[17] Dhaka Tribune, Narcotics Control Bill passed with death penalty for dealing yaba, https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/parliament/2018/10/27/narcotics-control-bill-passed-death-penalty-for-smuggling-selling-yaba, Oct. 27, 2018. BanglaNews24, Narcotics Control Bill, 2018 passed in JS, https://www.banglanews24.com/national/article/71820/Narcotics-Control-Bill-2018-passed-in-JS,, Oct. 27, 2018. Dhaka Tribune, Revised narcotics control law gets tough with drug traders, https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2018/12/21/revised-narcotics-control-law-gets-tough-with-drug-traders, Dec. 21, 2018.
[18] Bangladesh Penal Code, art. 121, No. 45 of 1860.
[19] Bangladesh Official Secrets Act, art. 3, No. 19 of 1923.
[20] Bangladesh Penal Code, art. 132, No. 45 of 1860; Bangladesh Army Act, art. 24, No. 39 of 1952; Bangladesh Navy Ordinance, art. 29, No. 35 of 1961; Bangladesh Air Force Act, art. 34, No. 6 of 1953; The Daily Star, Cabinet okays bill with death penalty clause, http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=128319, Mar. 2, 2010.
[21] Bangladesh Oppression of Women and Children (Special Provisions) Act, art. 10, No. 18 of 1995, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[22] Bangladesh Penal Code, arts. 120, 121, 132, 368, No. 45 of 1860; Bangladesh Oppression of Women and Children (Special Provisions) Act, art. 14, No. 18 of 1995, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project; Bangladesh Suppression of Terrorist Offenses Act, art. 5, No. 44 of 1992, translation: Heidelberg Bangladesh Law Translation Project.
[23] Bangladesh Penal Code, arts. 364(A), 368, No. 45 of 1860.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

China

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Information current as of: April 22, 2020

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions 2012, p. 18-19, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 10, 2013.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
The death penalty in China is applicable to murder generally, rather than to aggravated murder specifically. [1] However, the gradation of sentencing coupled with the directive for a lighter sentence where circumstances indicate a low level of culpability suggests that whether a murder is committed under aggravating circumstances is considered in sentencing. [2]

Murder.
A person who intentionally commits homicide is punishable by death. [3]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
A person who commits arson, breaches a dike, causes explosion, spreads poisonous, radioactive substances or infectious pathogens and causes the death of another person is punishable by death. [4] Violently or forcefully hijacking an aircraft, causing the death of another person, is a death-eligible crime. [5] Producing or selling tainted food or fake medicine is punishable by death when the criminal act results in death. [6] A person who causes the death of another person by intentionally inflicting injury is subject to the death penalty. [7] Causing death from raping a woman or having a sexual intercourse with a girl under the age of 14 is a crime punishable by death. [8] A person who causes the death of another person who is forced to engage in prostitution is subject to the death penalty. [9] Abducting someone for extortion or holding someone hostage, thereby killing or causing the death of the victim, is punishable by death. [10] A person who causes the death of an abducted woman or a child or his or her relatives is punishable by death, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [11] Causing the death of another person in the course of robbery is punishable by death. [12] Causing the death of commanders or military personnel with violence or intimidation, particularly during wartime, is a death-eligible crime. [13]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
China’s anti-terrorism laws treat those participating in lethal terrorist activities under the laws for murder, kidnapping, and other crimes affecting public safety. [14] A person can be sentenced to death for sabotaging means of transportation, utilities, or certain construction equipment, if the consequences are serious. [15] Setting fire, breaching dikes, causing explosion, spreading poison, or employing other dangerous means that lead to death are punishable by death. [16] Airplane hijacking resulting in death is also punishable by death. [17] Illegal trade, manufacture or transport of nuclear materials or other weapons can be death-eligible if the circumstances are “serious.” [18] Additionally, a “serious” case of stealing or forcibly seizing weapons, explosives, poisonous or radioactive substances, infectious disease pathogens or other substances that endanger public security [19] are death-eligible offenses that could be characterized as terrorism-related.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
China’s anti-terrorism laws treat those participating in non-deadly terrorist activities that lead to serious injury or property loss under the laws for kidnapping and other crimes affecting public safety. [20] Such other crimes could include sabotage of transportation, utilities, or certain construction equipment, [21] setting fire, breaching dikes, causing explosions, spreading poison, or employing other dangerous means that lead to serious injuries or property loss. [22] Additionally, airplane hijacking (resulting in serious injury or damage to the aircraft) [23] or illegal trade, manufacture or transport of nuclear materials or other weapons, ammunition or explosives (with serious consequences) are death-eligible offenses that could be characterized as terrorism-related. [24]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Multiple rape, public rape, causing serious injury from rape are all death-eligible offenses. [25] Raping an abducted or trafficked woman is punishable by death, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [26] Forcing someone into prostitution after rape is also punishable by death, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [27]

Rape of Child Not Resulting in Death.
Sexual relations with a girl under the age of 14 is a death-eligible offense if it involves multiple rape, public rape, or serious injury or other “serious” circumstances. [28] Rape of a child is punishable by death when it is rape during an abduction or trafficking. [29] Forcing a child into prostitution after rape is also punishable by death, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [30]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Robbery is punishable by death if it involves intrusion into public transportation, or a bank or a banking institution. [31] Repeatedly committing robbery, stealing a large sum of money, causing serious injury during robbery, impersonating a serviceman or policeman during robbery, or armed robbery are also punishable by death. [32] Stealing or forcibly seizing weapons, equipment or military supplies is death-eligible if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [33] Additionally, a “serious” case of stealing or forcibly seizing weapons, explosives, poisonous or radioactive substances, infectious disease pathogens or other substances that endanger public security [34] is a death-eligible offense.

Arson Not Resulting in Death.
A person who commits arson, thereby inflicting serious injury or causing heavy property loss, is subject to the death penalty. [35]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
A leader of a gang involved in abducting and trafficking women and children is subject to the death penalty, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [36] Aggravated abduction of three or more women or children is a death-eligible offense, as is trafficking three or more women or children and stealing a baby or an infant for the purpose of selling the victim, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [37] Additionally, abduction involving violence, coercion or anaesthesia, or abduction resulting in serious harm is a death-eligible offense if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [38]

Burglary Not Resulting in Death.
Intruding into a residence for the purpose of robbery is punishable by death. [39]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Use of arms or violence to cover up drug trafficking crimes or to resist arrest or detention is punishable by death. [40] A death sentence may also be imposed when opium of not less than 1000 grams, heroin or methylaniline of not less than 50 grams, or other narcotic drugs of large quantities are involved. [41] Participants in international drug smuggling, leaders of trafficking groups, or government officials who divert state-controlled drugs for illegal sale may also be punished by death. [42]

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
Graft and bribery are punishable by death if particularly large sums of money or property value are involved. [43] A person who embezzles more than 100,000 yuan is subject to the death penalty, “if the circumstances are especially serious.” [44] Illegal trade, manufacture or transport of nuclear materials or other weapons can be death-eligible if the circumstances are “serious.” [45]

In 2011, 13 other non-violent, economic crimes such as smuggling cultural relics and precious metals, robbing ancient cultural ruins, and engaging in fraudulent activities with financial bills or letters of credit were removed from the list of death-eligible crimes. [46]

Treason.
Crimes harmful to national security are death-eligible, if causing particularly serious harm and under aggravating circumstances. These crimes include “especially serious” cases of plotting with foreign states, organizations, or individuals; organizing or plotting to undermine national unification; involvement in rebellion, rioting; colluding with foreign sources for subversive purposes; defection; supplying arms to enemy during wartime; [47] sabotage of military resources; [48] and supply of faulty equipment to armed units. [49]

Additionally, some death-eligible offenses by military personnel can be classified as treason: violently obstructing commanders or military personnel, causing serious injuries or involving “especially serious” circumstances; [50] fabrication of rumors in collusion with the enemy, under “especially serious” circumstances; [51] and illegal sale or transfer of military weaponry, if there are “especially serious” circumstances or large amount of weapons or equipment involved. [52]

Espionage.
A person who joins an espionage organization, accepts a mission from an espionage organization, or directs an enemy to a bombing or shelling target is punishable by death, “if the circumstances are especially serious” or the crime causes serious harm to the State and the people. [53] Stealing, spying into, buying, or illegally supplying State secrets for an organization or individual outside China is death-eligible, “if the circumstances are especially serious” or the crime causes serious harm to the State and the people. [54] A person who steals, spies into, buys, or illegally supplies military secrets to agencies, organizations or individuals outside of China is subject to the death penalty. [55]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A serviceman who cooperates with the enemy after surrender is punishable by death. [56] Obstructing commanders or military personnel with violence or intimidation that involves serious injury or other “especially serious” circumstances, particularly during wartime; [57] desertion or defection while piloting vessels or aircraft that involves “especially serious” circumstances; [58] fabrication of rumors in collusion with the enemy, under “especially serious” circumstances; [59] forcible seizure of weaponry or military supplies, under “especially serious” circumstances; [60] and illegal sale or transfer of military weaponry, under “especially serious” circumstances, [61] are punishable by death. Sabotaging weaponry, military installations or military telecommunications is a death-eligible offense under “especially serious” circumstances. [62] Supplying faulty military equipment to the armed forces is punishable by death if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [63]

Some offenses are death-eligible when they result in major losses during battle. Major losses in battle most likely involve the death of military personnel, but arguably could involve only the loss of military equipment. Potentially death-eligible crimes for causing major losses are: defying orders, endangerment of military operations by concealing information or providing false information, or fleeing from battle. [64]

Military personnel who commit offenses against civilians or civilian resources are subject to the death penalty, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [65]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Aggravated assault: A person who intentionally inflicts injury upon another person through especially cruel means, thereby causing severe injury or disability, is punishable by death. [66] Since 2011, the crime of intentionally wounding a person to force him/her to donate an organ is death-eligible under certain circumstances. [67]
- Trafficking and forced prostitution crimes: Arranging for another person to engage in prostitution, forcing a girl under the age of 14 to engage in prostitution, forcing multiple people to engage in prostitution or repeatedly forcing a person to engage in prostitution, or inflicting injury upon a person forced to engage in prostitution is punishable by death, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [68] Also, a person who entices or forces an abducted or trafficked woman into prostitution, or sells such woman to a person that would force her into prostitution, is punishable by death if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [69] A person who inflicts injury upon an abducted woman or a child or his or her relatives is punishable by death, if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [70] Selling a woman or a child to a territory outside of China, under “especially serious” circumstances, is also a death-eligible crime. [71]
- Producing or selling tainted food or medicine: Producing or selling tainted food or fake medicine is punishable by death when the criminal act results in serious medical injury or involves other “especially serious” circumstances. [72]
- Prison riots: Organizing or actively participating in an armed prison riot or jailbreak is punishable by death if the circumstances are “especially serious.” [73] Some experts note that this provision may have been abolished, [74] but on our reading of the successive amendments to the Criminal Law, this article was never revised or removed.

Comments.
Thirteen death-eligible economic crimes were removed from the Criminal Law in 2011. [75] It was the first time China had reduced the number of crimes subject to the death penalty since the law took effect in 1979. [76] The crimes that are no longer death-eligible include: smuggling cultural relics, gold, silver, and other precious metals and rare animals and their products; engaging in fraud with financial bills or letters of credit; the false issuance of exclusive value-added tax invoices to defraud export tax refunds or to offset taxes; forging or selling forged exclusive value-added tax invoices; teaching crime-committing methods; and robbing ancient cultural ruins. [77] At the same time, the government increased the number of death-eligible crimes, adding the offense of forced organ donation and expanding the circumstances under which death can be imposed for producing or selling harmful food and medicine. [78]

Articles in the Criminal Law that authorize the death penalty for crimes other than murder often do so ambiguously, providing for lengthy imprisonment or death under crimes involving death, serious injury or some other aggravating circumstance. [79] Articles 5 and 48 of the Criminal Law imply that courts in China should interpret such language narrowly; [80] however, statements by the Supreme People’s Court indicate that currently courts in China probably apply the death penalty broadly. [81] Because China’s courts do not release information that would allow a narrower interpretation [82] (though there are plans to publish key death penalty judgments in the near future for this reason), [83] it is possible that the courts interpret statutory language providing for the death penalty expansively. This is consistent with reports based on leaks from official sources indicating that China’s execution rate exceeded 10,000 per year by the 1980’s and has only recently dropped to 5,000 to 7,000 executions per year. [84]

References

[1] Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, art. 232, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[2] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 232, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[3] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 232, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[4] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 115, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[5] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 121, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[6] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, arts. 141, 144, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[7] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 234, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[8] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 236, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[9] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 358, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[10] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 239, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[11] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[12] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 263, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[13] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 426, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[14] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 120, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[15] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 119, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[16] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 115, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[17] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 121, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[18] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 125, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[19] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 127, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[20] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 120, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[21] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 119, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[22] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 115, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[23] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 121, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[24] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, arts. 125, 127, 151, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[25] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 236, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[26] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[27] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 358, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[28] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 236, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[29] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[30] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 358, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[31] Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, art. 263, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[32] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, arts. 263, 267, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[33] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 438, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[34] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 127, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[35] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 115, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011
[36] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[37] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[38] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[39] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 263, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[40] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 347, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[41] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 347, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[42] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, arts. 347, 355, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[43] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 386, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[44] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 383, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[45] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, arts. 125, 151, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[46] Xinhua, 13 crimes removed from death penalty list, China.org.cn, http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2011/2011-02/25/content_22006335.htm, Feb. 25, 2011.
[47] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, arts. 102, 103(1), 104, 106, 108, 112, 113, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[48] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 369, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[49] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 370, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[50] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 426, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[51] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 433, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[52] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 439, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[53] Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, arts. 110, 113, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[54] Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, arts. 111, 113, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[55] Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, art. 431(2), Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[56] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 423, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[57] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 426, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[58] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 430, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[59] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 433, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[60] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 438, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[61] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 439, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[62] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 369, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[63] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 370, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[64] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, arts. 421, 422, 424, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[65] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 446, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[66] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 234, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[67] Amnesty Intl., Executions and death sentences in 2011, p. 19, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 26, 2012.
[68] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 358, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[69] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[70] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[71] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 240, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[72] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, arts. 141, 144, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011. Amnesty Intl., Executions and death sentences in 2011, p. 19, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 26, 2012.
[73] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, art. 317, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[74] Roger Hood & Carolyn Doyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, pp. 144-146, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[75] Xinhua, 13 crimes removed from death penalty list, China.org.cn, http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2011/2011-02/25/content_22006335.htm, Feb. 25, 2011.
[76] Xinhua, 13 crimes removed from death penalty list, China.org.cn, http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2011/2011-02/25/content_22006335.htm, Feb. 25, 2011.
[77] Xinhua, 13 crimes removed from death penalty list, China.org.cn, http://www.china.org.cn/china/NPC_CPPCC_2011/2011-02/25/content_22006335.htm, Feb. 25, 2011.
[78] Amnesty Intl., Executions and death sentences in 2011, p. 19, ACT 50/001/2012, Mar. 26, 2012.
[79] Criminal Law of the People's Republic of China, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[80] Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China, arts. 5, 48, Jul. 1, 1979, as amended through to Feb. 25, 2011.
[81] Xie Chuanjiao, New guideline on death penalty, China Daily, http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/china/2008-12/23/content_7331191.htm, Dec. 23, 2008.
[82] Clive Stafford Smith, China must show mercy, The Guardian, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2009/oct/24/china-death-penalty, Oct. 24, 2009.
[83] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions 2012, p. 19, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 10, 2013.
[84] Johnson & Zimring, The Next Frontier: National Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty in Asia, pp. 238-239, Oxford University Press, 2009.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Egypt

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: October 7, 2020

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. The last execution was carried out in 2015. [1]

References

[1] News 24, Egypt hangs five for murder and theft, http://www.news24.com/Africa/News/Egypt-hangs-five-for-murder-and-theft-20150426, Apr. 26, 2015.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Premeditated murder, [1] especially by poisoning or other drugs/substances, is punishable by death. Other non-premeditated murder is punishable by death if associated with another crime, gang intimidation or robbery, or a terrorist purpose. The intentional killing of a public official or employee charged with the enforcement of narcotic laws is punishable by death. [2]

Murder.
While we did not find clear statutory support for the application of the death penalty for simple murder, in-country sources and foreign experts on the subject indicate that the death penalty might apply for simple murder. [3] The APRO’s later submission to the Human Rights Council for its 2010 Universal Periodic Review of human rights in Egypt indicated similar statistics. [4]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Arson that results in the death of persons present in the building at the outbreak of the fire is punishable by death, and gang robbery or intimidation resulting in death may be death-eligible. [5] Thuggery, hooliganism or terrorizing by intimidation are punishable by death if “preceded [by], accompanied [by], associated with or followed by” aggravated or deliberate murder as outlined in Article 234 of the Penal Code. [6] According to Article 40 of Law No. 122, an assault on any law-enforcing officer or public officer that results in the death of that said person, is punishable by death. [7] Similarly, assaulting officers charged with the enforcement of narcotic laws is punishable by death if the act results in death. [8]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
The use of violence to cause harm, terror, ecological disaster, or other social disruptions is terrorism. Murder for terrorism is punishable by death. Causing death by terrorism in an attempt to force people to join or maintain membership in anti-state or terrorist organizations is punishable by death. Causing death in conjunction with a hijacking of any form of transportation or destruction of a government facility, utility or place for public use is punishable by death. Causing death by bombing is punishable by death. Causing the death of enforcement personnel in conjunction with a terrorist act is punishable by death. [9]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A wide and vaguely-defined range of terrorism-related offenses not necessarily resulting in death are punishable by death; such offenses include: founding an organization that opposes the state through use of violence aimed at causing harm, terror, ecological disaster or other social disruption; cooperation with a foreign country or organization in carrying out or attempting a terrorist act; gang attacks on the people, armed resistance to authorities or seizure of government or public facilities, or leadership of a gang that would perform such activities; usurping military authority or leading armed gangs for criminal purposes (such as plundering); or other violent actions. [10] Under Article 83(A) of the Penal Code, a wide range of violent, non-violent and inchoate actions —which plausibly include propagating “extremist thought” or sectarian divisions—aimed at undermining Egypt’s independence, unity or territorial integrity or aimed at assisting an enemy in time of war can be construed as terrorism punishable by death. [11]

Under Article 26 of the Arms and Ammunition Law No. 394 of 1954, as amended by Law No. 165 of 1981, possessing or acquiring arms, ammunition or explosives for the inchoate purpose of disrupting the government, public security or peace, national unity, constitutional principles or the law is punishable by death. [12]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping of a female aggravated by rape (including statutory rape) is punishable by death. [13]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping of a female aggravated by rape (including statutory rape) is punishable by death. [14]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.

Drug Possession.
Trafficking, manufacturing, purchasing, selling, delivering, or transporting any narcotic substance with the intention of trading is punishable by death. [15]

Treason.
Drug possession is punishable by death if drugs are held for trade. [16]

Espionage.
A variety of treasonous offenses are punishable by death, such as: intentionally undermining Egypt’s independence, unity or territorial integrity; fighting against Egypt or assisting Egypt’s enemies or inciting the same; demoralizing the troops or people; undermining the defense of Egypt, particularly in time of war; breaching defense contracts at time of war; interference with the constitutional order; armed attempts to overthrow the government; or other offenses. Treason is ultimately a vaguely-defined offense in Egypt: for example, under Article 83(A), cumulative with Article 98(C), capital punishment could be inflicted on a person who founds an unauthorized organization if a court determines there was an intent to affect Egypt’s unity; cumulatively with Article 98(F), Article 83(A) could apply the death penalty for propagating “by talk or in writing, or any other method, extremist thoughts.” [17]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death. [18]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Reports indicate that under Articles 130-154 of the martial Law No. 25 of 1966, a number of military offenses not resulting in death may be punishable by death, such as desertion, insubordination, looting, dereliction of duty, ill-treatment of the wounded, assisting the enemy and abuse of power. [19]

References

[1] Egypt Penal Code, art.230, Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[2] Egypt Narcotics Law, art. 41, No. 182 of 1960, amended through 1994.
[3] Dr. Mohamed Al Ghamry, Death Penalty In Egypt: Theoretical and Practical Study in the Light of Islamic Shariah and International Human Rights Law, p. 23-35, Arab Penal Reform Organization, http://www.aproarab.org/modules.php?name=Reports_Publications, 2008.
[4] Arab Penal Reform Organization, Submission to the Human Rights Council’s 2010 Universal Periodic Review of Egypt, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/EG/APRO_UPR_EGY_S07_2010_ArabPenalReformOrganization.pdf, 2009. See also Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, 4th ed., p. 69, Oxford University Press, 2008.
[5] Egypt Penal Code, art. 257, 375(2), Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[6] Egypt Penal Code, arts. 234 & 375 (Bis), Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 7 of 2011, translated by Egypt State Information Service, http://www.sis.gov.eg/En/Story.aspx?sid=54202, Mar. 14, 2011.
[7] Penal Reform, Towards the abolition of the death penalty and its alternative sanctions in the Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen, p.17, https://www.penalreform.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/MENA-research-report-on-death-penalty-and-alternative-sanctions-ENGLISH-March-20121.pdf, Mar. 2012.
[8] Egypt Narcotics Law, art. 40, No. 182 of 1960, amended through 1994.
[9] Egypt Penal Code, arts. 86, 86 Bis(2)(-B), 88, 88 Bis-A88(2)(B), 90, 102(C), 234, Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[10] Dr. Mohamed Al Ghamry, The Death Penalty In Egypt: Theoretical and Practical Study in the Light of Islamic Shariah and International Human Rights Law, p. 15-16, Arab Penal Reform Organization, http://www.aproarab.org/modules.php?name=Reports_Publications, 2008.
[11] Egypt Penal Code, arts. 86, 86(2) cum. 86(2)(B), 86 Bis-(2)(C), 89, 90 Bis(2), 91, 93, 102(B), Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[12] Egypt Penal Code, arts. 83(A) cum. 86-102(2) Bis, Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[13] Dr. Mohamed Al Ghamry, The Death Penalty In Egypt: Theoretical and Practical Study in the Light of Islamic Shariah and International Human Rights Law, pp. 15-16, 17, Arab Penal Reform Organization, http://www.aproarab.org/modules.php?name=Reports_Publications, 2008.
[14] Egypt Penal Code, art. 269, 290, Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[15] Egypt Penal Code, arts. 269, 290, Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[16] Egypt Narcotics Law, arts. 33, 34, No. 182 of 1960, as updated through to 1994.
[17] Egypt Narcotics Law, art. 34, No. 182 of 1960, amended through 1994.
[18] Egypt Penal Code, arts. 77-77(C), 78(A)-78(C), 78(E), 80, 81, 82(B), 83(A) cum. 86-102 Bis, 85, 86-102(2), 87 cum. 102(B), 92, Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[19] Egypt Penal Code, arts. 77(B), 80, 85, Law No. 58 of 1937, as amended by Law No. 5 of 2010, translated by: Middle East Library for Economic Services, 2010.
[20] Dr. Mohamed Al Ghamry, Death Penalty In Egypt: Theoretical and Practical Study in the Light of Islamic Shariah and International Human Rights Law, p. 1718 , Arab Penal Reform Organization, (http://www.aproarab.org/modules.php?name=Reports_Publications, 2008.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

India

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: April 22, 2020

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] BBC, Mumbai Attack Gunman Ajmal Qasab Executed, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-20422265, Nov. 21, 2012. AFP, Mubai Attacks Gunman Ajmal Kasab Hanged, Dawn, http://dawn.com/2012/11/21/ajmal-kasab-hanged-indian-media/, Nov. 21, 2012.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Murder is punishable by death under Article 302 of the Penal Code, [1] and in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab, India's Supreme Court held that the death penalty was constitutional only when applied as an exceptional penalty in ”the rarest of the rare” cases. [2]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
According to the Penal Code, if any member of a group commits murder in the course of committing an armed robbery, all members of the group can be sentenced to death. [3] Kidnapping for ransom in which the victim is killed is punishable by the death penalty. [4] Being a member of an association or promoting an association while committing any act using unlicensed firearms or explosives that results in death, is punishable by death. [5] Engaging in organized crime, if it results in death, is punishable by death. [6] Committing, or assisting another person in committing sati – the burning or burying alive of widows or women – is also punishable by the death penalty. [7] Under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, bearing false witness in a capital case against a member of a scheduled caste or tribe, resulting in that person's conviction and execution, carries the death penalty. [8] Assisting individuals who are under the age of 18, mentally ill, mentally disabled, or intoxicated in committing suicide is punishable by the death penalty. [9]

However, whether (or when) these offenses are death-eligible must be considered in the light of the Indian Supreme Court’s decision in Bachan Singh. Courts may interpret Bachan Singh as overriding other law when sentencing for offenses resulting in death. For instance, using, carrying, manufacturing, selling, transferring, or testing [10] prohibited arms or ammunition previously carried a mandatory death sentence if it resulted in the death of any other person under the Indian Arms Act, 1959. [11] However, a recent Supreme Court ruling in February 2012 ruled this provision unconstitutional in light of the judgments in Bachan Singh v. State of Punjab and Mithu v. State of Punjab. [12] This suggests that offenses resulting in death are punishable by death only when they meet the “rarest of rare” standard laid out in Bachan Singh.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death. [13]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Using any special category explosive to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious damage to property is punishable by the death penalty. [14]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, a person who in the course of a sexual assault inflicts injury that causes the victim to die or to be left in a “persistent vegetative state” may be punished by death. [15]

Repeated gang rapes may also be punishable by death. [16] These changes were imposed after the 2012 gang rape and death of medical student Jyoti Singh Pandey in New Delhi. [17]

Under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, the death penalty may be imposed for the rape of girls under 12 years of age, and the minimum punishment is 20 years in prison, along with a fine. [18] The 2018 Amendment also specifies the imposition of the death penalty or life imprisonment for the gang rape of a girl under 12 years old. [19] These changes to the criminal law followed the rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl, Asifa Bano, which triggered a great deal of political unrest in Jammu and Kashmir State and throughout the country. [20]

(This question was last updated on April 21, 2018.)

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping or detaining an individual is punishable by death if the kidnapper threatens to kill or harm the victim, if the kidnapper’s conduct makes the death or harm of the victim a possibility, or if the victim is actually harmed. [21]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
If an individual who has been convicted of the commission of, attempt to commit, abetment of, or criminal conspiracy to commit any one of a range of offenses related to drug trafficking (e.g. trafficking of cannabis and opium) commits another offense related to the production, manufacture, trafficking, or financing of certain types and quantities of narcotic and psychotropic substances, he or she can be sentenced to death. [22]

Treason.
Waging or attempting to wage war against the government [23] and assisting officers, soldiers, or members of the Navy, Army, or Air Forces in committing mutiny are punishable by the death penalty. [24]

Espionage. [25]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
The following offenses, if committed by a member of the Army, Navy, or Air Forces, are punishable by death: committing, inciting, conspiring to commit, or failing to suppress mutiny; [26] desertion or aiding desertion; [27] cowardice; treacherous acts; committing or inciting dereliction of duty; aiding the enemy; inducing individuals subject to military law not to act against the enemy; imperiling Indian or allied military, air, or naval forces in any way. [28]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Being a party to a criminal conspiracy to commit a capital offence is punishable by death. [29]
- Attempts to murder by those sentenced to life imprisonment are punishable by death if the attempt results in harm to the victim. [30]
- Calumniation: Providing false evidence with intent or knowledge of the likelihood that another individual, or a member of a Scheduled Caste or Tribe, would be convicted of a capital offense due to such evidence [31] carries the death penalty if it results in the conviction and execution of an innocent person. [32]

References

[1] Indian Penal Code, ch. XVI, art. 302, 303, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[2] Bacham Singh v. State of Punjab, 1983(1) SCR 145(a), Supreme Court of India, 1980.
[3] Indian Penal Code, ch. XVII, art. 396, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[4] Indian Penal Code, ch. XVI, art. 364A, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[5] The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Ordinance, art. 6, 2004.
[6] Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, art. 3 (1) (i), no. 30 of 1999, 1999; Karnataka Control of Organised Crime Act, art. 3(1) (i), Act 1 of 2002, 2000; Andhra Pradesh Control of Organised Crime Act, art. 3(1) (i), Act no. 42 of 2001, 2001.
[7] The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, part. II, art. 4 (1), no. 3 of 1988, 1987.
[8] India Prevention of Atrocities Act, sec. 3(2)(i), No. 33 of 1989.
[9] Indian Penal Code, ch. XVI, art. 305, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[10] Indian Arms Act, ch. II, art. 7, 1959.
[11] Indian Arms Act, ch. V, art. 27 (3), 1959.
[12] PRS India, The Arms Act—Mandatory Death Penalty Declared Unconstitutional, http://www.prsindia.org/theprsblog/?s=arms+amendment+bill, Feb. 8, 2012. State Of Punjab vs Dalbir Singh, Criminal Appeal No. 117 of 2006, Supreme Court of India, http://indiankanoon.org/doc/166513655/, Feb. 1, 2012.
[13] Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act of India, part II, art. 3(2)(i), Act no. 28 of 1987, 1987, amended by Act 43 of 1993. Prevention of Terrorism Act of India, ch. II, art.3(2)(a), Act no. 15 of 2002, 2002.
[14] Explosive Substances (Amendment) Act 2001, sec. 3 (b), Act no. 54 of 2001, 2001.
[15] Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, sec. 9, 376A, Act no. 13 of 2013, 2013.
[16] Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, sec. 9, 376E, Act no. 13 of 2013, 2013.
[17] Human Rights Watch, “Everyone Blames Me” Barriers to Justice and Support Services for Sexual Assault Survivors in India, https://www.hrw.org/report/2017/11/08/everyone-blames-me/barriers-justice-and-support-services-sexual-assault-survivors, Nov. 8, 2017. Jeffrey Gettleman, Where 8-Year-Old Was Raped and Killed, Hindus Rally Around Suspects, New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/24/world/asia/india-child-rape.html, Apr. 24, 2018.
[18] The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, PRS Legislative Research, http://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-criminal-law-amendment-ordinance-2018-5232/, last accessed May 17, 2018.
[19] The Criminal Law (Amendment) Ordinance, 2018, PRS Legislative Research, http://www.prsindia.org/billtrack/the-criminal-law-amendment-ordinance-2018-5232/, last accessed May 17, 2018.
[20] BBC, Asifa Bano: The child rape and murder that has Kashmir on edge, http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-43722714, Apr. 12, 2018.
[21] Indian Penal Code, ch. XVI, art. 364A, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[22] Narcotics Drugs and Pyschotropic Substances Act of India, ch. IV, art. 31A, 1985.
[23] Indian Penal Code, ch. VI, art. 121, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[24] Indian Penal Code, ch. VII, art. 132, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[25] The Air Force Act of India, ch. VI, sec. 34 (d), 1950.
[26] The Air Force Act of India, ch. VI, art. 37, 1950. Army Act, art. 37, Act no. 46 of 1950, May 20, 1950. Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force Act, ch. III, art. 19, Act no. 35 of 1992, 1992.
[27] The Air Force Act of India, ch. VI, art. 38, 1950. Army Act, art. 38, Act no. 46 of 1950, May 20, 1950. Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force Act, ch. III, art. 20, Act no. 35 of 1992, 1992.
[28] The Air Force Act of India, ch. VI, sec. 34, 1950. Army Act, art. 34, Act no. 46 of 1950, May 20, 1950. Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force Act, ch. III, art. 16, Act no. 35 of 1992, 1992.
[29] Indian Penal Code, ch. V, art. 120B, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[30] Indian Penal Code, ch. XVI, art. 307, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.
[31] Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, ch. II, art. 2 (1), no. 33 of 1989, 1989.
[32] Indian Penal Code, ch. XI, art. 194, Act no. 45 of 1860, Oct. 6, 1860.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Iran

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: October 14, 2020

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl. News, Iran Hangs 40 People in Two Weeks Amid Surge in Executions, http://www.amnesty.org/en/news/iran-hangs-40-people-two-weeks-amid-surge-executions-2014-01-16, Jan. 16, 2014.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Murder.
Premeditated murder in Iranian law carries the death penalty as a qisas offense. [1] However, there are several exceptions to this. If the offender is the father or paternal grandfather of the victim, he is exempt from the death penalty under Article 301 of the Islamic Penal Code (IPC). [2] If the offender killed someone who committed a huddud offense, he is exempt from the death penalty under Article 302 of the IPC. [3] If the offender killed a rapist, he is exempt under Article 302. [4] If the offender killed his adulterous wife, he is exempt under Article 302 of the IPC. [5] Followers of “recognized religions” who kill followers of “non-recognized religions” are also exempt from the death penalty. [6]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorism resulting in death might be considered a qisas offense, claims of kin for blood or similar harm which may result in the death penalty. [7] Furthermore, under article 286 of the Islamic Penal Code, anybody who commits a crime on an extensive level against domestic security or external security has committed a crime under “corruption on earth” and can be sentenced to death. [8] Persons might also be death-eligible for terrorism-related activities under the Law for Punishment of Disruptors of the Oil Industry, the Law for Punishment of Disrupters of Water, Electricity and Telecommunication Facilities, the Law for Punishment of Disrupters of Flight Security, the Law for Punishment of Offences Concerning Railways, and the Law for Increase of Punishment for Arms Smuggling. [9]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Under article 287 of the Islamic Penal Code of 2013, anybody who commits a crime on an extensive level against domestic security or external security has committed a crime under “corruption on earth” and may be sentenced to death. [10] Persons might also be death-eligible for terrorism-related activities under the Law for Punishment of Disruptors of the Oil Industry, the Law for Punishment of Disrupters of Water, Electricity and Telecommunication Facilities, the Law for Punishment of Disrupters of Flight Security, the Law for Punishment of Offences Concerning Railways, and the Law for Increase of Punishment for Arms Smuggling. [11]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Under Article 224 of the Islamic Penal Code, fornication by force or reluctance is punishable by death. [12]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Armed robbery is a death-eligible offense under certain circumstances described under article 279 of the Islamic Penal Code. [13] In 2013, two men were sentenced to death for armed robbery and for “hurting the public’s feelings.” [14]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Reports indicate that kidnapping not resulting in death may be punishable by death, at least when attended by aggravating factors such as rape, extortion or other criminal offenses. [15] Hood & Hoyle also report that kidnapping is punishable by death in Iran. [16]

Burglary Not Resulting in Death.
Recidivist theft is punishable by death under the Islamic Penal Code. [17]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Producing drugs is punished by death upon the fourth instance. Smuggling or trafficking more than five kilos of drugs is punished by death, and storing drugs for the purpose of transportation is treated as trafficking. Trafficking heroin, morphine, cocaine or derivatives is treated more seriously than is trafficking in other drugs, with a 30 gram threshold for death-eligibility. Armed drug trafficking or smuggling is punished by death, as is trafficking or smuggling drugs in prisons, rehabilitation centers or military facilities. Trafficking over 5 kg of opium and opium derivatives can be punishable by death. [18] Trafficking over 100 grams of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine is punishable by death. [19] Trafficking over 30 grams of the same drugs is punishable by death upon the second conviction of trafficking. [20]

Drug Possession.
Drug addiction is a crime in Iran, although prosecution is delayed during treatment and rehabilitation. [21] Possession of large quantities of drugs is punished by death; however, possession is figured cumulatively for recidivist offenders, who are punished by death as corruptors on earth for even small cumulative totals—anything more than 30 grams of certain drugs. [22] Reports indicate that the death penalty might not always be applied in cases involving possession by addicts. [23]

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
Although the penal code states that tazir punishments should be less than hadd punishments, the death penalty can be awarded for a tazir crime under some circumstances. The death penalty is applied as tazir for some economic crimes on the grounds that these offenses rise to the level of “corruption on earth” (moharebeh or isfad-e fil arz or both). [24] Under the Law for Punishment of Disruptors of the National Economic System of 1990, offenses such as counterfeiting, smuggling, speculating, or disrupting production are punishable by death. Other smuggling is punishable by death under the Law for Increase of Punishment for Arms Smuggling. [25] Hood & Hoyle report that bribery or corruption of officials is also punishable by death. [26]

Adultery.
Adultery by married persons is punished by death; fornication by unmarried persons is punished by death upon the fourth instance. [27]

Apostasy.
Apostasy, witchcraft and heresy are not explicitly mentioned in the current criminal code. [28] Article 26 of Press Code of 1985 treats certain press offenses as apostasy. [29] Apostasy is also punishable by death under shariah, which is enforceable by domestic courts. [30]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
Homosexual sodomy carries the death penalty for the passive party under Article 224 of the Islamic Penal Code. [31] The active party can only be punished by death if he is married and forced the sexual act. [32] A non-Muslim active party in homosexual sodomy is also subject to the death penalty under Article 224 of the Islamic Penal Code. [33] Lesbianism is punishable by death if the offender is sentenced and received a lashing on three previous occasions for the same crime. [34]

Treason.
Under the Islamic Penal Code of 2013, anyone who stages an armed uprising against the Islamic Republic of Iran shall be sentenced to death. [35]

Espionage.
Under the Armed Forces Offenses Act of 2003, civilians may be executed for spying. [36]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Under the Armed Forces Offenses Law of 2003, a number of military offenses undermining the security of the state, or in dereliction of duty, or of cowardice, or of assisting the enemy, may be punishable by death. [37]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Prohibited sexual relations. Incestuous relations are punished by death. [38] In addition, non-Muslim males who have extramarital sexual relations with Muslim women and men who fornicate with their step-mother will be subject to the death penalty. [39] A non-Muslim active party in homosexual sodomy is also subject to the death penalty under Article 224 of the amended Islamic Penal Code. [40]

- Fornication. The offense of zina (consensual or non-consensual illicit heterosexual vaginal or anal sex) is broader than adultery. Fornication is punishable by death upon multiple recidivism as a huddud offense. [41]

- Recidivist false accusation of capital sexual offenses. Article 121 of the Islamic Penal Code provides that recidivist false accusers of capital sexual offense shall be subject to the death penalty. [42]

- Other offenses against sexual mores. Offenses such as publishing pornography or using pornographic materials to solicit sex are punishable by death under Articles 3 and 4 of the Law for the Punishment of Persons with Unauthorized Activities in Audio-Visual Operations of 2008. [43]

- Political crimes. Under article 286 and 287 of the Islamic Penal Code, political dissent can be punished by death as “rebellion” and “corruption on earth.” [44]

- Recidivist consumption of alcoholic beverages. Under article 179 of the Islamic Penal Code drinking is punishable by death upon multiple recidivism. [45]

- Producing or preparing food, drink, cosmetics or sanitary items that lead to death when consumed or used. [46]

- Blasphemy. The Press Code of 1985 prescribes the death penalty for blasphemy against the Prophet. [47]

Comments.
An amended Islamic Penal Code (IPC) was passed in April 2013 and will be enforceable for a trial period of five years. [48] The 2013 Islamic Penal Code hasn't changed how the death penalty is applied significantly. It retained the death penalty for most of the crimes that were punishable by death under the old code, and has possibly expanded the number of crimes that are punishable by death. [49] The IPC has expanded the definitions and categories of national security crimes, including such crimes like – “sowing corruption” and “armed rebellion.” [50] Just as in the previous Penal Code, the current IPC states that the death penalty can be imposed for huddud crimes and cases where the judge determines that shariah has been violated, in addition to crimes specifically punishable by death in the IPC. [51] Furthermore, when the law is silent as to sentencing, the amended IPC states that judges should refer to shariah law for guidance. [52] Capital offenses are categorized into three classes of crime in the Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran: qisas, huddud, and tazir

Qisas: literally means “retaliation.” Offenses carrying qisas penalties (claims of kin for blood or similar harm), such as murder, carry mandatory penalties from which only kin of the victim can release the offender. On occasion, families of the victim carry out the execution as part of the penalty. [53]

Hadd (plural:huddud): is a crime under shariah law. Sex crimes, crimes against the state and religion, and recidivism are considered huddud offenses.

Tazir: are crimes whose punishments are not specified by shariah law but are nevertheless prohibited by shariah law.

Iran’s current penal code was not available for our research. The Iranian Human Rights Documentation Centre has provided a translation of the Penal Code that incorporates all amendments to the Code up to January 2012, it is available online at: http://www.iranhrdc.org/english/human-rights-documents/iranian-codes/3200-islamic-penal-code-of-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-book-one-and-book-two.html#27.

References

[1] Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1-3, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 5, Oct. 2013.
[2] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 301, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 6, Oct. 2013.
[3] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 302, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[4] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 302, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[5] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 302, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[6] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 310, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[7] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 12-15, Apr. 28, 2009 (discussing murder and indicating one instance in which killings similar to terror killings have been treated as turning on the victims’ families’ rights of qisas). Project on Extra-Legal Executions in Iran, Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review, 7th Session, pp. 1-3, http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session7/IR/ELEI_UPR_IRN_S07_2010_ExtraLegalExecutionsinIran.pdf , Sep. 2009.
[8] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 286, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[9] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[10] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[11] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[12] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[13] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[14] Iran Human Rights, Rushed Death Citizens for Tehran Robbery Suspects, http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2013/01/thugs/, last accessed Jan. 23, 2014.
[15] Iran Human Rights, Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran: 2012, p. 8, http://www.iranhr.net/IMG/pdf/Rapport_iran_2012-GB-250313-BD.pdf, Apr. 2013. Reuters, Iran Hangs Man Accused in Kidnapping of Belgians, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/49b68d2523.html, Mar. 9, 2009.
[16] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 143, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed., 2008.
[17] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 279, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013
[18] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[19] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8,1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[20] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 4, 8, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[21] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, art. 15, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[22] Iran Anti-Narcotics Law, arts. 5, 9, 1997, translation: United Nations, 2005.
[23] Nazila Fathi, Iran Fights Scourge of Addiction in Plain View, Stressing Treatment, The New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/world/middleeast/27addiction.html, Jun. 27, 2008.
[24] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[25] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[26] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 139 fn. 40, Oxford University Press, 4th Ed. 2008.
[27] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 22, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[28] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[29] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 6, Oct. 2013.
[30] Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, art. 167, 1979, translation ICL, as amended in 1989.
[31] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[32] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[33] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[34] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[35] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 286, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[36] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 13, Apr. 28, 2009.
[37] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 13-14, Apr. 28, 2009; U.N.G.A., 68th Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, p. 9-10, A/68/503, Oct. 4, 2013.
[38] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[39] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[40] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. U.N.G.A., 68th Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, pp. 9-10, A/68/503, Oct. 4, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 9, Oct. 2013.
[41] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 224, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 5, Oct. 2013.
[42] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 121, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013; Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, 4, Oct. 2013.
[43] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 12, Apr. 28, 2009.
[44] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 286, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 287, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 5, Oct. 2013.
[45] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 179, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013. U.N.G.A., 68th Session, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran, pp. 9-10, A/68/503, Oct. 4, 2013.
[46] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 16, Apr. 28, 2009.
[47] Press Code of 1985, art. 6,2, Mar. 19, 1986, as amended on Apr. 18, 2000. Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Iran—Death Penalty: A State Terror Policy, p. 14, Apr. 28, 2009.
[48] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[49] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[50] UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, October 2013 report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran, http://shaheedoniran.org/english/dr-shaheeds-work/latest-reports/october-2013-report-of-the-special-rapporteur-on-the-situation-of-human-rights-in-the-islamic-republic-of-iran-2/#sect3c, Oct. 22, 2013.
[51] Intl. Fed. For Human Rights, Death Penalty in Iran: A State Terror Policy- Special Update for 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty, p. 4, Oct. 2013.
[52] Islamic Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran of 1991, art. 220, as amended on Apr. 27, 2013.
[53] Iran Human Rights, Iran Judiciary: Family of the Victim Carried Out Execution of Behnoud Shojaee, http://iranhr.net/2009/10/iranian-judiciary-family-of-the-victim-carried-out-execution-of-behnoud-shojaee/, Oct. 11, 2009. Reuters, Victim's Parents Help With Iran Execution: Report, http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/10/11/us-iran-execution-idUSTRE59A10O20091011, Oct. 11, 2009.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Iraq

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: November 26, 2013

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 20, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Decree No. 3 of 2004 specifically mentions that the death penalty is reinstated for premeditated murder and references Article 406 of the Iraq Penal Code which elaborates further on aggravated murder. [1] Pursuant to Paragraph 406(1)(h) of the Iraq Penal Code, premeditated murder is punishable by death if “the killing is committed as a prelude to a commission of a felony or a misdemeanor…or in order to facilitate the commission of such offense or while carrying out such offense or in order to enable the offender or accessory to make his escape or to avoid punishment.” [2]

Murder. [3]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
A number of dangerous felonies are punishable by death if a victim dies as a result of or during the offense. These offenses include: arson, kidnapping with aggravating circumstances, intentionally causing a flood or attempting to cause a flood, damaging or sabotaging public structures, incest and rape, robbery and armed robbery. [4] Pursuant to the Law to Combat Human Trafficking, passed in February 2012, human trafficking-related criminal acts are punishable by death if they resulted in death. [5]

The Iraqi Military Penal Code of 2007, which applies to members of the military, outlines the following offenses as punishable by death: whosoever assaults, attacks, insults or disobeys a commander’s orders, which action results in death; [6] anyone who benefits from the horrors of war, collects money unlawfully for personal use, misuses military power or coerces others into unlawful actions, takes military-related funds or assets by force, or cuts or destroys trees or agricultural crops if the force used in any of these actions leads to a person’s death. [7]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Offenses against transportation infrastructure and telecommunications, when resulting in death, are punishable by death. [8] A variety of terrorist offenses targeting the population, infrastructure, or state security are punishable by death. [9]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Offenses against transportation infrastructure and telecommunications, with serious consequences, are punishable by death. [10] A variety of terrorist offenses targeting the population, infrastructure, or state security are punishable by death, as is aiding or financing such activities. [11] Membership in a terrorist organization and aiding terrorists to leave or enter the country are death-eligible offenses in the Kurdistan Region. [12]

There have been concerns with the broadness of the definition of terrorism punishable by death under the Anti-Terrorism Law. [13] The definition of death eligible terrorist offenses is broad, and pursuant to Article 4, such offenses as inciting, planning, financing, or assisting terrorists to commit crimes are punishable by death. [14] Moreover there were reports in 2010 that the Iraqi Council of Ministers had expanded Paragraph 197 of the Penal Code, so that individuals can now be executed for stealing electricity, [15] even though the provision only provides for the death penalty if the damage or destruction to public infrastructure is caused by explosives or results in death. [16] If confirmed, this represents a significant extension of Paragraph 197, which in the Penal Code addresses crimes against state security, not simple economic crimes. [17]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Rape or attempted rape of an abductee is punishable by death. [18] Incestuous rape with a female relative to the third degree who is under 15 years of age is punishable by death. [19]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping aggravated by rape or attempted rape of the victim is punishable by death under the Iraq Penal Code. [20] Kidnapping not resulting in death is also death-eligible under the Anti-Terrorism Law. [21] Kidnapping is punishable by death in the Kurdistan region. [22]

Drug Trafficking Resulting in Death.
Drug trafficking for the purpose of aiding or funding insurgency resulting in death might be punishable by death. [23]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Drug trafficking for the purpose of aiding or funding insurgency not resulting in death might be punishable by death. [24]

Treason.
A variety of crimes compromising state security or of violence against the state are death-eligible or death-eligible under aggravating circumstances. [25]

Drug trafficking for the purpose of aiding or funding insurgency might be punishable by death. [26] Under the Iraqi Internal Security Forces Penal Code of 2008, which applies to members, trainees and retired members of the internal security forces, specific offenses of treason or sabotage are punishable by death. [27] Article 3 provides that forcing or giving an improper party or the enemy access to military structures—including buildings, premises, locations or stations is punishable by death. The death penalty is also imposed for obtaining secret documents or information and passing them on directly or indirectly to another party with the intent to endanger national security. Article 3 also provides the death penalty for intentional destruction, damage or misuse of military structures or equipment against orders. To incite or force someone to take up arms, join a gang or assist the gang is also punishable by death. [28] Article 14 of the Internal Security Forces Penal Code implements the death penalty for assault on a person of superior rank causing death. [29]

The Iraqi Military Penal Code of 2007, which applies to members of the military, also provides that treason is punishable by death. Article 28 lists the following offenses as death-eligible: dividing Iraq for administration by a foreign state, leaving one’s military post or location to collaborate with the enemy, intentionally harming the country to benefit the enemy by sabotaging public structures (i.e. bridges, public highways, railways) or to enable capture of Iraqi military forces by the enemy, disseminating (indirectly or directly) state secrets in times of war or peace to a foreign country and making a deal with the enemy and/or disarming oneself by not carrying out required duties. [30]

Article 29 of the Military Penal Code outlines further treason and espionage-related offenses punishable by death when they were committed with the intent to harm or kill the Iraqi or allied forces and/or lead to the death of civilians and allied or Iraqi forces. Such offenses include: inciting allied or Iraqi forces to side with the enemy, inciting armed rebellion (against the government), disclosing confidential or secret instructions or alerts of the military, distorting the news or instructions and neglecting proper implementation when confronting the enemy, not carrying out duties properly or ordering the armed forces to act in such a way that disrupts the government’s orders, publishing or broadcasting publications between the enemy in bad faith, releasing prisoners of war, vandalizing or destroying equipment, and intentionally committing an act which endangers the safety and security of communication channels and which enables the enemy to spy. [31] Article 35 of the Military Penal Code further explains that whosoever flees to the enemy’s side shall be punished by death. [32] Moreover, Article 67 states that if any commander intentionally makes himself unable to carry out his duties, intentionally leaves his post or acts in opposition to the orders given to him, with the likely result being damage and if he does this in during confrontation with the enemy or in facing the enemy, he shall be punished by death. [33]

Espionage.
Espionage by military personnel is punishable by death [34] (see also Treason section above), but provisions for the execution of civilians who engage in espionage have not been reinstated. [35] Espionage is also death-eligible in the Kurdistan region. [36]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Under the Iraqi Military Penal Code of 2007 and the Internal Security Forces Penal Code of 2008, espionage, treason or sabotage-related offenses are punishable by death (see Treason and Espionage sections, above). [37]

Article 28 of the Iraqi Military Penal Code (2007) provides that disarming oneself by not carrying out required duties is punishable by death. [38]

War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
Under the Statute of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal (SICT) of 2005, human rights violations such as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are to be punished at the discretion of the court. The court has the authority to impose a death sentence for these crimes. [39]

Comments.
The 1969 Iraq Penal Code, which is the criminal law generally in effect in Iraq, together with the Narcotics Act of 1965, provide for more extensive application of capital punishment than noted herein. However, during the interim coalition administration capital punishment was suspended, [40] and the new government has only partially reinstated capital provisions in the Iraq Penal Code and Narcotics Act. [41] We have not been able to confirm whether the new government has reinstated Paragraph 136 of the Penal Code, which, in the presence of aggravating circumstances, permits courts to sentence individuals to death when the statutory punishment is life imprisonment. [42] One reliable source states that Paragraph 136 was reinstated, but we cannot tell whether this is indeed the case, or the extent to which individuals are sentenced to death under this provision. Additionally, the Penal Code and Narcotics Act must be read with reference to the Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7 and the Decree No. 3 of 2004, because the effect of the Coalition’s order and the government’s decree is to narrow the application of the death penalty for certain crimes to situations where the crime is associated with terrorism. [43]

Some recommendations of the Human Rights Council pursuant to the UPR process indicate that, de facto (probably extrajudicially), Iraq may execute persons for consensual same-sex relations. [44] One source estimated that about 750 of these extrajudicial killings have taken place in Iraq since 2006 and reported that as of March 2012, approximately 68 had taken place since the beginning of the year. [45] We have not been able to confirm these estimates.

Finally, complicating the picture of the death penalty in Iraq is the fact that the Kurdistan Regional Government promulgates its own penal laws and amendments to Iraq penal law. The KRG reportedly applies the death penalty for kidnapping, membership in terrorist organizations, espionage, and aiding terrorists in entering or leaving the country, as well as for murder and rape, and it may also apply the death penalty for other offenses. The Kurdish region also passed its own Anti-Terrorism Law in 2006, which we were not able to locate. [46] Application of the death penalty varies within the KRG because the PUK, a party that controls certain population centers, opposes the death penalty. [47] The last execution by the KRG was carried out in 2008. [48]

References

[1] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, secs. 1, 3, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007; Iraq Penal Code, arts. 223, 406(1)(b)-(h), 422-424, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, amended by Decision no. 330, Apr. 19, 1981.
[2] Iraq Penal Code, art. 406(1)(h), STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[3] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 4, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007; Iraq Penal Code, arts. 406(1)(a), 406(2), STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[4] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, Reinstatement of the Death Penalty, secs. 2, 3, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007; Iraq Penal Code, arts. 342, 349, 351, 354, 355, 422-424, 442, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, amended by Decision no. 330, Apr. 19, 1981; RCC Decision No. 488, published in Al-Waqai’ Al-Iraqiya No. 2650 of Apr. 24, 1978, secs. 1-3, reprinted in: Iraq Penal Code, Law no. 111, amended by Decision no. 330, pp. 101-102, Apr. 19, 1981.
[5] Iraq Law to Combat Human Trafficking, art. 8, 2012; Equal Power-Lasting Peace, Iraq passes anti-trafficking law, http://www.equalpowerlastingpeace.org/2012/03/14/iraq-passes-anti-trafficking-law/, Mar. 14, 2012; UNHCR, 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report – Iraq, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/country,,USDOS,,IRQ,,4fe30cbf32,0.html, Jun. 19, 2012; U.S. Dept. of State, 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report, http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/reports/2012/188427.htm, Apr. 24, 2012. Two sources indicated that the anti-trafficking bill was passed in February 2012; a third source states that the bill was passed in April 2012.
[6] Iraqi Military Penal Code (Arabic), art. 43(3), Law no. 19, 2007.
[7] Iraqi Military Penal Code (Arabic), art. 61(b)(7), Law no. 19, 2007.
[8] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 3, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007. Iraq Penal Code, arts. 354, 355, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[9] Iraq Anti-Terrorism Law, arts. 1-4, Law No. 13 of 2005, Nov. 7, 2005.
[10] Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 3, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43–45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007. Iraq Penal Code, arts. 354, 355, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[11] Iraq Anti-Terrorism Law, arts. 1-4, Law No. 14 of 2005, Nov. 7, 2005.
[12] Kurdistan Region Anti-Terrorism Law, Law No. 3 of 2006, 2006, cited in Amnesty Intl., Iraq: A Decade of Abuses, p. 52, MDE 14/001/2013, Mar. 11, 2013.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Iraq: A decade of abuses, p. 49, MDE 14/001/2013, Mar. 11, 2013.
[14] Iraq Anti-Terrorism Law, art. 4, Law No. 14 of 2005, Nov. 7, 2005.
[15] Al-Mashraq, Iraq: economic crimes extended to stealing of electricity, Death Penalty News, http://deathpenaltynews.blogspot.com/2010/06/iraq-economic-crimes-punishable-by.html, May 30, 2010.
[16] Iraq Penal Code, art. 197, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[17] U.N. ECOSOC, Commission on Human Rights, Question of the Violation of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in Any Part of the World, Situation on Human Rights in Iraq, Summary, para. 12, U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2004/36, Mar. 19, 2004. U.N. Assistance Mission for Iraq, Human Rights Report 1 January – 30 June 2009, pp. 3, 5-7, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/4b278de22.html, Jun. 30, 2009. Iraq Penal Code, art. 197, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[18] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 3, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007; Iraq Penal Code, art. 423, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, amended by Decision no. 330, Apr. 4, 1981.
[19] RCC Decision No. 488, published in Al-Waqai’ Al-Iraqiya No. 2650 of Apr. 24, 1978, sec. 1(b), reprinted in: Iraq Penal Code, Law no. 111, amended by Decision no. 330, pp. 101-102, Apr. 19, 1981.
[20] Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 3, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007; Iraq Penal Code, para. 423, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, amended by Decision no. 330, Apr. 4, 1981.
[21] Iraq Anti-Terrorism Law, arts. 2, 4, Law No. 13 of 2005, Nov. 7, 2005.
[22] Kurdistan Region Anti-Terrorism Law, Law No. 3 of 2006, 2006, cited in Amnesty Intl., Iraq: A Decade of Abuses, p. 52, MDE 14/001/2013, Mar. 11, 2013.
[23] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 2, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43–45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007. Iraq Narcotic Drugs Law, art. 14, Law no. 68 of 1965, 1965, translation: U.N.; Iraq Penal Code, art. 190, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[24] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 2, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43–45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007; Iraq Narcotic Drugs Law, art. 14, Law no. 68 of 1965, 1965, translation: U.N.; Iraq Penal Code, art. 190, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969. Iraq Anti-Terrorism Law, arts. 1-4, Law No. 14 of 2005, Nov. 7, 2005.
[25] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 1, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43–45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007; Iraq Penal Code, arts. 136, 190-197, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[26] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, sec. 2, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43–45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007. Iraq Narcotic Drugs Law, art. 14, Law no. 68 of 1965, 1965, translation: U.N.; Iraq Penal Code, art. 190, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969.
[27] Iraqi Internal Security Forces Penal Code, arts. 3 & 14, Law no. 14, 2008.
[28] Iraqi Internal Security Forces Penal Code, art. 3, Law no. 14, 2008.
[29] Iraqi Internal Security Forces Penal Code, art. 14, Law no. 14, 2008.
[30] Iraqi Military Penal Code (Arabic), art. 28, Law no. 19, 2007.
[31] Iraqi Military Penal Code (Arabic), art. 29, Law no. 19, 2007.
[32] Iraqi Military Penal Code (Arabic), art. 35, Law no. 19, 2007.
[33] Iraqi Military Penal Code (Arabic), art. 67, Law no. 19, 2007.
[34] Amnesty Intl., A Thousand People Face the Death Penalty in Iraq, Scope of the Death Penalty, p. 3, MDE 14/020/2009, Sep. 1, 2009.
[35] Iraq Penal Code, arts. 136, 177, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969; Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007.
[36] Kurdistan Region Anti-Terrorism Law, Law No. 3 of 2006, 2006, cited in Amnesty Intl., Iraq: A Decade of Abuses, p. 52, MDE 14/001/2013, Mar. 11, 2013.
[37] Iraqi Military Penal Code (Arabic), arts. 28, 29, 35 & 67, Law no. 19, 2007; Iraqi Internal Security Forces Penal Code, arts. 3 & 14, Law no. 14, 2008.
[38] Iraqi Military Penal Code (Arabic), art. 28, Law no. 19, 2007.
[39] Law of the Supreme Iraqi Criminal Tribunal, arts. 11, 12, 13, Law No. 10 of 2005, Oct. 18, 2005. Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007; Nadia Bernaz, The death penalty in Iraq: a difficult break with the past, http://jurist.org/forum/2012/02/nadia-bernaz-death-penalty.php, JURIST – Forum, Feb. 20, 2012.
[40] Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, CPA/ORD/9 June 2003/07, Jun. 10, 2003.
[41] Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007.
[42] Iraq Penal Code, art. 136, STS 251/88, Law no. 111, 1969; The Independent, Contractor gets life sentences in Iraq, http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/contractor-gets-life-sentence-in-iraq-2228525.html, Mar. 1, 2011. For instance, in the case of Briton Danny Fitzsimmons—who was issued a life sentence by the Iraqi Courts instead of the death penalty—he murdered two British officers in 2003 and attempted murder of an Iraqi man. He claimed to be mentally ill, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and the Iraqi Courts noted that it made its decision based on the Iraqi Criminal Code.
[43] Iraq Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, CPA/ORD/9 June 2003/07, Jun. 10, 2003 ; Annex 1: Decree: The reintroduction of the death penalty, Decree No. 3 of 2004, Aug. 8, 2004 (partially reinstating the death penalty suspended by Coalition Provisional Authority Order No. 7, Jun. 10, 2003), reprinted in: Amnesty Intl., Unjust and Unfair: The Death Penalty in Iraq, pp. 43-45, MDE 14/014/2007, Apr. 20, 2007.
[44] U.N.G.A. Human Rights Council, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Iraq, paras. 81, 82(9), U.N. Doc. A/HRC/14/14, Mar. 15, 2010.
[45] Lara Jakes, Iraq emo killings raise alarm, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/11/iraq-emo-killings-gay_n_1337427.html, The Huffington Post, Mar. 11, 2012.
[46] Anti Terrorism Law of the Kurdish Region of Iraq, Law No. 3 of 2006, 16 July 2006, cited in Global Justice Project: Iraq, Capital Punishment: Updated, University of Utah College of Law, http://gjpi.org/2009/04/12/capital-punishment, Apr. 12, 2009.
[47] Amnesty Intl., Hope and Fear: Human Rights in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, pp. 7, 26-29, MDE 14/006/2009, Apr. 14, 2009.
[48] Kurdistan Region Anti-Terrorism Law, Law No. 3 of 2006, 2006, cited in Amnesty Intl., Iraq: A Decade of Abuses, p. 52, MDE 14/001/2013, Mar. 11, 2013.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Kuwait

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: April 2, 2011

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2007, p. 6, ACT 50/001/2008, Apr. 15, 2008.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Intentional murder by laying in wait, or planned murder is punished by death. [1] The intentional killing of a public official carrying out his duties under the narcotic laws is punishable by death. [2]

Murder.
Premeditated murder “is punished by death.” [3]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
A number of offenses resulting in death are punishable by death. Torture of an accused, a witness or expert, by a public servant and resulting in death, “shall be” punished by death. [4] Giving false witness, resulting in execution, is punishable by death or life imprisonment. [5] For piracy resulting in death, the punishment “will be death.” [6] The punishment “shall be death” for attacking or resisting drug law enforcement or public servant carrying out his duties under the drug laws, resulting in death. [7]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Attacks on or interference with transportation or communications, with the goal of harming people or property, resulting in death is punishable by death or life imprisonment. [8] Anyone who uses explosives with the goal of killing, spreading fear or destroying certain sites “shall be punished by death.” Buildings or utilities belonging to the government or to groups in which there is government ownership or a public interest, places of worship, areas where masses of people have gathered, or residential buildings are among those sites covered by the law. [9]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Anyone who uses or plans to use explosives with the goal of killing, spreading fear or destroying certain sites “shall be punished by death.” Buildings or utilities belonging to the government or to groups in which there is government ownership or a public interest, places of worship, areas where masses of people have gathered, or residential buildings are among those sites covered by the law. [10]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Intercourse by force, threat or deception is punishable by death; rape carries the death penalty when by a relation, guardian or servant. Statutory rape of a woman unable to consent because she is mentally incapacitated carries the death penalty when carried out by a relation, guardian or servant. [11] Statutory rape of a girl under the age of 16 carries the death penalty when carried out by a relation, guardian or servant. [12]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping by force, with the intent to kill, harm, engage in sex, disgrace the victim, force the victim into prostitution, or extort something from the victim or another party “shall be punished by death.” [13]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.

Treason.
Drug trafficking “shall be punished by death or life imprisonment,” the penalty “shall be death” for recidivists, public officials, those who use individuals under the age of 18 in carrying out an offense, if the criminal has created a criminal organization, or as specified for certain drugs in a schedule to the law. [14]

Espionage.
Waging or inciting war against Kuwait, undermining the defense, disclosing state secrets or assaulting the Emir or high officials, “shall be punished by death.” [15]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Some betrayal of military information or state secrets “shall be punished by death.” [16]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A number of military offenses of Kuwaiti personnel are death-eligible under some circumstances, such as cowardice, dereliction of duty, insubordination, insurrection, disclosing secrets, assisting the enemy, undermining the defense, and some humanitarian violations and offenses set out in the Penal Code. Enemy soldiers can be punished by death for operating in disguise or violating international law. [17]

References

[1] Kuwait Penal Code, arts. 149(2)(1)-151, Law No. 16 of 1960.
[2] Kuwait Decree on the Control of Psychotropic Substances and Regulation of Use and Trafficking, art. 50, Law No. 48 of 1987; Kuwait Act Concerning the Fight Against Drugs and Regulating Use and Trafficking, art. 50, Law No. 74 of 1983.
[3] Kuwait Penal Code, arts. 149(2)(1)-151, Law No. 16 of 1960.
[4] Kuwait Act Amending Provisions of the Penal Code, art. 53, No. 31 of 1970.
[5] Kuwait Penal Code, art. 137, Law No. 16 of 1960.
[6] Kuwait Penal Code, art. 252, Law No. 16 of 1960.
[7] Kuwait Decree on the Control of Psychotropic Substances and Regulation of Use and Trafficking, art. 50, Law No. 48 of 1987; Kuwait Act Concerning the Fight Against Drugs and Regulating Use and Trafficking, art. 50, Law No. 74 of 1983.
[8] Kuwait Penal Code, arts. 170-171, Law No. 16 of 1960.
[9] Kuwait Law Regarding Explosives Offenses, art. 1, No. 35 of 1985.
[10] Kuwait Law Regarding Explosives Offenses, art. 1, No. 35 of 1985.
[11] Kuwait Penal Code, arts. 186-187, Law No. 16 of 1960.
[12] Kuwait Penal Code, arts. 186-187, Law No. 16 of 1960.
[13] Kuwait Penal Code, art. 180, Law No. 16 of 1960.
[14] Kuwait Act Concerning the Fight Against Drugs and Regulating Use and Trafficking, arts. 31, 31(2), 32(2), Law No. 74 of 1983.
[15] Kuwait Act Amending Provisions of the Penal Code, arts. 1, 6, 8, 11, 18, 23-24, No. 31 of 1970.
[16] Kuwait Act Amending Provisions of the Penal Code, art. 11, No. 31 of 1970.
[17] Kuwait Law on Military Trials and Sanctions, arts. 41-44, 46, 56, 63, Decree No. 136 of 1992.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Nigeria

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: May 24, 2019

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1] Nigeria last executed three individuals in 2016. [2]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[2] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2016, p. 36, ACT 50/5740/2017, Apr. 11, 2017.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
A conviction of murder carries the mandatory death penalty. [1] The Criminal Code Act, applicable in the southern states of Nigeria except Lagos, does not distinguish between murder and aggravated murder. [2]

Under Shariah law, applicable in the northern states, intentional killing during robbery (hirabah) or after secluding a person to rob him (gheelah) carries the mandatory death penalty. [3]

Murder.
Under the Criminal Code Act, a conviction of murder carries the mandatory death penalty. [4]

In the northern states applying Shariah law, simple murder carries the retributive (qisas) sentence of death, which applies in every case unless the victim’s family grants the convicted person a pardon. [5]

A person convicted of murder by a court martial is liable to receive a death sentence. [6]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Under the Criminal Code Act, killing someone unintentionally while committing another unlawful act is deemed murder and carries the mandatory death penalty. [7] It is immaterial that the offender did not intend to hurt any person. [8] Further, a person who presides over a trial by ordeal [9] that results in death is liable to receive the death penalty. [10]

In states applying Shariah law, an act of terrorizing people for the purpose of robbery (hirabah) is punished with mandatory death penalty when resulting in death. [11] House trespassing resulting in death is punished with a retributive death sentence (qisas). [12] Perjury or fabrication resulting in the execution of an innocent defendant carries a retributive sentence of death (qisas). [13] Committing any act of witchcraft or juju [14] that results in death carries the mandatory death penalty. [15] Causing the death of an accused witch through trial by ordeal carries a retributive death penalty (qisas). [16] A retributive death penalty (qisas) applies by law, unless the victim’s family grants the condemned person a pardon. [17] Further, under Shariah law, assisting in the suicide of a person legally unable to consent may be punished by death. [18]

Abetting a person to commit intentional or unintentional homicide may carry a death sentence. [19]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
A person inside or outside Nigeria who knowingly commits, attempts, assists, or is an accessory to any act of terrorism resulting in death is liable to be sentenced to death. [20]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A person inside or outside Nigeria who knowingly commits, attempts, assists, or is an accessory to any act of terrorism is liable to be sentenced to death, even where the act does not result in death. [21]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
In states applying Shariah law, rape committed by a married person carries the death penalty by stoning. [22]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Under federal law, armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm to a victim carries the mandatory death penalty. [23] A person convicted of armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm is liable to be sentenced to death by hanging or firing squad. [24] Armed robbery or robbery resulting in harm is also punishable with the mandatory death penalty in Lagos state. [25]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
According to collated news sources, kidnapping is a capital offense in at least 15 Nigerian states. In 2009, kidnapping was made a capital offense in six states—Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, and Imo. [26] In 2013, Edo and Bayelsa followed suit. [27] Two more states, Cross River and Kogi, enacted laws in 2015 prescribing death penalty for kidnapping. [28] In 2016, Oyo State enacted a law prescribing a death sentence or life imprisonment for kidnapping. [29] Benue and Bauchi states made kidnapping a capital offense in 2017, [30] followed by Rivers State in 2018. [31] In 2019, Katsina state amended its penal code to prescribe capital punishment for kidnapping. [32] We were unable to confirm whether death is a component of the offense in some states.

Adultery.
In states applying Shariah law, a married person who commits adultery shall receive a mandatory death sentence. [33]

Apostasy.
In states applying Shariah law, blasphemy against Islam carries the mandatory death penalty. [34]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
In states applying Shariah law, homosexual sodomy carries the mandatory death sentence. [35]

Treason.
Under federal law, treason, conspiring to wage war against Nigeria, and treachery [36] may be punishable by death. [37] Both Nigerians and non-Nigerians may be convicted of treason. [38]

In northern states, treason carries the mandatory death penalty. [39]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Aiding or communicating with the enemy, cowardly behavior, mutiny, malingering, [40] armed robbery, and treason are crimes punishable by death on conviction by a court-martial. [41]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
In states applying Shariah law, incest committed by a married person carries the mandatory death penalty by stoning. [42]

In states applying Shariah law, the practice of some religions may be considered juju [43] or witchcraft and punished by a mandatory death sentence. [44] Cannibalism and retaining human blood or remains as a trophy or for the purpose of juju [45] are also punished by a mandatory death sentence. [46]

In March 2018, Rivers state amended its laws to impose capital punishment for cultism. [47] We were unable to confirm whether death is a component of the offense.

Katsina state’s penal code was amended in May 2019 introducing the death penalty as punishment for cattle rustling. [48] We were unable to confirm whether death is a component of the offense.

Comments.
Nigeria operates under a federal system with 36 states and a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, which is the capital of the federation and seat of the federal government. While there are some federal criminal laws—such as the 1984 Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act—most criminal offenses fall under state jurisdiction. The 1916 Criminal Code Act applies to the states in the south except Lagos state, while the 1960 Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act applies to the Northern Region. In addition, the 36 states and the FCT-Abuja have their own laws, which define individual crimes and punishments within the territory of the state. The National Assembly of Nigeria, situated in Abuja, has exclusive legislative powers over the FCT. [49] Twelve northern states have incorporated Shariah law into their penal laws. [50] According to in-country experts, state-level amendments to state criminal laws can greatly affect the application of the death penalty. [51]

We did not have access to the complete criminal legislation for all 36 states. We consulted the Criminal Code Act (effective in southern states except Lagos), the Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, the Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated (compiling the Shariah law of the northern states with the Penal Code applicable in the northern states), the Armed Forces Act, the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, and the Terrorism (Prevention) Act. [52] The Harmonised Sharia Penal Code we referred to is an informative secondary compilation of annotated Shariah offenses rather than a collection of the original statutes, which we could not obtain. For the purposes of this research, we included any offense which is death-eligible in at least one state.

Shariah rules of procedure establish that circumstantial evidence is prohibited and the conviction must be based on the testimony of four male witnesses or a confession. [53] We were unable to confirm whether the 12 states applying Shariah law enforce the evidentiary standards required by law.

As of July 2018, Nigeria’s House of Representatives was considering a bill to enact the Terrorism Prevention and Prohibition Act of 2018, which would repeal the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011 as amended by the Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013. [54] The bill prescribes the death penalty for at least five terrorism-related offenses. [55]

References

[1] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[2] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 316, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[3] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 50, 152(c)(d), 199, Mar. 2002.
[4] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[5] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 199, Mar. 2002.
[6] Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, sec. 106, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[7] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 316, 319, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[8] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 316, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[9] Section 207 of the Criminal Code of Nigeria states, “[t]he trial by the ordeal of sasswood, esere-bean, or other poison, boiling oil, fire, immersion in water or exposure to the attacks of crocodiles or other wild animals, or by any ordeal which is likely to result in the death of or bodily injury to any party to the proceeding is unlawful.” Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 207, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[10] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 208, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[11] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 152(c)(d), Mar. 2002.
[12] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, ch. VIII, sec. 193(a), Mar. 2002.
[13] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 330(2), Mar. 2002.
[14] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 408, Mar. 2002.
[15] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 411, Mar. 2002.
[16] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 407, Mar. 2002.
[17] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 199, Mar. 2002.
[18] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 205(a), Mar. 2002.
[19] Under Shariah law, a person who abets another person to commit murder shall be sentenced to death if: (a) he or she knew of the likely consequences of the act of the person he or she abetted, and (b) the execution of the act would not have been possible without his or her abetment. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 205(b), Mar. 2002.
[20] Terrorism (Prevention) Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 4(2), Act. No. 10 of 2011, Jun. 2, 2011, as amended by Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013, sec. 2(c), Feb. 21, 2013.
[21] Terrorism (Prevention) Act of Nigeria, 2011, sec. 4(2), Act. No. 10 of 2011, Jun. 2, 2011, as amended by Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013, sec. 2(c), Feb. 21, 2013.
[22] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 128 (b), Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’ah Penal Code, sec. 129(b), Jan. 2000.
[23] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 402, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[24] Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, sec. 1(2)(3), Mar. 29, 1984, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. R11, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[25] Criminal Law of Lagos State, sec. 295(2), Aug. 19, 2011.
[26] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 23, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[27] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2013, p. 45, ACT 50/001/2014, Mar. 26, 2014.
[28] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2015, pp. 60–61, ACT 50/3487/2016, Apr. 6, 2016. Kogi Reports, Kogi Approves Death Penalty For Kidnappers, Accomplices, http://kogireports.com/kogi-approves-death-penalty-for-kidnappers-accomplices/, Jul. 11, 2015.
[29] Ola Ajavi, Kidnapping now attracts death penalty in Oyo, Vanguard, https://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/04/kidnapping-now-attracts-death-penalty-oyo/, Apr. 13, 2016.
[30] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2017, p. 37, ACT 50/7955/2018, Apr. 12, 2018.
[31] First Post Nigeria, Death Penalty For Cultists And Kidnappers In Rivers As Wike Signs 3 Bills Into Law, https://firstpost.ng/death-penalty-cultists-kidnappers-rivers-state-wike-signs-3-bills-law/, Mar. 15, 2018.
[32] Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, Nigeria's Katsina state legislates death penalty for kidnappers, rustlers, https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/25/nigeria-s-katsina-state-legislates-death-penalty-for-kidnappers-rustlers//, May 25, 2019. Sahara Reporters, Masari Approves Death Penalty For Cattle Rustlers, Kidnappers In Katsina, http://saharareporters.com/2019/05/24/masari-approves-death-penalty-cattle-rustlers-kidnappers-katsina, May 24, 2019.
[33] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 126 (b), Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’a Penal Code, sec. 126, Jan. 2000.
[34] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 406, 408–409, p. 133 n. 627, p. 134 n. 637, Mar. 2002.
[35] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 130, Mar. 2002. Zamfara State Shari’a Penal Code, sec. 130, Jan. 2000.
[36] The Criminal Code Act of Nigeria defines treachery as follows: “If, with intent to help the enemy in any war in which Nigeria may be engaged, any person does, or attempts to do, any act which is designed or likely to give assistance to the naval, military or air operations of the enemy, to impede such operations of the armed forces of Nigeria, or to endanger life, he shall be guilty of felony [treachery] and shall on conviction suffer death.” Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, sec. 49A, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[37] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 37–38, 49A, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[38] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, secs. 37(2), Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[39] Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, secs. 410–411, Sep. 30, 1960, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. P3, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[40] The Armed Forces Act of Nigeria defines malingering as follows: “A person subject to service law under this Act who (a) falsely pretends to be suffering from sickness or disability; or (b) injures himself with intent thereby to render himself unfit for duty, or causes himself to be injured by any other person with that intent; or (c) injures any other person subject to service law under this Act at the instance of that person with intent thereby to render that person unfit for duty; or (d) with intent to render or keep himself unfit for service, does or fails to do anything (whether at the time of the act or omission he is in hospital or not) whereby he produces, prolongs or aggravates, any sickness or disability, is guilty of malingering.” Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, sec. 63, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), A20, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[41] Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, secs. 45, 46, 47, 52, 63, 107, 114, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004.
[42] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 132(b), Mar. 2002.
[43] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, sec. 408, Mar. 2002.
[44] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 408–409, Mar. 2002.
[45] "Juju" includes the worship or invocation of any object or being other than Allah. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 408, Mar. 2002.
[46] Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, secs. 413–414, Mar. 2002.
[47] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 43, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.
[48] Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, Nigeria's Katsina state legislates death penalty for kidnappers, rustlers, https://www.africanews.com/2019/05/25/nigeria-s-katsina-state-legislates-death-penalty-for-kidnappers-rustlers//, May 25, 2019. Sahara Reporters, Masari Approves Death Penalty For Cattle Rustlers, Kidnappers In Katsina, http://saharareporters.com/2019/05/24/masari-approves-death-penalty-cattle-rustlers-kidnappers-katsina, May 24, 2019.
[49] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, sec. 298(a), May 29, 1999, as updated through to May 7, 2018.
[50] The 12 states that adopted Shariah laws into their criminal legislation are Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Niger, Sokoto, Yobe, and Zamfara. Human Rights Watch, Political Shari’a? Human Rights and Islamic Law in Northern Nigeria, Vol. 16, No. 9 (A), Sep. 2004.
[51] Pamela Okoroigwe and Olafisoye Joke, affiliated with Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP), email to DPW, DPW Nigeria Doc. E-1, Oct. 8, 2018.
[52] Criminal Code Act of Nigeria, Jun. 1, 1916, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. 38, Rev. Ed. 2004. Penal Code (Northern States) Federal Provisions Act, Sep. 30, 1960, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. P3, Rev. Ed. 2004. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, Mar. 2002. Armed Forces Act of Nigeria, Jul. 6, 1994, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. A20, Rev. Ed. 2004. Robbery and Firearms (Special Provisions) Act, Mar. 29, 1984, in Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (in force on the 31st day of December 2002), Ch. R11, Rev. Ed. 2004. Terrorism (Prevention) Act, 2011, No. 10, Jun. 2, 2011. Terrorism (Prevention)(Amendment) Act of Nigeria, 2013, Feb. 21, 2013.
[53] In Kebbi state, for instance, the evidentiary requirements to prove adultery include four male Muslim witnesses, a pregnancy, or a confession. In Kano and Katsina states, the conditions for proving adultery or rape in respect of a married person include a valid marriage, consummation of marriage, and four witnesses or a confession. The crimes of sodomy and incest also require four male Muslim witnesses or a confession. Center for Islamic Legal Studies of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Harmonised Sharia Penal Code Annotated, p. 68 n. 162, p. 69 nn. 172, 174, p. 70 n. 181, Mar. 2002.
[54] Policy and Legal Advocacy Centre (PLAC), Terrorism (Prevention) Act (Repeal and Re-enactment) Bill Scales Second Reading in the House of Representatives, https://placng.org/wp/2018/05/terrorism-prevention-act-repeal-and-re-enactment-bill-scales-second-reading-in-the-house-of-representatives/, May 9, 2018.
[55] Terrorism (Prevention and Prohibition) Bill, 2018.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

North Korea

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: June 3, 2014

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions 2012, p. 23, ACT 50/001/2013, Apr. 10, 2013.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
An “especially serious” case of deliberately killing another person for base motives such as greed, jealousy or “other unjustifiable reasons” is punishable by death. [1]

Murder.
Expert reports state that simple murder is punishable by death, [2] but we were unable to find the legislative provision that sets out capital punishment for simple murder. It is likely that, as with other death-eligible offenses, a standard of “seriousness” attached to a crime of deliberate killing and left to a court’s discretion is sufficient to trigger a capital sentence.

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
An “especially serious” case of murdering officials or citizens for “anti-state purposes” is punishable by death. [3]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
An “especially serious” case of kidnapping or inflicting an injury upon officials or citizens for “anti-state purposes” is punishable by death. [4]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
An “especially serious” case of rape is punishable by death. [5]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
An “especially serious” case of robbery of personal assets is punishable by death. [6]

One media report suggests that stealing half a sack of rice rises to the level of seriousness required to warrant the death penalty. [7] The Korea Institute for National Unification also reported that in September 2010, a 40-year-old man was sentenced to public execution for stealing six cows, as it was considered a deliberate damage to national wealth. [8]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
An “especially serious” case of kidnapping is punishable by death. [9]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
An “especially serious” case of drug trafficking is punishable by death. [10] In early 2014, media sources reported that the Criminal Code was amended to extend the death penalty to using or dealing in drugs. [11] It is unclear if the new provisions are broader than the existing law defining capital drug offenses.

Drug Possession.
While we did not find legislative provisions specifically mandating death for drug possession, the Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network reported that North Korea is among the few countries that impose death sentences for possession of drugs over a certain amount. [12] It is possible that, as with other death-eligible offenses, the threshold of seriousness to be met in order to trigger a capital sentence is left open to the court’s discretion. Drug possession offenses might therefore be prosecuted as a variety of drug trafficking. In early 2014, media sources reported that the Criminal Code was amended to extend the death penalty to using or dealing in drugs. [13]

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
An “especially serious” case of plundering state property, [14] robbing state property, [15] or deliberately destroying state property [16] is punishable by death. An “especially serious” case of currency counterfeiting is punishable by death. [17] A person who extensively smuggles precious metals or non-ferrous metals is subject to the death penalty. [18] Unlawfully selling a large amount of national resources to another country is punishable by death. [19]

Embezzlement, [20] fraud, [21] and black market smuggling or trafficking [22] are, according to expert and NGO reports, punishable by death.

The Database Center for North Korean Rights reported that five people involved in illegal cattle trading were publicly executed in July 2010. [23]

Treason.
Treason, which includes defection and political opposition, is punishable by death. [24] Treason is an expansive offense subjecting ill-defined crimes such as “ideological divergence,” “opposing socialism,” and “counterrevolutionary crimes.” [25] An “especially serious” case of participating in an anti-state revolution, riot, demonstration or raid is punishable by death. [26] A citizen who betrays the State and escapes to another country is subject to the death penalty, if the circumstances are deemed grave. [27] An “especially serious” case of destruction or covertly injuring or killing someone for “anti-state purposes” is punishable by death. [28] A North Korean citizen who severely oppresses the people’s movement towards national unification or liberation from imperialism, or betrays the people and sides with the imperialists is also subject to the death penalty. [29]

In early 2014, media sources reported that the Criminal Code was amended to extend the death penalty to illegal phone contact with foreigners, viewing or listening to South Korean programs or broadcasts, and aiding and abetting defectors. [30]

Espionage.
An “especially serious” case of handing over state secrets to another country is punishable by death. [31]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
An “especially serious” case of deliberately destroying military facilities or technology is punishable by death. [32]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Repeat offenders: If a person commits multiple crimes that are “especially serious,” or shows no signs of repentance, he or she is punishable by death. [33] If a convict flees after receiving a severe sentence or during the enforcement of a sentence, he or she is subject to the death penalty. [34]
- Facilitating prostitution: Organizing and facilitating prostitution while operating a restaurant or a motel is also punishable by death. [35]
- Assault: A person who deliberately inflicts a severe injury upon another person is subject to the death penalty, if the case is considered to be “especially grave.” [36]
- In a particularly vague provision, even by North Korean standards, an “especially serious” case of being a “scoundrel” is punishable by death. [37]
- Human trafficking. [38] In early 2014, media sources reported that the Criminal Code was amended to extend the death penalty to transnational human or sex trafficking. [39]

According to reports, public executions are also carried out for:
- Circulating “harmful” information. [40]
- Failure to discharge duty: An individual who hinders the country’s industry, trade or the transportation system by purposely failing to fulfill a specific duty is punishable by death. [41] For instance, a former Cabinet official who was in charge of talks with South Korea was executed by firing squad for policy failure in 2010. [42]
- Religious practice: While religious freedom is constitutionally protected, [43] in practice North Korea characterizes disseminating religious material as anti-state activity and executes those who do it. [44] Media reports have covered executions for religious offenses such as evangelism and distribution or possession of Bibles. [45]
Although we did not find specific articles legislating these offenses, they might have been prosecuted under any of the broadly-worded provisions listed above.

Comments.
As will appear from the above analysis, offenses in North Korea are defined more broadly and subjectively than in any other nation in the world, and the executive may dictate judicial outcomes, resulting in the application of the death penalty for a wide range of political offenses [46] and arbitrary application or expansion of the death penalty over time. [47] It is impossible to predict what kinds of “offenses” will be prosecuted as death-eligible, or indeed what legal provisions lead to convictions and death sentences. For instance, intelligence data submitted to Yoon Sang-hyun of the South Korea National Assembly’s Foreign Affairs, Trade and Unification Committee indicated that Kim Chol, North Korea’s Vice Minister of the People’s Armed Forces, was executed by a firing squad in January 2012. He had been convicted for drinking alcohol during the mourning period for former leader Kim Jong-il. [48]

Moreover, capital punishment is carried out in violation of the principle of “nullum crimen sine lege” (no crime without law). Executions are carried out for crimes even where that crime is not subject to a death sentence under domestic law. [49] Extrajudicial executions are not uncommon in political prison camps where tens of thousands are detained. [50]

References

[1] North Korea Criminal Code, art. 278, Mar. 3, 1950, last amended Oct. 19, 2009.
[2] David Johnson & Franklin Zimring, The Next Frontier, p. 360, Oxford University Press, 2009.
[3] North Korea Criminal Code, art. 60, Mar. 3, 1950, last amended Oct. 19, 2009.
[4] North Korea Criminal Code, art. 60, Mar. 3, 1950, last amended Oct. 19, 2009.
[5] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 21, Dec. 19, 2007.
[6] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 22, Dec. 19, 2007.
[7] Spero News, North Korea: Death Penalty for Food Scavengers, http://www.speroforum.com/a/23367/North-Korea-Death-penalty-for-food-scavengers, Nov. 30, 2009.
[8] The Korea Herald, Think tank unveils N. Korean court ruling ordering public execution, http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20110818000922, Aug. 18, 2011.
[9] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 20, Dec. 19, 2007.
[10] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, arts. 11, 12, Dec. 19, 2007.
[11] Kang Mi Jin, Criminal Code Inciting Border Fears, Daily NK, http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=11885, May 21, 2014.
[12] ADPAN, Lethal Injustice in Asia, p. 9, ASA 01/022/2011, Dec. 6, 2011.
[13] Kang Mi Jin, Criminal Code Inciting Border Fears, Daily NK, http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=11885, May 21, 2014.
[14] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 2, Dec. 19, 2007.
[15] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 3, Dec. 19, 2007.
[16] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 4, Dec. 19, 2007.
[17] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 5, Dec. 19, 2007.
[18] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 6, Dec. 19, 2007.
[19] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 8, Dec. 19, 2007.
[20] Asia Death Penalty, North Korea: Shot for making phone calls, http://asiadeathpenalty.blogspot.com/2007/12/north-korea-shot-for-making-phone-calls.html, Dec. 6, 2007.
[21] U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/eap/135995.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[22] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 15, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010. North Korean Economy Watch, South Korea launches reforestation campaign in North, http://www.nkeconwatch.com/category/organizaitons/maxgro-holdings/, Mar. 6, 2008. Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 166, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008.
[23] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/eap/204210.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[24] David Johnson & Franklin Zimring, The Next Frontier, p. 360, Oxford University Press, 2009.
[25] U.S. Dept. of State, 2003 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27775.htm, Feb. 25, 2004.
[26] North Korea Criminal Code, art. 59, Mar. 3, 1950, last amended Oct. 19, 2009.
[27] North Korea Criminal Code, art. 62, Mar. 3, 1950, last amended Oct. 19, 2009.
[28] North Korea Criminal Code, art. 64, Mar. 3, 1950, last amended Oct. 19, 2009.
[29] North Korea Criminal Code, art. 67, Mar. 3, 1950, last amended Oct. 19, 2009.
[30] Kang Mi Jin, Criminal Code Inciting Border Fears, Daily NK, http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=11885, May 21, 2014.
[31] North Korea Criminal Code, art. 62, Mar. 3, 1950, last amended Oct. 19, 2009.
[32] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 1, Dec. 19, 2007.
[33] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 23, Dec. 19, 2007.
[34] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 14, Dec. 19, 2007.
[35] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 18, Dec. 19, 2007.
[36] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 19, Dec. 19, 2007.
[37] North Korea Addendum to the Criminal Code for Ordinary Crimes, art. 17, Dec. 19, 2007.
[38] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions 2009, p. 15, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[39] Kang Mi Jin, Criminal Code Inciting Border Fears, Daily NK, http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk01500&num=11885, May 21, 2014.
[40] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions 2009, p. 15, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[41] U.S. Dept. of State, 2003 Human Rights Report: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2003/27775.htm, Feb. 25, 2004.
[42] Joe Tacopino, North Korea executes top official after poor diplomatic performance: report, Daily News, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/07/20/2010-07-20_north_korea_executes_top_official_after_poor_diplomatic_performance_report.html, Jul. 20, 2010.
[43] The Socialist Constitution of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, art. 68, Sep. 8, 1948, last amended Apr. 9, 2010.
[44] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 15, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010.
[45] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions 2009, p. 15, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010. Alex Martin, North tripled executions to quell outcry, The Japan Times, http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2011/02/09/national/north-tripled-executions-to-quell-outcry/, Feb. 9, 2011. The Chosun Ilbo, Kim Jong-un’s Ex-Girlfirend ‘Shot by Firing Squad’, http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2013/08/29/2013082901412.html, Aug. 29, 2013.
[46] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2009, p. 15, ACT 50/001/2010, Mar. 30, 2010. David Johnson & Franklin Zimring, The Next Frontier, p. 360, Oxford University Press, 2009. U.S. Dept. of State, 2009 Human Rights Report: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2009/eap/135995.htm, Mar. 11, 2010.
[47] U.S. Dept. of State, 2012 Human Rights Report: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2012/eap/204210.htm, Apr. 19, 2013.
[48] The Chosun Ilbo, N. Korean Vice Defense Chief Executed by Firing Squad, http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2012/10/24/2012102400755.html, Oct. 24, 2012. See also, e.g., Jack Kim, North Korea Executes Official for Blunder, Reuters, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62H0DT20100318, Mar. 18, 2010. Richard Parry, North Korea executes top official Pak Nam Gi who oversaw currency revaluation, The Sunday Times, http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article7066576.ece, Mar. 19, 2010.
[49] Amnesty Intl. USA, North Korea Human Rights, http://www.amnestyusa.org/all-countries/north-korea/page.do?id=1011213, last accessed Sep. 20, 2013.
[50] Amnesty Intl., Amnesty International Report 2013: The State of the World’s Human Rights, p. 149, POL 10/001/2013, May 23, 2013.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Pakistan

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: April 4, 2011

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Pakistan: One hundred people sent to the gallows since death penalty moratorium lifted, https://www.amnesty.org/press-releases/2015/04/pakistan-one-hundred-people-sent-to-the-gallows-since-death-penalty-moratorium-lifted, Apr. 28, 2015.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Murder carries the religiously stipulated retributive penalty of harm in-kind. Article 302A addresses the typical sharia punishment for murder, where the defendant may be pardoned if the victim’s family desires. Under Article 302B of the penal code, a judge may still pass a sentence of death, taking into account aggravating and mitigating circumstances. This allows the a judge to pronounce a death sentence for aggravated murder even if the victim’s family agrees to pardon the offender. In practice, judges are unlikely to ignore a family’s agreement to forgive an offender. [1] By law, honor killings are to be treated as aggravated killings; [2] in practice, honor killings may be treated more leniently than murder. [3]

Murder.
Murder carries the religiously stipulated penalty of harm in-kind unless the victim’s family waives the penalty, usually for a payment of diyat. [4] In practice, hanging rather than harm in-kind is the punishment for murder. [5]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Sources indicate that courts, particularly in the Punjab, frequently convict defendants on murder charges despite the prosecution’s failure to show cause and intent. [6] Robbery by means of force against the victim, when resulting in death, carries the death penalty as hadd against participants in the robbery. [7] Bearing false witness intending or knowing the accused may be convicted of a capital offense, if an innocent person is convicted and executed as a result, is punishable by death. [8]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorism includes: (a) acts to “strike terror or create a sense of fear and insecurity” by use of explosives, flammable substances, firearms or lethal weapons, poisons, noxious gasses or chemicals in a manner likely to cause death or injury to persons, destruction of property or widespread disruptions in essential services or security; (b) a scheduled offense likely to create terror or disrupt sectarian harmony; (c) commit gang rape, child molestation or robbery and rape; or (d) commit an act of civil commotion. If a terrorist act results in death, it is punished by death. [9] Cyber-terrorism (use of computers in aiding or committing a terrorist act) that results in death is punishable by death. [10]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Airplane hijacking, or assisting a hijacking, is punishable by death. [11] Attempting to harm railway passengers such as by explosion or derailment is punishable by death. [12]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
An assault on a woman and intentional display of her body in public view is punishable by death. [13] Rape by a man, especially a gang rape, is punishable by death. Abduction to submit another to unnatural lust, which may include homosexual sex, is punishable by death. [14] Statutory rape by a man of a girl under 16, especially a gang rape, is punishable by death. Abduction to submit another to unnatural lust, which may include abduction for rape of minors or for homosexual sex, is punishable by death. [15]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping to murder, harm, for slavery or sexual abuse or trafficking, or putting the victim in the danger of the foregoing, is punishable by death. [16] Kidnapping for ransom or extortion is punishable by death. [17]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Illegal trafficking of more than one kilogram of a drug is punishable by death. [18] In practice, a sentence of death is only rarely pronounced in cases involving less than 10 kilograms of drugs. [19]

Adultery.
Under the Hadd ordinances, extramarital sexual relations may carry a religiously stipulated death penalty if extreme evidentiary requirements are met. [20] Recent laws make it more difficult to investigate and prosecute the capital offense and favor prosecution under non-capital provisions of the penal law. [21]

Apostasy.
Apostasy (leaving Islam) is punishable by death under some interpretations of Shari’a law, and the Shari’a courts are theoretically in a position to apply the death penalty for apostasy, although in practice this does not occur in Pakistan. [22]

Treason.
Waging or abetting war against Pakistan is punishable by death. [23] High Treason under the High Treason Act of 1973 may be punishable by death. [24]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Abetting a successful mutiny is punishable by death. [25] Giving up military passwords or intentionally using unassigned military passwords, assisting the enemy, treachery, mutiny and cowardice are punishable by death. [26]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Arms Trafficking. Section 13A(1) of the Pakistan Arms Act as amended in 1996 makes illegal arms trafficking in certain military-class arms punishable by death. [27]
- Blasphemy. Defiling Mohammed’s name through written or spoken word, visual representation or other means carries a religiously stipulated death penalty. [28] Blasphemy laws apply against Muslims and non-Muslims alike. [29]

Comments.
Certain crimes, such as those involving armed robbery [30] and blasphemy [31] are tried in Shari’at (Islamic law) courts, which can allow double jeopardy when a defendant is tried for a secular and a religious offense on the same basic facts. [32]

References

[1] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010; Pakistan Penal Code Act of 1860, sec. 302, amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006.
[2] Pakistan Penal Code Act of 1860, secs. 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 309, 311, 314, amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006.
[3] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 54, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[4] Pakistan Penal Code Act of 1860, secs. 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 309, 311, 314, amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006; Pakistan Code of Criminal Procedure Act of 1898, sec. 368(1), as amended by Act No. 2 of 1997.
[5] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 56, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[6] Kamran Arif, Interview, p. 1, DPW Doc. 1, Feb. 24, 2010.
[7] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 396, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[8] Pakistan Offenses Against Property (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, secs. 15, 17(4),Act No. 6, Feb. 10, 1979; Anis Haroon, et. al., Overview of the Protection of Women Act, 2006 (Pakistan), Legislative Watch, Issue No. 24, http://af.org.pk/PDF/Newsletters/Issue%2024%20apr%20jun%2008.pdf, Apr.-Jun. 2008 (indicating that, while the Penal Code does not reflect this penalty, the ordinance may still be in effect).
[9] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 194, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[10] Pakistan Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997, sec. 6, 7, amended by Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Ordinance of 1999.
[11] Pakistan Prevention of Electronic Crimes, Section 17(2), 2007.
[12] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 402, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[13] Pakistan Railways Act, as amended through 1996, sec. 127, Act No. 9, 1890.
[14] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 354, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[15] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 367(A), 375, 376, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[16] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 367(A), 375, 376, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[17] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, secs. 364, 367, 367(A), Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[18] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 365, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[19] Pakistan Control of Narcotic Substances Act, secs. 6- 9, Act No. 25, Jul. 7, 1997.
[20] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[21] Pakistan The Offense of Zina (Enforcement of Hudood) Ordinance, as amended by the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006, sec. 5
[22] Pakistan Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment Act), generally, 2006.
[23] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[24] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 121, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860..
[25] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 23, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007..
[26] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 132, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.
[27] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 22-24, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007 (citing the Pakistan Army Act, sec. 24, 26, 31, 1952).
[28] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 22, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007..
[29] Pakistan Penal Code, as amended by Criminal Laws Amendment Act of 2006, sec. 295, Act No. 65, Oct. 6, 1860.; Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 2009, p. 61, http://www.hrcp-web.org/pdf/Annual%20Report%202009.pdf, Feb. 2010.
[30] Sultana Noon, affiliated with Reprieve, revision notes to DPW, DPW Pakistan Doc. REV-1, Nov. 8, 2010.
[31] Justin Huggler, Clemency Plea for Briton Facing Death in Pakistan, Torley.org, http://torley.org/The-News/General-DP-articles/Clemency-plea-for-Briton-facing-death-in-Pakistan-826-49.html, Aug. 4, 2006.
[32] Intl. Fed. for Human Rights, Slow March to the Gallows: Death Penalty in Pakistan, p. 53, http://www.fidh.org/IMG/pdf/Pakistan464angconjointpdm.pdf, Mar. 8, 2007.
[33] Justin Huggler, Clemency Plea for Briton Facing Death in Pakistan, Torley.org, http://torley.org/The-News/General-DP-articles/Clemency-plea-for-Briton-facing-death-in-Pakistan-826-49.html, Aug. 4, 2006.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Saudi Arabia

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: April 4, 2011

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2018, p. 9, ACT 50/9870/2019, Apr. 10, 2019.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Aggravated murder may be punishable by death as both hadd and qisas. [1] This offense may include (but not be limited to) offenses such as murder during robbery or murder involving seclusion, treachery, or other methods rendering the victim helpless (or that have the effect of spreading terror)—in this case, the murder may be punished by death as hadd. This may not be the Hanbali position, but one Al-Adl (a journal published by the Saudi Ministry of Justice) article adopted this position. [2]

Murder.
Murder is punishable by death as qisas. [3] “Islamic law presumes that any sane person who intentionally kills a person with a weapon, is a sinner deserving perdition according to the Qur’an and that the murderer is subject to retaliation.” [4] Murder is punishable by death as qisas (retaliation) or diya (compensation instead of execution), but there is some disagreement over which circumstances allow qisas. According to the Hanbali schools of Sunni Islam, the offender is subject to death as qisas if “the killer intended to kill and employed some means likely to have that result.” [5] It is also possible that courts might apply the principle that intentional killing or intentional infliction of serious and permanent bodily harm allows application of the talion principle [6] and therefore the death penalty if the offense results in death.

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Killing without intent may be punishable by death as hadd, but probably not as qisas. [7] This offense may include (but might not be limited to) robbery resulting in death. For most schools, including the Hanbali school, all participants in a group robbery resulting in death were punishable by death, regardless of cause or intent. [8]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
By Fatwa issued on August 30, 1988, acts of terrorism (as “corruption on earth”) carry the mandatory death penalty; the ambit of this Fatwa is unclear. [9] The description of this offense as “corruption on earth” suggests that the penalty may be hadd. “Contemporary scholars of Islamic Shari’a adopt the view that terrorism is included under the crime of hiraba, or waging war against God and his Apostle and making or spreading corruption on earth,” [10] although analysis on this matter has not been comprehensive, [11] and the position seems more developed by the Maliki school of Sunni Islam and the Shi’a schools than by the Hanbali school. [12]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
By Fatwa issued on August 30, 1988, acts of terrorism (as “corruption on earth”) may carry the mandatory death penalty; the Fatwa does not specify that such acts must result in death, and its ambit is unclear. [13] The description of this offense as “corruption on earth” could suggest that the penalty is hadd, although it would not be traditional in the Hanbali school (or most schools of Sunni Islam) to apply the death penalty as hadd for non-lethal corruption on earth. [14]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Rape is punishable by death as hadd or ta’zir, depending on the circumstances. [15] For a fuller explanation, see our comments—because the evidentiary requirements for this hadd are demanding, it is more likely that the death penalty is applied as ta’zir for aggravated rape. For instance, rape is reported to result in the death penalty, [16] and further investigation shows that the offender was a serial rapist who secluded and robbed his victims. [17]

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Robbery is punishable by death as hadd, but in most schools (including the Hanbali school) only when resulting in death. [18] Otherwise, the death penalty might apply as ta’zir under circumstances such as recidivism or where the offense is aggravated. [19] For instance, a group armed robbery in which a woman was bound, gagged and held at knifepoint in her home [20] and an offense involving rape and armed robbery [21] led to executions, reportedly, at least in part on the grounds of armed robbery. For a fuller explanation, see our comments.

Arson Not Resulting in Death.
Some forms of arson might carry a statutory death penalty under a Fatwa on terrorism-related activities. [22]

Burglary Not Resulting in Death.
Burglary can be punished by death as ta’zir under the Hanbali school (and others) of Sunni Islam when there are aggravating circumstances, [23] including recidivism. [24] Burglary has been punished by death when it resulted in armed robbery. [25]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
The death penalty may be imposed for drug smuggling [26] and for importing, exporting, manufacturing, extracting or growing drugs and narcotics with the intention of trafficking. [27] Further, complicity in the commission of any of these offenses carries the death penalty. [28] Capital punishment may also be imposed for the second offense of circulating drugs “by selling, offering, distributing, delivering, receiving or transporting.” [29]

Drug Possession.
Receiving narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances carries the death penalty. [30]

Adultery.
An article published in Al-Adl indicates that not all Saudi appellate courts agree on the correct application of narcotics laws to those who possess drugs—some arguing that those who possess requisite amounts should be presumed to be engaged in trafficking, others arguing that possession should be considered trafficking based on other factors. (A finding of trafficking could trigger the death penalty under Royal Decree no. 39 of 2005). [31]

Apostasy.
Zina carries the death penalty as hadd for married persons (and lashing for unmarried persons), under demanding evidentiary showings. [32] For a fuller explanation, see our comments.

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
In Saudi Arabia, individuals can be and have been sentenced to death and executed for apostasy. [33] Although there is no contemporary consensus on the treatment of apostasy, it is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia. [34] The death penalty for apostasy may be ta’zir, as the Hanbali school does not consider apostasy to carry a hadd punishment, while still allowing for the death penalty. [35] Traditionally, apostates are afforded a period of time to turn back to Islam, [36] but the death penalty still applies under this rule (in jurisdictions that provide for it)—an individual who persists in his opinion will be executed, thus, there is ultimately no freedom to publically adhere to a divergent opinion without being executed. [37]

Treason.
Judges reportedly treat gay and lesbian sexual relations as zina, applying the penalty of death or lashing according to the circumstances. [38] The schools of Sunni Islam take different positions on the treatment of homosexual and lesbian acts. The Hanbali school treated male sodomy as carrying the penalty of death as hadd, regardless of the marital status of the offender, while lesbianism was punished (under all schools) as a ta’zir offense. In this regard, Saudi jurisprudence is heterodox in that it treats lesbianism as punishable as hadd. [39] The evidentiary requirements for inflicting a hadd penalty are demanding—for further explanation, see our comments.

Espionage.
We did not find any codified law on the offense of treason. The conditions under which treason was historically punished by death have been limited. Some scholars have confused the hadd penalty of death for rebellion—which was seen as treason—as a judicially enforceable penalty, but a discussion of the offense of rebellion shows that the hadd penalty, as conceived of by most schools, simply included the right of the ruler to kill when necessary in subduing a rebellion, which might include the right to pursue and dispatch fleeing rebels. Judicially inflicting the death penalty as hadd would require a finding that the rebel was actually spreading “corruption on earth” due to his actions (such as spreading terror) or because the rebel did not espouse a reasonably legitimate cause. This proof is not as simple as demonstrating that the rebel opposed a just authority—and in fact, for most schools (historically) the finding did not turn on whether the authority was just or the rebel was correct. In some cases, groups with heterodox beliefs may have been considered rebels, or, instead, corrupt on earth (these are not the same), although whether this carried a judicial penalty is unclear from the sources we referenced. [40] The Hanbali school of law does not treat rebellion as carrying religiously stipulated penalties, [41] so it may be that the death penalty for treason in Saudi Arabia is awarded as hadd when the offenders are guilty of spreading corruption on earth or as ta’zir if they are simply guilty of rebellion. Amnesty International suggests that the category of “corrupt on earth” is used as a justification for ta’zir punishment of political crimes, and does not differentiate between rebellion and corruption on earth; we are not sure whether this is due to a lack of clarity about the law or to judicial practices. [42] It might be likely that the death penalty as hadd for treasonable offenses would usually be construed as a penalty for terrorism.

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
The death penalty might be applied as ta'zir for espionage. [43]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Offenses such as treason and disloyalty are punished severely; other offenses would seem not to carry the death penalty (except when falling under the jurisdiction of a Sharia court, which might apply the death penalty). [44] We did not find any recent statutory law or description of the punishment of offenses by military personnel.

References

[1] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 76-79, 313, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 203-209, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[2] Khaled Abou El Fadl, Rebellion and Violence in Islamic Law, p 260-261, Cambridge University Press, 2001; Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 76-79, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Dr. Hishaamibn Saalih Az-Zeer, Treacherous Murder, p. 86-87, 98, Al-Adl Journal Vol. 43.
[3] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 313, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 203-209, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[4] Gerald E. Lampe, ed., Justice and Human Rights in Islamic Law, p. 86, Intl. Law Inst., 1997.
[5] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 75, American Trust Publications, 1982. Note that for the Hanafi school, the death penalty could be awarded as ta’zir for a murder committed without use of means particularly likely to result in death. Id. at p. 109.
[6] M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 203-204, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[7] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 76-79, 313, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 203-209, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[8] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 75-79, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996.
[9] Amnesty Intl., Defying World Trends—Saudi Arabia’s Extensive Use of Capital Punishment, pp. 2-3, MDE 23/015/2001, Nov. 1, 2001.
[10] Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Adel Omar Sherif & Kate Daniels, eds., Criminal Justice in Islam: Judicial Procedure in the Shari’a, p. 41, I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2003.
[11] Khaled Abou El Fadl, Rebellion and Violence in Islamic Law, p 6, 21, 47, 234-320, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
[12] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 76-77, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Khaled Abou El Fadl, Rebellion and Violence in Islamic Law, p 234-320, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
[13] Amnesty Intl., Defying World Trends—Saudi Arabia’s Extensive Use of Capital Punishment, pp. 2-3, MDE 23/015/2001, Nov. 1, 2001.
[14] Khaled Abou El Fadl, Rebellion and Violence in Islamic Law, p 6, 21, 47, 47, 234-320, Cambridge University Press, 2001; Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 76-79, 313, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996.
[15] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 68, 313, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 14, American Trust Publications, 1982. But see Dr. Nagaty Sanad, The Theory of Crime and Criminal Responsibility in Islamic Law: Shari’a, p. 64, Office of International Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1991.
[16] Richard Clark, Executions in January 2010, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/jan10.html, accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[17] ExecutedToday.com, 2010: Salah ibn Rhaidan ibn Hailan Al-Johani, Medina Serial Rapist, http://www.executedtoday.com/2011/01/11/2010-salah-ibn-rihaidan-ibn-hailan-al-johani-medina-serial-rapist/, Jan. 11, 2010.
[18] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 76-79, 313, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Khaled Abou El Fadl, Rebellion and Violence in Islamic Law, p 261, Cambridge University Press, 2001.
[19] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 108-110, American Trust Publications, 1982.
[20] Richard Clark, Executions in January 2008, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/jan08.html, accessed Aug. 19, 2010; Hands Off Cain, Saudi Arabia: Three Burmese Immigrants Beheaded, http://www.handsoffcain.info/archivio_news/200801.php?iddocumento=10301566&mover=0, Jan. 23, 2008.
[21] Richard Clark, Executions in May 2008, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/may08.html, accessed Aug. 19, 2010.
[22] Amnesty Intl., Defying World Trends—Saudi Arabia’s Extensive Use of Capital Punishment, pp. 2-3, MDE 23/015/2001, Nov. 1, 2001.
[23] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 108-110, American Trust Publications, 1982.
[24] Dr. Hamad bin Ibraheem bin Abdul Azeez Ash-Shitwee, Punishment of Committing Theft for the Fifth Time: An Objective Study, generally, Al-Adl Journal Vol. 37.
[25] Richard Clark, Executions in January 2008, http://www.capitalpunishmentuk.org/jan08.html, accessed Aug. 19, 2010; Hands Off Cain, Saudi Arabia: Three Burmese Immigrants Beheaded, http://www.handsoffcain.info/archivio_news/200801.php?iddocumento=10301566&mover=0, Jan. 23, 2008.
[26] Law of Combating Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances of Saudi Arabia, art. 37(1), Royal Decree No. M/39, Aug. 7, 2005.
[27] Law of Combating Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances of Saudi Arabia, art. 37(3), Royal Decree No. M/39, Aug. 7, 2005.
[28] Law of Combating Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances of Saudi Arabia, art. 37(4), Royal Decree No. M/39, Aug. 7, 2005.
[29] Law of Combating Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances of Saudi Arabia, art. 37(5), Royal Decree No. M/39, Aug. 7, 2005.
[30] Law of Combating Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances of Saudi Arabia, art. 37(2), Royal Decree No. M/39, Aug. 7, 2005.
[31] Amnesty Intl., Affront to Justice: Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia, pp. 9-10, MDE 23/027/2008, Oct. 14, 2008; Ibraheem bin Saalih Al-Zughaibee, Degrees of Conviction in Cases of Narcotics and Other Cases Related to Textual and Discretionary Punishments, generally, Al-Adl Journal Vol. 38.
[32] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 14, American Trust Publications, 1982; Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 64-67, 217, 250-253, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996. But see Dr. Nagaty Sanad, The Theory of Crime and Criminal Responsibility in Islamic Law: Shari’a, p. 64, Office of International Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1991.
[33] Amnesty Intl., Defying World Trends—Saudi Arabia’s Extensive Use of Capital Punishment, p. 9, MDE 23/015/2001, Nov. 1, 2001; Amnesty Intl., Affront to Justice: Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia, pp. 9-10, MDE 23/027/2008, Oct. 14, 2008; International Commission of Jurists, Submission to the Universal Periodic Review of Saudi Arabia, p. 7, Sep. 2008.
[34] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 49-64, American Trust Publications, 1982; M. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 277, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997; M. Cherif Bassiouni, Leaving Islam is Not a Capital Crime, Chicago Tribune, Apr. 2, 2006.
[35] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 56, American Trust Publications, 1982; Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 313, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Dr. Abdur-Rahmaanibn 'AaydAal-'Aayd, Rights of Individuals Regarding Crimes that Require Hudood Punishments, p. 84-85, Al-Adl Journal Vol. 40.
[36] The Maliki and Shafi’i schools applied the death penalty as hadd, while the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam and the Shi’a Imamiyah applied the death penalty as hadd for men, while imprisoning apostate women. The Hanbali school did not acknowledge the death penalty as a hadd penalty, but applied it as ta’zir. Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 49-64, American Trust Publications, 1982; Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 80-81, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Dr. Abdur-Rahmaanibn 'AaydAal-'Aayd, Rights of Individuals Regarding Crimes that Require Hudood Punishments, p. 84-85, Al-Adl Journal Vol. 40, http://www.moj.gov.sa/adl/ENG/Default.aspx, accessed Aug. 20, 2010.
[37] For a contrary view, see Robert Postawko, Towards an Islamic Critique of Capital Punishment, p. 290-293, UCLA Journal of Islamic and Near Eastern Law, Vol. 1, p. 269, 2002.
[38] Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Saudi Arabia: The situation of homosexuals, including treatment by authorities and legal penalties, http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/docid/3f7d4e1238.html, Aug. 16, 2002.
[39] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 67-68, 313, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 109, American Trust Publications, 1982. Scholars adhering to the accepted definition of adultery as “[s]exual intercourse between a man and a woman without legal right or without the semblance of a legal right,” El-Awa at p. 14, state that any sexual contact other than penetration of the male organ into the female organ is not adultery and should not be punished as hadd. Dr. Nagaty Sanad, The Theory of Crime and Criminal Responsibility in Islamic Law: Shari’a, p. 38-44, Office of International Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1991. This may be related to dispute over whether a later-revealed piece of legislation (Surah XXIV, abrogating earlier rules) fully addressed the issue of homosexual acts. El-Awa at p. 14-15.
[40] Khaled Abou El Fadl, Rebellion and Violence in Islamic Law, p 21, 234-320, 324-327, Cambridge University Press, 2001. Other resources stating that rebels who fight until subdued (as opposed to until arrested) are subject to the death penalty as hadd could be interpreted as acknowledging that the ruler may kill a rebel who fights to the death. See, for example, M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 197-198, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[41] Dr. Abdur-Rahmaanibn 'AaydAal-'Aayd, Rights of Individuals Regarding Crimes that Require HudoodPunishments, pp. 84-85, Al-Adl Journal Vol. 40.
[42] Amnesty Intl., Defying World Trends—Saudi Arabia’s Extensive Use of Capital Punishment, p. 11, MDE 23/015/2001, Nov. 1, 2001; Amnesty Intl., Affront to Justice: Death Penalty in Saudi Arabia, p. 8, MDE 23/027/2008, Oct. 14, 2008.
[43] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 109, American Trust Publications, 1982.
[44] Helen Chapin Metz, Saudi Arabia: A Country Study, 5th ed., Military Justice, Washington D.C.: The Division, 1993.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Sudan

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: July 24, 2012

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Murder.
Intentional killing carries the retributive sentence of death (qisas); an individual can procure a lighter sentence by payment of diya to the victim’s family. [1]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
- Bearing false witness resulting in an innocent person’s execution for a capital offense, or fabricating evidence with such results, is punished by death. [2]
- Abetting the suicide of an individual unable to give legal consent carries the retributive sentence of death. [3]
- Armed robbery resulting in death carries the hadd punishment of death. [4]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Terrorism involving aircraft hijacking that jeopardizes life or an attempt to seriously damage or destroy an aircraft is punishable by death. [5] Forming or attempting to form a criminal organization, or participating in such an organization or facilitating its activities, to stage attacks that may jeopardize life or property or tranquility, is punishable by death. [6] Committing a terrorist act is punishable by death. [7] An act of terrorism is defined as an act “aiming at striking terror among, or awe upon the people, by hurting them, or exposing the lives, freedom or security thereof, to danger, or causing damage to the environment, public, or private property, one of the public, or private utilities or belongings, occupying or appropriating the same, or exposing one of the native, or national strategic resources to danger.” [8]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Terrorism involving aircraft hijacking that jeopardizes life or an attempt to seriously damage or destroy an aircraft is punishable by death. [9] Forming or attempting to form a criminal organization, or participating in such an organization or facilitating its activities, to stage attacks that may jeopardize life or property or tranquility, is punishable by death. [10] Committing a terrorist act is punishable by death. [11] An act of terrorism is defined as an act “aiming at striking terror among, or awe upon the people, by hurting them, or exposing the lives, freedom or security thereof, to danger, or causing damage to the environment, public, or private property, one of the public, or private utilities or belongings, occupying or appropriating the same, or exposing one of the native, or national strategic resources to danger.” [12]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Homosexual rape or rape by a married person is punishable by death. [13] Homosexual incest or incest by a married person is punishable by death; in some cases, this would involve the statutory rape of a child. [14] However, there is no statutory provision imposing death for the rape of a child without these additional factors.

Robbery Not Resulting in Death.
Armed robbery aggravated by rape is punished by death. [15]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
Trafficking or producing drugs by a recidivist, an official entrusted with combating drug trafficking, by use of a person unable to give legal consent, or as part of an international criminal organization, carries the mandatory death penalty. [16] Providing drugs or other assistance related to trafficking carries a discretionary death penalty under those same circumstances or when drugs are provided to students or distributed in places of schooling. [17]

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
According to the 2007 Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee, embezzlement by officials has resulted in imposition of the death penalty in Sudan. [18] We found no corroborating law.

Adultery.
Under certain evidentiary showings, adultery carries the hadd punishment of stoning if the offender is married. [19]

Apostasy.
Apostasy carries the mandatory death penalty unless the accused is a recent convert to Islam. [20]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
Sodomy between males is punishable by death upon the third offense. [21]

Treason.
High treason or undermining the constitutional order or unity of the nation is punishable by death. [22]

Espionage.
Espionage against the federal government is punishable by death. [23]

War crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.
On May 25, 2009, the Sudan National Assembly amended the 1991 Criminal Act to include genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity as death-eligible offenses. [24] We have not obtained this amendment.

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
-Heterosexual sodomy is apparently punishable by death upon the third offense. [25]
-Incest committed by a married offender is punishable by death in Sudan. [26]
-Running a place for prostitution is punishable by death upon the third offense. [27]

Comments.
Why have we referenced the 1991 Criminal Act of Sudan (replacing the Penal Code of 1983) instead of the 2003 Penal Code (replacing the Penal Code of 1994) available from so many sources offering the laws of Sudan? The 2003 Penal Code replaces the 1994 code of the SPLM/SPLA, which was the law of the Southern revolutionary government, not the law of Sudan. The 2003 Code has since been replaced by a penal code and criminal procedure code promulgated in peacetime Southern Sudan in 2008, so the 2003 law is not actually the law, anywhere, at this time. We did not find any reason to conclude that the 1991 Criminal Act of Sudan has been replaced, though it may have been amended. The various sources offering Sudan’s law, including the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, are—we believe—simply wrong.

We did not find the military law for Sudan. A U.N. report indicates that the regular military may be governed by regulatory codes. [28] We do not know whether the death penalty applies for military offenses in Sudan.

In a nutshell, the standard of proof is demanding for the application of hudud penalties, such that the punishment of offenses such as adultery would usually not be possible as hudud. The standard for application of qisas is also high, and harsh ta’zir punishments are discouraged. Countries practicing Islamic law vary in their guarantee of its safeguards.

According to an in-country expert, the statutory picture may not describe the full legal picture. For instance: In Eastern Sudan, traditional courts adjudicate, and a murder is punishable by death but may be resolved through a settlement. In Northern Sudan, as described, Shariah law is used. [29]

References

[1] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, arts. 28, 130.
[2] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 104(2), 105.
[3] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, arts. 28, 130, 134.
[4] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 168 (1) (a).
[5] Terrorism Combating Act of 2000, art. 8.
[6] Terrorism Combating Act of 2000, art. 6.
[7] Terrorism Combating Act of 2000, art. 5.
[8] Terrorism Combating Act of 2000, art. 2.
[9] Terrorism Combating Act of 2000, art. 8.
[10] Terrorism Combating Act of 2000, art. 6.
[11] Terrorism Combating Act of 2000, art. 5.
[12] Terrorism Combating Act of 2000, art. 2.
[13] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 149.
[14] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 149, 150.
[15] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 168(1)(a).
[16] Sudan Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1994, arts. 15, 17.
[17] Sudan Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act of 1994, art. 16, 17.
[18] U.N. CCPR, Human Rights Committee, Concluding Observations: Sudan, para. 19., U.N. Doc. CCPR/C/SDN/CO/3/CRP.1, Jul. 26, 2007.
[19] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, arts. 145-147.
[20] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 126. Although the offender can recant his apostasy, the requirement that an accused individual embrace Islam or die amounts to the mandatory death penalty for switching religions or renouncing Islam.
[21] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 148.
[22] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, arts. 50, 51.
[23] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 53.
[24] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in the Sudan, Sima Samar, para. 23, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/11/14, Jun. 2009.
[25] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. art. 148.
[26] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 149, 150.
[27] Criminal Act of the Sudan 1991, art. 155.
[28] U.N.G.A., Human Rights Council, Human Rights Situations that Require the Council’s Attention, para. 18, U.N. Doc. A/HRC/6/19, Nov. 28, 2007.
[29] Ameir Mohamed Suleiman, African Center for Justice and Peace Studies – Sudan/Uganda/UK/NY, Interview with DPW, DPW Doc. INT-1, Feb. 24, 2010.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Thailand

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: July 19, 2015

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty International, Thailand: Country’s first execution since 2009 a deplorable move, https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/06/thailand-countrys-first-execution-since-2009-a-deplorable-move/, Jun. 19, 2018.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
The following aggravated forms of murder are punishable by death: committing murder “by employing torture or acts of cruelty;” [1] murder of an ascendant, [2] murder of an official, or murder of those who assist officials; [3] murder to prepare or facilitate another offense; [4] murder “for the purpose of securing the benefit obtained through any other offence or of concealing any other offence or of escaping punishment for any other offence committed by him;” [5] murder or attempted murder of a member of the royal family; [6] and murder or attempted murder of a foreign head of state that has friendly relations with Thailand. [7]

Murder.
Murder (even without aggravating factors) is punishable by death. [8]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
The following offenses are punishable by death if they result in the death of a victim, even in the absence of an intent to cause death: committing a theft [9] or a gang-robbery; [10] raping a woman or girl [11] or committing “indecent acts” on a child under the age of 15; [12] having sexual relations with a girl under the age of 15, even if they are consensual; [13] forcibly detaining, enslaving or trafficking a child under 15 years; [14] kidnapping to obtain a ransom [15] or supporting such an offense; [16] and committing arson [17] or causing an explosion. [18] Causing (or attempting to cause) the death of a member of the royal family, the head of a foreign friendly state or an accredited foreign representative is also punishable by death, and it is unclear whether the law requires evidence of intent. [19]

In March 2015, the National Legislative Assembly voted to amend the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008 to make human trafficking a capital offense if it causes a trafficking victim’s death. [20]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Arson of State buildings or places of mass gatherings, religious sites, or public transportation vehicles is punishable by death. [21] Reports indicate that airplane hijacking is also a capital offense under the 1978 Royal Act on Certain Offences Related to Air Travel, [22] which we were not able to locate during our research.

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Raping a woman or girl under the age of 15 with a gun or explosives, or with the intent to murder, is punishable by death if it results in serious injury. [23]

Arson Not Resulting in Death.
Committing arson or preparing to do so by setting fire to a building or vessel used as a human dwelling, a building or vessel used for storage or manufacture of goods, public places such as a house of entertainment, a meeting place, a State building, a place for performing religious ceremonies, a railway station, airport, or public parking, or a boat, airplane or train used for public transportation, are punishable by death. [24]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping for ransom and causing grievous bodily harm or any physical or mental injury by torture to the kidnapped person is punishable by death. [25] Being an accomplice to this offense is also punishable by death. [26]

In addition, the Narcotics Act, which makes forcibly drugging a woman or person lacking legal competence a capital offense, likely affects whether certain kidnapping offenses in Thailand are punishable by death. [27]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.
The death penalty can be imposed for manufacturing, importing or exporting category 1 or “dangerous” narcotics for commercial purposes. [28]

Drug Possession.
Possession of more than 20 grams of category 1 or “dangerous” narcotics is a capital offense. [29] The use of deception, coercion, intimidation, physical threat, or dark influence to force any woman or person lacking legal competence to take narcotics is also a capital offense. [30]

Economic Crimes Not Resulting in Death.
The death penalty may be imposed on a government official or a democratic representative, [31] a judicial official or a prosecutor [32] for demanding or accepting a bribe. In July 2015, an amendment to the Anti-Corruption Act expanded the death penalty to foreign officials and staff of international organizations who demand or accept a bribe. [33]

Treason.
The following treasonous offenses are punishable by death: endangering the life of the King [34] or committing a deadly or violent action against the royal family; [35] causing or attempting to cause the death of the head of a friendly foreign state or an accredited foreign representative; [36] committing or threatening to commit an act of violence to overthrow the constitution or seize power; [37] acting with the intent to cause the country to fall under the sovereignty of a foreign State or to deteriorate the independence of the State; [38] a Thai citizen taking up arms against Thailand or assisting an enemy; [39] and committing any act with the intent to cause danger to the external security of the State, if such danger occurs. [40]

A number of treason and espionage offenses are also reportedly punishable by death under the Military Criminal Code. [41]

Espionage.
Espionage to aid an enemy in preparation for battle or during wartime is a capital offense. [42] Reports indicate that the Military Criminal Code also imposes the death penalty for espionage. [43]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A number of capital treason offenses laid out in the Criminal Code are relevant to the military, including instigating neglect of duty by a member of the armed forces, committing mutiny, deserting, committing a breach of discipline, [44] and bearing arms against the country. [45]

We were unable to locate the Military Criminal Code during our research, but reports indicate that it also imposes the death penalty for the following offences: dodging the draft, deserting or deserting one’s duty in the face of the enemy; [46] surrendering against orders [47] or more generally committing acts of insubordination in the face of the enemy; [48] initiating or organizing a conspiracy or armed rebellion through armed threats, armed assault, or by creating public unrest; [49] assaulting a commanding officer in the face of the enemy; [50] and abandoning or destroying military property, equipment or supplies in face of the enemy. [51] A number of treason and espionage offenses are also punishable by death under the Military Criminal Code. [52] Any offence committed by a released prisoner of war returning to active combat duty is also punishable by death. [53]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
- Offenses against women and minors: Procuring, recruiting, luring, enticing or coercing a child under the age of 15 to gratify the sexual desire of another person; [54] or using deception, coercion, intimidation, physical threat, or dark influence to force any woman or person lacking legal competence to take narcotics [55] are punishable by death.

- Use of firearms or explosives: The illegal use of firearms or explosives is a capital offense under the Firearms and Accessories, Explosives, Fireworks, and Other Equivalence Act, [56] which we were not able to consult first-hand.

- Attempts: Certain attempted offenses may be punished like the offense itself: attempting to cause the death of a member of the royal family, the head of a foreign friendly state or an accredited foreign representative, [57] and attempted murder of a member of the royal family [58] or a friendly foreign head of state [59] are punishable by death.

Comments.
As of September 2014, the National Legislative Assembly set up under military rule was considering a bill creating a new terrorism-related capital offense for destroying or damaging an aircraft, or committing an act in an airport which causes death or forces the closure of an airport. [60]

References

[1] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 289(5), B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[2] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 289(1), B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[3] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 289(2)-(3), B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[4] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 289(6), B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[5] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 289(7), B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[6] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 107, 109, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[7] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 130, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[8] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 288, 289(4), B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[9] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 339, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[10] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 340, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[11] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 276, 277, 277bis, 277ter, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[12] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 278, 279, 280(2), B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[13] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 277, 277bis, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[14] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 310, 312, 312bis(2), B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[15] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 313, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[16] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 313, 314, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[17] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 218, 221, 222, 224, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[18] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 221, 222, 224, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[19] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 130, 131, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[20] Reuters, Thailand toughens trafficking law with death penalty, steep fines, http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/26/us-thailand-trafficking-idUSKBN0MM10V20150326, Mar. 26, 2015.
[21] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 218, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[22] Roger Hood & Carolyn Hoyle, The Death Penalty: A Worldwide Perspective, p. 136, Oxford University Press, 4th ed., 2008. Amnesty Intl., When the State Kills, p. 215, Amnesty International Publications, 1989.
[23] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 276, 277, 277ter, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[24] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 218, 219, B.E. 2499, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[25] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 313, 314, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[26] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 313, 314, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[27] Thailand Narcotics Act, sec. 93, B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended through to Act No. 5, B.E. 2545 (2002). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[28] Thailand Narcotics Act, secs. 7, 15, 65, B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended through to Act No. 5, B.E. 2545 (2002).Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[29] Thailand Narcotics Act, sec. 66, B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended through to Act No. 5, B.E. 2545 (2002). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[30] Thailand Narcotics Act, sec. 93, B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended through to Act No. 5, B.E. 2545 (2002). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[31] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 149, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[32] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 201, 202, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[33] Amendment No. 3 to Thailand Anti-Corruption Act of 1999, sec. 123(2), as cited in Bangokok Post, Death New Corruption Remedy, http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/621164/death-new-corruption-remedy, Jul. 13, 2015 ; The Guardian, New anti-corruption law in Thailand extends death penalty to foreigners, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jul/15/new-anti-corruption-law-in-thailand-extends-death-penalty-to-foreigners, Jul. 15, 2015; Bangkok Post, NACC defends death penalty for graft cases, http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/politics/621376/nacc-defends-death-penalty-for-graft-cases, Jul. 14, 2015.
[34] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 108, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[35] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 107, 109, 130, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[36] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 130, 131, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[37] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 113, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[38] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 119, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[39] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 121, 122, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[40] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 127, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[41] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, pp. 19-20, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[42] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 122, 124, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[43] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, pp. 19-20, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[44] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 122, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[45] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 121, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[46] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, pp. 18-20, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[47] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[48] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, pp. 19-20, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[49] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 20, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[50] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 20, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[51] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[52] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, pp. 19-20, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[53] Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[54] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 283, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[55] Thailand Narcotics Act, sec. 93, B.E. 2522 (1979), as amended through to Act No. 5, B.E. 2545 (2002). Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[56] Firearms and Accessories, Explosives, Fireworks, and Other Equivalence Act, B.E. 2490 (1947), as amended through to B.E. 2542 (1999), as cited in Intl. Federation for Human Rights, The Death Penalty in Thailand, p. 19, no. 411/2, Mar. 2005.
[57] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 130, 131, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[58] Thailand Criminal Code, sec. 107, 109, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[59] Thailand Criminal Code, secs. 130, 132, B.E. 2499 (1956), as amended through to Criminal Code No. 17, B.E. 2547 (2003).
[60] Zee News, Thailand’s new bill proposes death for airport closure, http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/thailands-new-bill-proposes-death-for-airport-closure_1472802.html, Sep. 19, 2014.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

United Arab Emirates

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: February 7, 2011

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Al Arabiya, UAE Man Executed for Double Murder: Report, Feb. 24, 2008.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
Intentional murder is punishable by death in the case of “deliberate design or premeditated purpose, if it is accompanied by another crime..., if the victim is a descendant of the offender, a public officer or any person to whom a public service is assigned…, or…with the use of any poisonous substances or explosives.” [1] Premeditation involves thorough planning, and deliberate design involves lying in wait. This statutory law governs punishment, except that it does not prejudice the right to blood money compensation under the Shari’a. [2] The intentional killing of public officials charged with enforcing drug laws, to resist enforcement, is punishable by death. [3]

Murder.
Under Book 1, Article 1 of the Penal Code, retributive penalties can apply under Shari’a law. UAE courts follow the Maliki school of Sunni Islam (but may also use authority and interpretations from other schools). [4] In practice, courts pronounce death sentences for murder. [5] “Islamic law presumes that any sane person who intentionally kills a person with a weapon, is a sinner deserving perdition according to the Qur’an and that the murderer is subject to retaliation.” [6] Murder is punishable by death as qisas (retaliation) or diya (compensation), but there is some disagreement over which circumstances allow qisas. According to the Maliki school of Sunni Islam, a person is “guilty of deliberate homicide if he causes the death of another by any intentional act or omission directed against a human being, which is either hostile or intrinsically likely to kill,” and is subject to death as qisas. For the Hanafi, Shafi’i and Hanbali schools of Sunni Islam, the offender is subject to death as qisas if “the killer intended to kill and employed some means likely to have that result.” [7] One source that generalizes on qisas offenses indicate that “deliberate killing is forbidden” but that only killing “with a set purpose” is subject to death as qisas, [8] while another explains that intentional killing or intentional infliction of serious and permanent bodily harm allows application of the talion principle [9] and therefore the death penalty if the offense results in death. There may thus be some conflict over whether the offender is subject to death as qisas only upon a showing of actual as opposed to constructive malice, and we do not know the rule applied by UAE courts.

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Perjury, resulting in condemnation, is punishable by death. [10] Calumny, resulting in execution, is punishable by death. [11] Successfully inciting the suicide of a person “afflicted with total lack of free will or reason” is punishable as premeditated murder, [12] which is death-eligible under some circumstances. [13] Use of drugs or an existing drug-induced state to incite a person to commit an offense that results in death is punishable by death. [14]

Arson of, or illegal use of explosives on, a variety of buildings used for industry or inhabited or in inhabited areas, or of means of transportation, or of forests or crops, when resulting in death, is punishable by death. [15] Kidnapping resulting in death is punishable by death or life imprisonment. [16] Acts of indecent assault (whether statutory or due to coercion) resulting in death are punishable by death. [17] The unintentional killing of public officials charged with enforcing drug laws, to resist enforcement, is punishable by death. [18]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
A variety of terrorism-related offenses resulting in death are punishable by death, such as: coercion to conscript individuals into a terrorist organization; infringement of diplomatic or consular premises in committing a terrorist act; use of nuclear, chemical or biological weapons; hijacking; hostage-taking; assaulting security forces; attacking a head of state or his family or a representative or officer of a state; murder. [19]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
A variety of terrorism-related offenses not resulting in death are punishable by death, such as: forming or leading an organization with the intent to commit terrorist acts; working with a foreign state or foreign or international terror group to commit terrorism, if the act is committed; threatening to use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons; using explosives or nuclear, chemical or biological weapons in a hijacking or assault upon security forces. [20]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
The forced copulation of a female or sodomy of a man is punishable by death. [21] Coercion is presumed if a child is under 14 years of age; this statutory rape (copulation of a female or sodomy of a man) is punishable by death. [22]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.

Drug Possession.
Procurement, import, export, manufacture, production, cultivation, preparation for cultivation, possession, acquisition or abuse of drugs with the intention of trafficking or promotion is punishable by death. For certain scheduled drugs, the punishment is death only upon recidivism. [23]

Adultery.
Possession for the purpose of trafficking or promotion is punishable by death. For certain scheduled drugs, the punishment is death only upon recidivism. [24]

Treason.
Under Book 1, Article 1 of the UAE Penal Code, the provisions of Islamic Sharia shall apply to crimes liable to hadd punishments, [25] and individuals have been sentenced to the religiously stipulated penalty death by stoning for adultery, although it this penalty has not been carried out in recent years. [26] Execution is not favored—in one Hadith, the Prophet told a disciple who reported a possible adultery: “You should have covered them with your robe so that no one else would have seen them.” [27]

One comprehensive definition of adultery under Shari’a is “[s]exual intercourse between a man and a woman without legal right or without the semblance of a legal right.” A married person who commits adultery is eligible for the death penalty as hadd (while the unmarried person is eligible for severe lashing as hadd). [28] However, stringent evidentiary requirements must be met—either the testimony of four eyewitnesses or the confession of the accused— with the result that some scholars report that no legitimate convictions for sexual offenses have ever been made without the confession of the accused (for purposes of the hadd penalty). [29] (Pregnancy is admissible as circumstantial evidence—but only for unmarried women, who would as unmarried persons not face the death penalty as hadd.) [30] A person who confesses should be free to stop execution of the sentence by withdrawing a confession; in this and other cases of doubt, a ta’zir penalty can apply. [31]

Espionage.
Crimes against the external security of the state such as high treason in support of an enemy, or undermining the defense or morale or loyalty of the armed forces, or surrendering or revealing defense secrets, or failing to perform defense-related contracts adequately in time of war, are punishable by death. Crimes against the internal security of the state such as high treason by insurrection or attempt against the life or security of a high government official, or crimes against the security by infringing the life or security of a foreign leader, abuse of authority over security forces to oppose the government, participation in or leadership of an armed band resisting the government or laws or destroying public or government buildings or properties (especially when explosives are used, are punishable by death. Any offense against the internal security of the state enumerated in Book 1, Chapter 2 of the Penal Code is death-eligible when committed in time of war in support of the enemy and accomplishing its objective. [32] A 2005 amendment to the Penal Code may make some other serious offenses against the state death-eligible when they result in death. [33]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Revealing defense secrets, or obtaining them with the intent to reveal them to an enemy, is punishable by death. [34]

Comments.
Individuals who “import or bring nuclear substances or wastes or bury, dump, store or dispose of such wastes in any form in the environment of the State” are punishable by death or life imprisonment. [35]

References

[1] UAE Penal Code, arts. 331-333, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended by Law No. 34 of 2005.
[2] UAE Penal Code, arts. 331-333, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended by Law No. 34 of 2005.
[3] UAE Anti-Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, arts. 52-54, No. 14 of 1995.
[4] Hands Off Cain, United Arab Emirates: 2011, http://english.nessunotocchicaino.it/bancadati/schedastato.php?idcontinente=23&nome=united%20arab%20emirates, last accessed Feb. 22, 2011 (this URL will change in 2012). This page reports on the decision of a Shari’a court involving whether to apply Maliki or Hanafi rules for a murder offense—according to the report, under the Maliki school Muslims might not be sentenced to death for killing non-Muslims, while under the Hanafi school this rule could only apply during a time of war. One might also argue that the rule turns on whether the non-Muslim is considered an individual under the protection of the Islamic state.
[5] Bassama Al Jandaly, Killer on Death Row Wins Pardon from Victim’s Family in Sharjah, http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/uae/crime/killer-on-death-row-wins-pardon-from-victim-s-family-in-sharjah-1.650226, Jul. 5, 2010 (Note that the man had been sentenced to death by the court of first instance).
[6] Gerald E. Lampe, ed., Justice and Human Rights in Islamic Law, p. 86, Intl. Law Inst., 1997.
[7] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 75, American Trust Publications, 1982. Note that for the Hanafi school, the death penalty could be awarded as ta’zir for a murder committed without use of means particularly likely to result in death. Id. at p. 109.
[8] Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 86, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996.
[9] M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 203-204, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[10] UAE Penal Code, art. 253, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended by Law No. 34 of 2005.
[11] UAE Penal Code, art. 276, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended by Law No. 34 of 2005.
[12] Note that different translations conflict, using slightly different wording and sometimes providing that this offense is treated as “premeditated manslaughter.”
[13] UAE Penal Code, arts. 335 cum. 331 & 332, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended by Law No. 34 of 2005.
[14] UAE Anti-Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, art. 45, No. 14 of 1995.
[15] UAE Penal Code, arts. 304-305 cum. 308-309, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended by Law No. 34 of 2005.
[16] UAE Penal Code, arts. 344, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended by Law No. 34 of 2005.
[17] UAE Penal Code, arts. 356 cum. 357, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987, as amended by Law No. 34 of 2005.
[18] UAE Anti-Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, arts. 52-54, No. 14 of 1995.
[19] UAE Decree on Combating Terrorism Offenses, arts. 6, 11, 14, 15-16, 17-18, 27, Federal Law No. 1 of 2004.
[20] UAE Decree on Combating Terrorism Offenses, arts. 3, 9, 14, 15-17 cum. 19, Federal Law No. 1 of 2004.
[21] UAE Penal Code, Book 1 art. 354, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987.
[22] UAE Penal Code, Book 1 art. 354, 370, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987.
[23] UAE Anti-Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, arts. 6(1) & 35-36 cum. 48 cum. Schedules 1, 2 &4, art. 49 cum. Schedules 3 & 6-8, No. 14 of 1995.
[24] UAE Anti-Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Law, art. 6(1) cum. 48 cum. Schedules 1-2 & 4, art. 49 cum. Schedules 3 & 6-8, No. 14 of 1995.
[25] UAE Penal Code, Book 1 art. 1, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987.
[26] Amnesty Intl., Further Information on UA 167/06 (MDE 25/005/2006, 13 June 2006)—Death by Stoning/Flogging, MDE 25/006/2006, Jul. 3, 2006 (reporting the judicial commutation, upon appeal, of a sentence of death by stoning for adultery).
[27] Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 280, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997.
[28] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 14, American Trust Publications, 1982; Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 68, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996. But see Dr. Nagaty Sanad, The Theory of Crime and Criminal Responsibility in Islamic Law: Shari’a, p. 64, Office of International Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1991.
[29] The requirements of evidence for application of hudud penalties are particularly extreme for offenses such as adultery, excluding any evidence except eyewitness testimony or the confession of the accused in most Sunni schools. Freely given confession, rather than eyewitness, has been the practical mode of proof for the offense of zina, and an offender may withdraw confession at any time when facing a hadd penalty (although this might not affect liability for compensation). Gerald E. Lampe, ed., Justice and Human Rights in Islamic Law, p. 82-83, Intl. Law Inst., 1997; S. Mahmassani, Falsafat Al-Tashri Fi Al-Islam, p. 177, 184-185, translated by Farhat J. Ziadeh, E.J. Brill, 1961; Abdel et. al. at p. 38, 47; Sanad at p. 99, 104-105; M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 26, 109-122, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982; Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 63-64, 246-286, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Adel Omar Sherif & Kate Daniels, eds., Criminal Justice in Islam: Judicial Procedure in the Shari’a, p. 24-26, 38, 45-47, I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2003.
[30] Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 130-131, American Trust Publications, 1982; M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 199, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982.
[31] Gerald E. Lampe, ed., Justice and Human Rights in Islamic Law, p. 82-83, Intl. Law Inst., 1997; S. Mahmassani, Falsafat Al-Tashri Fi Al-Islam, p. 177, 184-185, translated by Farhat J. Ziadeh, E.J. Brill, 1961; Dr. Nagaty Sanad, The Theory of Crime and Criminal Responsibility in Islamic Law: Shari’a, p. 64, 99, 104-105, Office of International Criminal Justice, University of Illinois at Chicago, 1991; M. Cherif Bassiouni, ed., The Islamic Criminal Justice System, p. 26, 109-122, Oceana Publications, Inc., 1982; Tahir Mahmood, et. al., Criminal Law in Islam and the Muslim World: A Comparative Perspective, p. 63-64, Institute of Objective Studies, 1st. ed., 1996; Muhammad Abdel Haleem, Adel Omar Sherif & Kate Daniels, eds., Criminal Justice in Islam: Judicial Procedure in the Shari’a, p. 24-26, 38, 45-47, 72, 111-129, I.B. Tauris & Co. Ltd., 2003; Mohamed S. El-Awa, Punishment in Islamic Law: A Comparative Study, p. 124-131, American Trust Publications, 1982.
[32] UAE Penal Code, Book 1 arts. 149, 150, 151, 154, 158, 161, 164, 174, 175, 179, 184, 186-187 &189-190 cum. 194, 199, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987.
[33] Al Sharif Advocates and Legal Consultants, UAE Penal Code and its Amendment, http://www.dubailaw.com/article/viewarticle.asp?id=87, Oct. 10, 2006.
[34] UAE Penal Code, Book 1 art. 158, Federal Law No. 3 of 1987.
[35] UAE Law for the Protection and Development of the Environment, art. 62(2) cum. 73, No. 24 of 1999, translated by: United Arab Emirates.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts

Yemen

See full questionnaire

Information current as of: April 4, 2011

General

Death Penalty Law Status

Retentionist. [1]

References

[1] Amnesty Intl., Death Sentences and Executions in 2014, ACT 50/001/2015, Mar. 31, 2015.

Country Details

Crimes and Offenders Punishable By Death

Crimes Punishable by Death

Aggravated Murder.
A court may pronounce a sentence of death for a murder that is brutal, in the furtherance of another crime, of a pregnant woman, of a public servant or if the offender is of “bad character” even if the victim’s family has pardoned the offender. Such murders carry the mandatory death penalty unless the victim’s family pardons the offender. [1] Murdering drug enforcement personnel while resisting the discharge of their duties carries the death penalty. [2]

Murder.
Murder carries the mandatory death penalty unless the victim’s family pardons the offender. [3]

Other Offenses Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping resulting in death carries the death penalty. [4] Banditry—placing people in public ways, places, structures or transports in fear of life or honor for any illegal purpose—carries a hadd death penalty if the offender kills someone; if associated with robbery, the offender’s body will be crucified after execution; participants in the robbery who do not participate in the killing are not to be executed. [5] Destruction of property, leading to death, carries the death penalty. [6] Perjury is, when resulting in the execution of an innocent, to be punished by the same sentence that innocent faced. [7] Resistance to military superiors (by military personnel), resulting in death, is punishable by death. [8] The unintentional killing of drug enforcement personnel while resisting the discharge of their duties carries the death penalty. [9]

Robbery involving petty sums and leading to injury carries retributive or compensation penalties, but we are not sure that these would include death. [10]

Terrorism-Related Offenses Resulting in Death.
Offenses against public safety and resources, when resulting in death, carry the death penalty. [11]

Rape Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping in conjunction with adultery or homosexual acts carries the death penalty. [12]

Kidnapping Not Resulting in Death.
Kidnapping in conjunction with adultery or homosexual acts carries the death penalty. [13]

Drug Trafficking Not Resulting in Death.

Drug Possession.
Importing, exporting or manufacturing drugs with the intent to traffic carries the death penalty. [14] Possession, transactions or cultivation for the purpose of trafficking drugs, improper use of a license to possess narcotics, giving someone narcotics or preparing a place for the use of narcotics are punishable by death. [15]

Adultery.
Drug possession for the purpose of trafficking is punishable by death. [16]

Apostasy.
Adultery carries the death penalty by stoning. [17] These punishments are predicated upon extreme evidentiary showings; otherwise, adultery cannot be punished by death. The witnesses have the power to pardon an adulterer by refusing to begin the stoning. [18] Reports suggest the death penalty for adultery is disused. [19]

Consensual Sexual Relations Between Adults of Same Sex.
Apostates are to be questioned for repentance three times and given thirty days to return to Islam or denounce their disfavored opinions or actions; if they do not recant, they are to be executed. [20]

Treason.
Homosexual sodomy carries the death penalty by stoning. [21] These punishments are predicated upon extreme evidentiary showings; otherwise, homosexual acts cannot be punished by death. [22] Reports suggest the death penalty for homosexual acts is disused. [23]

Espionage.
Transgression is the crime of “outrageous” and forbidden rebellion against the state; it carries mandatory penalties. [24] The prescribed penalty is death in a variety of instances, such as: Acts aimed at undermining the independence, unity or territorial integrity of the State; undermining the defense; assisting the enemy; or inciting or participating in the aforementioned. Punishment may be waived for cooperation with authorities. [25] Participation in armed gang activity against the government, law enforcement or people, when resulting in death, carries the death penalty (and leniency for cooperation with authorities), although it is unclear whether leniency or pardon could also turn on a pardon by the victim’s family (for blood money or as an act of forgiveness). [26]

Military Offenses Not Resulting in Death. [27]

Other Offenses Not Resulting in Death.
Several military offenses not resulting in death carry the death penalty; they include cowardice, desertion or voluntary surrender in the field by personnel or surrender or abandonment of hostilities by any commander prior to the exhaustion of all means of resistance. [28]

References

[1] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 234, 235, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[2] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, art. 42, No. 3 of 1993.
[3] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 234, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[4] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 249, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[5] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 306-307(iii, iv), 309, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[6] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 321, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[7] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 179, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[8] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 226, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[9] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, art. 41, No. 3 of 1993.
[10] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 38, 301, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[11] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 137-141, Law No. 12 of 1994. These are “transgression” offenses, which could alternatively be characterized as treason or armed rebellion. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes and the Criminal Process, p. 278, Arab Law Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 3, 1997.
[12] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 249, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[13] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 249, 250, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[14] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, art. 33, No. 3 of 1993.
[15] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, arts. 34-35, No. 3 of 1993.
[16] Yemen Law on the Control of Illicit Trafficking in the Abuse of Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances, arts. 34, No. 3 of 1993.
[17] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 263, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[18] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 266-267, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[19] U.N. CCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005.
[20] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 259, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[21] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 264, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[22] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 266-267, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[23] U.N. CCPR, Human Rights Committee, Consideration of Reports Submitted by State Parties under Article 40 of the Covenant, Concluding Observations of the Human Rights Committee: Yemen, para. 15, U.N. Doc. CCPR/CO/84/YEM, Aug. 9, 2005.
[24] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 12, 124, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[25] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, arts. 125-130, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[26] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 113, 132, 134, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[27] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 126, 128, Law No. 12 of 1994.
[28] Yemen Republican Decree Concerning Crimes and Penalties, art. 227-228, Law No. 12 of 1994.

International Commitments

Death Penalty In Law

Death Penalty In Practice

Decisions of International Human Rights Bodies

Additional Sources and Contacts