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‘Panel to examine whether to reinstate executions’

By Rana Husseini - Nov 09,2014 - Last updated at Nov 09,2014

AMMAN — Interior Minister Hussein Majali on Sunday said the Cabinet has formed a committee to examine whether or not to reinstate executions in Jordan.

“We realise that executions have been frozen in Jordan since 2007, and we have formed a committee to discuss this matter,” Majali said in response to a question by a journalist at a press conference at the Prime Ministry.

The Kingdom has a de facto moratorium on the death penalty, with the last execution carried out in March 2006, when a 41-year-old blacksmith convicted of killing his wife and seven-month-old child was hanged at Swaqa prison. 

Since then, dozens of people have been sentenced to death for various offences, including murder, rape of minors and spying, but their sentences have not been carried out.

The issue of capital punishment has been under debate in Jordan between activists who oppose the death penalty and other officials and lawyers who believe it should stay.

Several people have been on death row for a long time, including one inmate who has been there since the mid-1970s on spying charges, officials have said in the past.

In November 2005, His Majesty King Abdullah told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that “in coordination with the European Union, we would like to modify our Penal Code. Jordan could soon become the first country in the Middle East without capital punishment.” 

Article 93 of the Constitution reads that “no death sentence may be carried out unless ratified by the King. Every such sentence shall be submitted to him by the Council of Ministers along with the council’s view on it.”

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