Jordan: rights groups condemn mass execution

In response to the mass execution of 15 prisoners in Jordan on March 4, several human rights groups, including Amnesty International, condemned the hangings as secretive and conducted "without transparency." This mass execution was largest ever in one day in Jordan's history. Samah Hadid of Amnesty's regional office in Beirut called the executions "a big step backwards on human rights protection in Jordan." Among the executed, 10 had been convicted for some form of terrorist activity, but Hadid expressed concern that some may have made their confessions under torture or duress. Over the past several years, more than 100 have been sentenced to death in Jordan, in hopes of deterring terrorist activities.

Despite this goal of deterrence, Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, stated: "Just the terror attacks of the last two years show that reinstating the death penalty in Jordan has done nothing to reduce…such violent attacks." From 2006 to 2014, Jordan had a moratorium on capital punishment, winning praise from rights groups as the leader in the Middle East with respect to refraining from use of the death penalty.

From Jurist, March 5. Used with permission.