NPR logo
Jordan Hangs 11 After 8-Year Execution Moratorium
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/372409607/372409608" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jordan Hangs 11 After 8-Year Execution Moratorium

Middle East

Jordan Hangs 11 After 8-Year Execution Moratorium

Jordan Hangs 11 After 8-Year Execution Moratorium
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/372409607/372409608" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Jordanians who had been convicted of murder were executed Sunday. There had been a moratorium on the death penalty there since 2006. Lawmakers called for it to be reinstated to curb a rise in crime.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn out to the Middle East. Elsewhere in the broadcast, we heard about the peaceful transfer of power in Tunisia, which just had a presidential runoff election. In the Kingdom of Jordan, the news is very different. After an eight-year moratorium on the death penalty, Jordan yesterday, executed 11 men. The kingdom sandwiched between Iraq and Syria says it's responding to an increase in violent crime, but NPR's Alice Fordham reports that the resumption of capital punishment in Jordan is being criticized harshly.

ALICE FORDHAM, BYLINE: The men had been convicted of murder and were hanged Sunday morning at the Suwaqa prison, Jordan's largest. Rights campaigners were disappointed - they have a first execution since 2006. Human Rights Watch's Middle East director Sarah Leah Whitson said Jordan had been a rare progressive voice in the Middle East on capital punishment, and reinstating it is backsliding on human rights. The group has recently criticized the government there for crackdowns on criticism.

Last month, local media reported the interior minister, Hussein Majali, said the government had discussed bringing back capital punishment after pressure from lawyers, officials and some of the public. One factor may be a sharp increase in crime over the last five years. Officials reckon the crime's mostly driven by poverty. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees have flooded in to Jordan and worsened existing economic problems.

The head of the Center for Strategic Studies there, Musa Shteiwi, told the Jordan Times he blamed higher unemployment and poverty and particularly, a growing sense of inequality in society for rising crime. And he blamed the lack of executions, too, saying suspending capital punishment might be a contributing factor to the increase in the number of revenge murders. Alice Fordham, NPR News.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.