Executions in Saudi Arabia on the rise. Nearly half of the executed foreign nationals. Foreigners 8 times more likely to be executed for the same crime.

Saudi Arabia has executed at least 175 people over the last 12 months, on average one person every two days, according to a report released on Tuesday by Amnesty International.
The report said at least 102 people had been put to death in the first six months of 2015, compared with 90 across the whole of 2014.

Saudi courts allow for people to be executed for adultery, apostasy and witchcraft.

People can also be executed for crimes committed when they were below 18 years of age.

In May this year, Saudi Arabia advertised for eight new executioners to cope with an increasing number of death sentences. The role, posted on the civil service jobs portal, was described as “executing a judgment of death” as well as performing amputations on those convicted of lesser offences.

Although foreigners make up just one quarter of the oil rich state’s population, Amnesty reported they made up the majority of all those sent to death row. Its report revealed that at least 1,695 executions were carried out between 1985 and May 2008, with the number of non-nationals totalling 830, compared with 809 local citizens. It was impossible to ascertain the nationality of the remaining 56.

But it is in the number of reprieves that the greatest disparity lies. Amnesty claimed that a pardon is granted in one in every four capital cases involving a Saudi citizen but only one in 30 of each foreign case. Many of those foreigners lacked the Arabic skills to understand court proceedings and charges.

Sources:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/3192085/Foreigners-eight-times-more-likely-to-be-executed-in-Saudi-Arabia-report-says.html

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/25/saudi-arabia-executed-175-people-amnesty-international

http://www.nairaroot.com/saudi-executes-175-half-been-foreigners/#.Vf3EfigqSNk

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Is Iran a problem, or part of the solution?

OffGuardian

by Andre Vltchek

Why should I care whether Iran has nukes? It most likely doesn’t, but even if it does… it never attacked anyone, never overthrew any government, and never performed experiments on human beings. It had not committed a single genocide, and never dreamed about conquering the world.

So why should I even bother to think much about Iran’s nuclear program, big or small, “peaceful” or defensive?

If Iran is capable of defending itself – then excellent; I am only happy! At least it will not be wiped out from the face of the Earth, as happened to its unfortunate neighbors Iraq and Afghanistan or to a bit more distant but not more fortunate countries like Libya.

Do I want this great, ancient Iranian culture to become defenseless and to eventually disappear, to be destroyed, or to get replaced by aggressive Western consumerism, arrogance and pathological lack of compassion?…

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Lies, Damnable Lies, and Syria, by Robert Gore

STRAIGHT LINE LOGIC

The photo of the three-year-old Syrian boy, Aylan Kurdi, dead, face down on a Turkish beach, will be remembered not just for its emotional impact, but because once and for all it revealed the grotesque and deadly motives of those who press for, and profit from, the never-ending expansion of Western war-making in the Middle East. In a triumph of opportunistic cynicism over truth, restraint, or good taste, they quickly blamed Kurdi’s death on the failure of the US and European governments to depose Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad (“Abusing Dead Syrian Children,” by Daniel McAdams, SLL, 9/4/15).

What is really going on in Syria? SLL posted a good background report, “Unmasking ISIS,” by Washington’s Blog on September 13. Ostensibly, Assad, an Alawite Shiite, is trying to fend off a revolution led by Sunni ISIS, which now controls a large chunk of land in eastern Syria and…

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Return of the Wahhabis

Follow The Money

Smoke billows from the site of a Saudi-led air strike on al-Dailami air base in Yemen's capital Sanaa September 6, 2015. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah - RTX1RAW1 Smoke billows from the site of a Saudi-led air strike on al-Dailami air base in Yemen’s capital Sanaa September 6, 2015.

http://www.rt.com/op-edge/314757-yemen-radicals-saudi-houthis/

Al-Qaeda is back. This time around it brought with it another religious aberration: ISIS. With Yemen fast becoming an incubus for all things radical, Riyadh insists the real enemy is the Resistance. The trick here is to discern the terrorist from the freedom fighter.

With Saudi Arabia and the GCC countries busy engineering the annihilation of Yemen by way of ground invasion and air raids we almost forgot that behind the towering shadow of the oil kingdom, radicalism’s legions are standing by, awaiting for opportunity to knock.

And since Yemen now stands in a state of free fall, very much alone and shunned by the international community for its people could not eclipse the financial and political incentives put forward by wealthy Saudi Arabia, the likes of Al-Qaeda…

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Executions here, police killings there

Proven death sentences in 2014: 35 (USA), 61 (Iraq), 90 (Saudi Arabia), 289 (Iran).

You hear only about Iran, but there are countries that are worse:

In Nigeria, 659 death sentences were recorded in 2014, a jump of more than 500 compared with the 2013 figure of 141.

In Egypt, courts handed down at least 509 death sentences during 2014, 400 more than recorded during the previous year. This included mass death sentences against 37 people in April and 183 people in June following unfair mass trials.

Source: http://www.amnestyusa.org/research/reports/death-sentences-and-executions-2014?page=2

From all countries above who do you think is on the biggest drug smuggling route of the world?

Correct: Iran.

Afghanistan presently produces 80 percent of the world’s heroin which provides billions of dollars in illicit profits for the powerful drug Mafia. Heroin trafficking and production have flourished under US military occupation and transformed Afghanistan into a dysfunctional narco-colony.

In the past 30 years, 3,734 Iranian border guards have been killed and more than 12,000 wounded in clashes with smugglers.

Source: http://www.globalresearch.ca/afghan-opium-production-hits-all-time-high/5414293

Iran has a real problem with this:

Iran lies directly in the path of the world’s largest flow of heroin.
There are some analysts who describe Iran’s heroin addiction problem as the “worst in the world.” Estimates of the number of addicts vary widely – from one million to more than three million habitual drug users. A 2006 report estimated that 8 percent of the adult population was addicted to drugs.

Out of the 170,000 people in jail in Iran, 68,000 are there for drug trafficking and 32,000 are there because they are addicts.

Source: http://www.narconon.org/drug-information/iran-heroin-drug-addiction.html

So what should a 3rd world country crippled under sanctions do? Build more jails? Hold more costly prisoners? Be more morale than the US and stopping executions at all? Yes, should it? But then why are you not so much upset when there are death sentences in the US? Are death sentences, invasions, meddling in other countries ok when you are a democracy? Don’t you think these are double standards?

Also what do you think about: US police killings headed for 1,100 this year, with black Americans twice as likely to die. (The Guardian)

How convenient isn’t it? No court costs, no prison costs and no bad image, because all people only compare death sentence numbers. Also, let’s try a test: replace in the title of the Guardian article (above in blue) US with Iran, and black Americans by an arbitrary Iranian minority. The conclusion would be clear, right? (White) US republicans would be furious even the UN, Amnesty and Human Rights Watch would be all over the story.

Speaking of all this: Yes, Iran is a dictatorship, and yes every execution is one execution too much, but after reading this article it should be clear that we have clearly double standards here, we comfortably ignore Iran’s hard situation trying to stop drug smuggling (and thus also protecting not only Iran’s youth but also other countries down the road) while being under sanctions. It should be also clear that focusing on just Iran can only have one reason: political motivation.

The Atlantic: World Public Opinion poll found that Iranians hold a more favorable opinion on the US than anywhere else in the Middle East

A 2009 World Public Opinion poll found that 51 percent of Iranians hold a favorable opinion of Americans, a number consistent with other polls, meaning that Americans are more widely liked in Iran than anywhere else in the Middle East. The U.S. favorability rating isn’t even that high in U.S. allies India or Turkey, and is two and half times as high as in Egypt. The same survey found that almost two-thirds of Iranians support restoring diplomatic ties with the U.S. (Iranians’ view of U.S. leadership is much worse, at 8 percent as of early this year.) But even these figures are likely on the low end of actual sentiment, as many Iranians might fear expressing such views to a strange pollster, out of fear of drawing the suspicion of the authorities…

Source: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/06/the-iran-we-dont-see-a-tour-of-the-country-where-people-love-americans/258166/

Interested in reading more about USA-Iran? Here is a nice collection: http://theotheriran.com/category/usa/

Tag team effort

and that's the way it was

Putting two and two together, Mohammad Javad Zarif’s recent travels and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s recent chat with Saudi FM Adel al-Jubeir point to a coordinated push by Bashar al-Assad’s two biggest allies, Russia and Iran, to follow-up the nuclear deal by recharging some kind of peace process in Syria. In fact, Zarif is supposed to be in Moscow on Monday to meet with Lavrov and discuss, you got it, Syria.

So far, Russia’s efforts at building consensus on a Syrian deal that allows everybody to focus their fire on ISIS have been decidedly less successful than Iran’s, though to be fair Zarif has been mostly talking to friendly audiences in Lebanon (Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah) and Damascus (Assad himself), while Russia has been talking to the Saudis and the “legitimate” Syrian opposition. Lavrov’s meeting on Thursday with Khaled Khoja, the head of the Syrian National Coalition, apparently…

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