Capital punishment in the United Arab Emirates

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Capital punishment is a legal penalty in the United Arab Emirates.

Under Emirati law, multiple crimes carry the death penalty, and executions are carried through either a firing squad, hanging, or stoning.[1][2][3][4] Current law theoretically allows the death penalty for treason, espionage, murder, successfully inciting the suicide of a person "afflicted with total lack of free will or reason", arson resulting in death, acts of indecent assault resulting in death, importing nuclear substances/wastes in the environment of the State, adultery, apostasy, blasphemy, perjury causing wrongful execution, rape, aggravated robbery, kidnapping, terrorism, sodomy, homosexuality, drug trafficking[5] and joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[6][7], although death sentences are frequently commuted to life sentences. Overseas nationals and UAE nationals have both been executed for crimes.

Notable cases[edit]

In 1995, Sarah Balabagan, a Filipino worker, caught the attention of many people living in the UAE. She was reported to have murdered her employer in his Al Ain house, although she has always maintained that she only killed him in self-defence after he tried to rape her. After the UAE president himself got involved, Balabagan was set free and had to pay compensation instead. However, she was deported back to her country and her right to remain in the country was cancelled.[8]

In June 2015, the Federal Supreme Court sentenced an Emirati terrorist woman, Alaa Bader al-Hashemi, to the death penalty for the murder of Ibolya Ryan and planting a "handmade bomb" in an Egyptian-American doctor's home in Abu Dhabi. The woman committed the crime in December 2014 and was executed at dawn on July 13, 2015.[9] This is the only time that a prisoner has been executed within such a short time frame and this is the one of the few cases of a woman being executed.

On 23 November 2017 Nidal Eisa Abdullah, the convict who raped and killed eight-year-old boy Obaida in May 2016, was executed. [10]


  1. ^ "UAE: Death by stoning/ flogging | Amnesty International".
  2. ^ "Timeline of executions in UAE".
  3. ^ "Woman Sentenced To Death By Stoning In Abu Dhabi – Emirates Woman".
  4. ^ "Duterte threatened deployment ban if OFW in UAE executed: Bello | BusinessWorld".
  5. ^ "The Death Penalty in United Arab Emirates". Death Penalty Worldwide. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  6. ^ "UAE sentences four to death for joining IS". The New Arab. 15 February 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  7. ^ "UAE sentences 'jihadi teenager' to death for joining IS". The New Arab. 10 January 2016. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  8. ^ "Judicial caning, Arab Emirates, Oct 1995 - CORPUN ARCHIVE aeju9510".
  9. ^ "UAE woman sentenced to death for killing US teacher". Express Tribune. 29 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  10. ^ "UAE man executed".

See also[edit]

External links[edit]