Public execution

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Public execution of a woman, known as Zarmeena, by the Taliban at the Ghazi Sports Stadium in Kabul, Afghanistan (November 16, 1999)[1]

A public execution is a form of capital punishment in which "members of the general public may voluntarily attend." The standard definition normally excludes the presence of a limited number of "passive citizens" that "witness the event to assure executive accountability."[2] While today the great majority of the world considers public executions to be uncivilized and distasteful and most countries have outlawed the practice, throughout much of history executions were performed publicly as a means for the state to demonstrate "its power before those who fell under its jurisdiction be they criminals, enemies, or political opponents." Additionally, it afforded the public a chance to witness "what was considered a great spectacle."[3]

According to Amnesty International, in 2012 "public executions were known to have been carried out in Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Somalia."[4] Amnesty International however does not include Syria, Afghanistan, and Yemen in their list of public execution countries even though they execute in front of the public regularly.[5][6][7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Who Was the Afghan Mom Executed by Taliban?". ABC News. 2 October 2002. 
  2. ^ Cawthorne, Nigel (2006). Public Executions: From Ancient Rome to the Present Day. pp. 6–7. ISBN 978-0-7858-2119-9. 
  3. ^ Blum, Steven A. (Winter 1992). "Public Executions: Understand the "Cruel and Unusual Punishments" Clause" (PDF). Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly 19 (2): 415. 
  4. ^ Rogers, Simon; Chalabi, Mona (2013-12-13). "Death penalty statistics, country by country". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-12-13. 
  5. ^ "ISIS extremist reportedly kills his mother in public execution in Syria". Fox News. 2016-01-08. Retrieved 2016-05-30. 
  6. ^ Cohen, Tamara (2009-07-07). "Justice Yemen-style: Paedophile who raped boy, 11, shot in the head in front of hundreds of spectators | Daily Mail Online". Retrieved 2016-05-30. 
  7. ^ Updated 6:21 AM ET, Mon July 9, 2012 (2012-07-09). "Video: Taliban shoot woman 9 times in public execution as men cheer". CNN. Retrieved 2016-05-30.