Three paedophiles were publicly shot then hanged from a crane in Yemen as punishment for raping and killing a ten-year-old boy.
Disturbing pictures show the rapists in blue overalls paraded in front of crowds in the centre of Sana’a, the country’s largest city.
They were handcuffed, ordered to lie face down and shot five times in the heart.
Their corpses were then winched high into the air by a crane where they were left hanging as a grim warning to other potential offenders while onlookers took pictures on mobile phones.
Intentionally displayed in front of crowds, serving as a firm warning to anyone who dared commit such brazen crimes.
Yemen, south of Saudi Arabia, is one of the world’s top executors with capital punishment for violent crimes including murder, rape, and terrorism.
The death penalty can also theoretically be used in cases of Islamic or ‘Hudud’ offences under Sharia law such as adultery, sexual misconduct, sodomy, prostitution, blasphemy and apostasy.
All sentences are carried out by shooting although stoning, hanging, and beheading are also permitted within the Yemeni penal code.
Around 50 countries in the world still have the death penalty.
Saudi Arabia had also executed and crucified a man who stabbed a woman to death.
The man from Myanmar was beheaded and his body put on display on a cross in Mecca.
Yemen has one of the highest execution rates per capita in the world.
Capital punishment is typically carried out by shooting, and occasionally in public. In addition to being the only individual in the country with the authority to grant clemency, the President of Yemen must ratify all executions passed down by any court before they are carried out.
Yemen prohibits certain criminal offences and applies the death penalty to such crimes listed above.
Yemen is also one of the four countries left in the world that allows capital punishment for minors.
In 2013, Mohammed Haza’a was put to death by the Yemeni government after he shot an intruder at his home in the central Yemeni city of Tiza in 1999.
The man later died from his injuries.
Despite judges ruling the killing as self-defense and that Mohammed was under eighteen at the time, the Yemen court eventually sentenced him to death.
George Abu Al-Zulof, a child protection specialist at UNICEF, described how Yemeni firing squads carry out death penalty procedures.
He said: “They put them on the ground, they cover them with the blanket and then a doctor comes and points around the heart from the back side. Then they shoot three to four bullets [into] the heart.”
Around 53 countries in the world still practise the death penalty – including Saudi Arabia.
In 2010, a Yemeni man was crucified after he raped and killed a girl, and then shot her father.
“The death penalty has no place in the 21st century.”
More and more Member States from all regions acknowledge that the death penalty undermines human dignity, and that its abolition, or at least a moratorium on its use, contributes to the enhancement and progressive development of human rights.
More than 160 Members States of the United Nations with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds, have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it. Yet, prisoners in a number of countries continue to face execution.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, with its mandate to promote and protect all human rights, advocates for the universal abolition of the death penalty. The UN Human Rights Office argues this position for other reasons as well, including the fundamental nature of the right to life; the unacceptable risk of executing innocent people; and the absence of proof that the death penalty serves as a deterrent to crime.
In line with General Assembly resolutions calling for a phasing out of capital punishment , the UN Human Rights Office supports Member States, civil society and other stakeholders campaigning for a moratorium on the death penalty and ultimately its abolition worldwide.