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Jan 11 2013

Chop Chop Square

Avicenna has a brilliant post about Saudi Arabia’s way with executions and foreign domestic workers.

Be warned – it’s ferocious stuff. The place where it all happens has several names.

Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest travel destinations on the planet. It is every Muslim’s duty to go on pilgrimage to Mecca and why not see the sites while you are there?

And one of the sites is the beautiful Qasr al-Masmak, which is an old medieval fort which is next to the Grand Mosque. But when you go visit there is something else to see.

A few hundred metres away is a plaza between the mosque and the fort. It’s ringed by a few benches and has palm trees. Sometimes there is a souk (Market) there. But to the more trained eye there is one thing you should notice.

There is a single drain in the middle. You will be advised to visit during the week (Saturday to Thursday) and avoid it on Friday. It’s not the rush really. You see this place goes by many names. Al Safa Square or Al Dirah Square. The Square of The Grand Mosque. The Chop Chop Square.

You  are now standing on the execution ground for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where around 2 people a week meet their gruesome and public end. It is one of the last places you can witness an execution or public punishment. It is also where judicial amputation takes place. If you were to go on Friday you can expect front row seats to such a spectacle, in the same vein as the women who used to take their knitting to the guillotine. And it’s also where Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan maid; was beheaded on Wednesday. At the time of her alleged crime she was a minor who shouldn’t even be HIRED let alone executed.

Read on.

1 comment

  1. 1
    left0ver1under

    It is one of the last places you can witness an execution or public punishment. It is also where judicial amputation takes place.

    One of the few, but unfortunately they still exist. All of them happen in countries run by rabid ideology, whether religious or political. Many public exections are extra-legal and take place outside the perpetrators’ borders (e.g. drone attacks, government-ordered assassinations).

    Public executions may no longer take place within the US or European countries, but they were once commonplace (and sometimes take place outside – see above). There are ideologues right now who would like to see a return of the practice.

    Afghanistan:
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/09/13/us-afghan-stadium-idUSSP12564220080913
    http://edition.cnn.com/2012/07/08/world/asia/afghanistan-public-execution/index.html

    Mali:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/03/mali-public-execution-radical-islamists_n_1935248.html

    Iran:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/iran-blog/2012/jun/12/iran-public-executions

    Yemen:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/yemen/5765664/Execution-of-Yemeni-child-killer-captured-on-camera.html

    North Korea:
    http://english.chosun.com/site/data/html_dir/2011/01/24/2011012401103.html

    Among others.

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