You might remember them from this summer’s World Cup: they’re the guys who bombed World Cup viewers in Uganda, killing 76. Al Shabaab (allegedly al Qaeda-linked) basically controls southern Somalia with its allies.
“We don’t normally kill al Shabaab members,” explained a spokesman for the Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a paramilitary, in cheerily chilling terms. “We arrest them and make them understand that Islam means peace.”
The unnamed character we notice this date apparently failed to “understand,” and was shot for not renouncing his affiliation.
“This commander insisted that all people were infidels except his group … We will execute al Shabaab members who insist that it can be right to kill the innocent. What else are we supposed to do to those who believe they will go to paradise for killing us and the whole human race?”
The executions that several of the 21st century world’s more aggressive death penalty users coincidentally carried out a year ago today testify together to the enduring place (and variegated guises) of the headsman in modernity.
Three prisoners were reported killed in Jinan in China on Jan. 15, 2009.
Two were men who had been serving prison terms for separate crimes when they incurred a death sentence for a violent (though seemingly non-lethal) escape attempt.
Liu Junjie, 35, and Wang Bing, 31, broke out of the prison in Zibo City on December 8, 2007 as a truck was moving out of the prison gate, according to a statement from the Shandong Provincial High People’s Court.
They hit a prison worker and two policemen with iron bars and choppers as they forced their way out. They were later caught as they fled along a road.
Former cabbie Bo Lijun shared that fate for a series of thefts, rapes, and murders.
According to the court, Bo raped and suffocated a female barber on Oct. 23, 2002 in Dongying.
Bo attempted to rape a female passenger in a wooded area near Dongying on July 29, 2006. Although he abandoned the rape attempt, he clubbed her to death for fear she would inform the police, and he buried the body at the site.
Al-Ahmari was a minor when he was sentenced. The statement said his execution was delayed until he came of age.
62-year-old James Callahan suffered lethal injection in Alabama Jan. 15, 2009, after 26 years on death row for raping and murdering a Jacksonville State University student in 1982. Callahan
requested a last meal of two corn dogs, french fries and a Coke … spent the day visiting with family and spiritual supporters … receive[d] communion at 4:30 p.m.
Callahan’s will bequeaths to his son $36.42 from his prison account, a black and white Radio Shack TV, two watches, a Walkman, some headphones, a leather belt, two pairs of boots, one pair of Nike tennis shoes, food items and legal papers.
(This incident was not brought to our attention until after the post was already up, but in the peripatetic spirit of the entry, we thought it suitable to append.)
Perhaps the first pol executed by Islamists, Ahmed was once the spokesman for a faction in the Somali civil war. He was put to death for collaborating with the Ethiopians who invaded Somalia at U.S. behest. As the Ethiopians were Christian, this behavior qualified as “apostasy” to the militants’ sharia court.
In January 2009, Ethiopia was in the process of withdrawing its military presence in its war-torn neighbor.