Saudi Arabia has postponed the execution of seven men convicted of armed robbery committed when most of them were juveniles while the royal court looks into a request for a retrial, relatives and family friends said.
The number of executions carried out around the world jumped last year, largely due to a surge in use of the death penalty in Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.
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UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he had received 'grisly reports' that Syrian government forces were arbitrarily executing, imprisoning and torturing people in the battle-scarred city of Homs after rebel fighters had fled.
Russia called on Iraq on Wednesday not to carry out the death sentence on Tareq Aziz on humanitarian grounds, its foreign ministry said.
The Vatican has also appealed against the sentence which was passed by Iraq's high tribunal on Tuesday