Middle East

UAE executes woman for killing American teacher

A still image from unspecified video footage, released by police, showing the alleged suspect, 3 December Image copyright AP
Image caption Alaa Badr al-Hashemi was filmed by CCTV cameras entering and leaving the shopping centre

The United Arab Emirates has executed a woman convicted of stabbing to death an American teacher in December 2014.

Alaa Badr Abdullah al-Hashemi, a 30-year-old Emirati, was found guilty last month of the murder of Ibolya Ryan.

The 47-year-old's body was discovered in the toilets of a shopping centre in Abu Dhabi. Her 11-year-old twin sons had been waiting outside for her.

Hashemi was also convicted of planting a bomb outside the flat of an American-Egyptian doctor.

The bomb was discovered and dismantled before it exploded.

'Random' killing

The attorney general for state security prosecution told the official Wam news agency that Hashemi was executed on Monday morning after approval was given by the UAE's president, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The report did not disclose how Hashemi was killed, but it came only two weeks after the Federal Supreme Court delivered a guilty verdict that was not eligible for appeal.

Police said the mother of six had become radicalised over the internet and had been looking for a foreigner to kill at random.

Hashemi told prosecutors that she had been angered by the detention of her husband by the security services and had wanted to spread fear among Western expatriates, according to the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper, The National.

Hashemi also asked the court during her trial to provide her with psychological help, complaining that she had "unreal visions" and saw "ghost-like people". The court ordered tests which it said showed she had been aware of her actions.

While UAE law allows for the death penalty, executions are rare. The last known execution was in January 2014, when a Sri Lankan migrant worker convicted of murder was shot dead by a firing squad.

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