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10 People Executed for Ridiculous Reasons

The concept of justice has been hotly debated since it was conceptualized; what does it mean? How can it be properly served? In the long and controversial quest to figure it all out, some people -- and governments -- have gotten really out of hand in manipulating the way justice is perceived and carried out in a grossly perverse way. Here are the ten most absurd and ridiculous executions of all time.

North Korean Minister Kim Chol Executed for Drinking



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North Korea is notoriously the world capital of forced, 1984-type government compliance, lack of freedom and living in constant fear. As ridiculous as it is, it completely fits their MO that North Korea executed army vice minister Kim Chol for drinking alcohol during the 100-day mourning period for the death of leader Kim Jong-il.

It's alleged that new leader Kim Jong-un had Chol "obliterated" by a mortar, wishing "no trace" of him to be left behind. Chol was also accused of engaging in sex parties during the mourning period, which prohibits North Koreans from taking place in pleasurable activities for 100 days. But if people in America could be executed for drinking and having sex, we'd all be dead by now.

Watching TV, Owning Bibles



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North Korea strikes again. In November of 2013, approximately 80 North Koreans were put to death for watching illegal television programs and possibly even owning Bibles -- two things strictly forbidden by the insane North Korean government. Although the report is, at it's core, unconfirmed, North Korean defector groups insist that it's credible and that the horrible injustice really happened.

The executions happened across 7 different North Korean cities and were done publicly, the event in Wonsan drawing 10,000 viewers to a sports stadium to watch the deaths by firing squad.

Drugs



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When you hear that someone's been executed for drug smuggling, you're probably think of a murderous drug dealing kingpin who ruled over his illegal activities -- and minions -- with an iron fist. But that couldn't be further from the truth.

In 2008, a photographer was allowed to snap pictures of the last moments of a number of women who were set to be executed -- most for minor drug smuggling offenses. Since the government most likely realized that executing a group of women, some 20-something, because they were smuggling drugs for a boyfriend or engaging in drug dealing just to make some extra money is absolutely ridiculous, the photographs were initially prohibited from reaching the public under the guise that they "may garner sympathy" for those executed…as they should.

And More Drugs



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The women pictured in those moving photographs weren't the only Chinese prisoners executed for non-violent drug-related crimes; in preparation for "UN International Day Against Drug Abuse and Trafficking," China executed six men for drug trafficking and sent an additional four to death row.

One man was convicted of hiring people to help him smuggle methamphetamine along with owning illegal firearms, another of selling heroin, and a third of transporting methamphetamine from Hubei Province to Wuhan. It's unfortunate that the drug war in China is so brutal and morally corrupted; no one benefits from the murder of non-violent offenders that are executed in an attempt to "set an example" for the rest of the country.

China allegedly increases drug-related arrests as a preface to every International Drug Day, which is yearly on June 26th. In 2010, China executed approximately 59 people for drug-related offenses almost immediately before this sordid holiday.
There has also been much controversy surrounding China's execution of foreign drug smugglers attempting to smuggle drugs into the country from elsewhere.

Witchcraft



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Most people are aware of the countless executions that took place between the 15th and 18th centuries of those accused of witchcraft.

Religion gets out of hand, religious leaders become power hungry, dissenters are accused of all sorts of wild and ridiculous nonsense, witch hunts ensue, hundreds die by being burned at the stake, drowned, beheaded, or hanged. This barbaric cycle killed hundreds of innocent women and created the term "witch hunt," which, today, means chasing after something that doesn't exist. Most of the women executed for being "witches" either simply didn't subscribe to the popular Catholicism or were wrongly accused by a vengeful party who just wanted to see the so-called witch eliminated from this world for personal reasons.

Witch hunting came to a head when, during the Salem Witch Trials, a bunch of teenage girls made up some outlandish stories about neighborhood women worshiping Satan at night in the forest and got a bunch of people executed for their folly.

Modern Day Witchcraft and Sorcery



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…But that wasn't the end of it. In some countries, so-called "witchcraft and sorcery" are still punishable by death. In 2012, a Saudi man was beheaded for participating in witchcraft and sorcery after he was caught with illegal books and talismans and admitted to adultery with two separate women.

Muree bin Ali bin Issa al-Asiri was the third man to be executed for witchcraft in the past few years in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabian government is vehemently against fortune telling, faith healing, and a number of other practices that could even remotely be considered sorcery.

Atheism



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There are actually seven countries in the world that can still execute you for being an atheist, and Syria is one of them.

Mohammad Qataa was only 15 years old when he was brutally executed by public shooting just for being overheard saying that he would not believe in the Prophet Mohammad "even if he comes down from heaven" while working as a street vendor selling coffee in the neighborhood Shaar.

A militant group called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria took the boy into the custody and whipped him privately before brandishing his injured body in front of a crowd, stating "Disbelieving in God is polytheism and cursing the prophet is a polytheism. Whoever curses even once will be punished like this," before shooting the child twice in front of the crowd, which included his mother and father.

Cowardice



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During World War I, hundreds of soldiers were executed for so-called "cowardice" after the horrors of war left the young soldiers unwilling to continue killing and getting killed. When these young French soldiers refused to run over the top of their trench and charge into war, they were accused of "abandoning their post" and slaughtered by firing squad in an attempt to make an example of them so that others would be more hesitant to dissent.

British soldiers suffered death at the hands of their fellow comrades for the same "offense," the numbers reaching upwards of 300. Shell shock was ignored and a conviction of cowardice was upheld when these men were shot by a firing squad for refusing to fight, some saying they simply "could not go on." Today, these men have been pardoned and the Armed Forces Bill amended in memorandum of these wrongly executed soldiers.

Homosexuality



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"The three convicts were sentenced to death based on the articles 108 and 110 of Iran's Islamic penal code, for acts against the sharia law and bad deeds," an Iranian official stated after three Iranian men were executed for homosexuality in what was allegedly the first time in "years" that anyone in Iran had been persecuted for their sexuality. But in 2010, an 18-year-old male (who actually happened to be straight) was nearly executed for "being gay" and subjected to a legal loophole that allowed the government to surpass a trial and dole out a ruling with or without evidence. After incredible international backlash, 18-year-old Ebrahim Hamidi was granted reprieve.

No one knows if the three men were actually homosexual or just accused of being as such (as if it matters), whether or not they had lawyers or if they were even given a trial.

Additionally, 12 Libyan faced torture and execution for homosexuality in 2012. It is reported -- but unconfirmed -- that the men were later released.

Teens Executed for Robbery



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After seven teenage boys were convicted of forming a makeshift gang whose purpose was to rob others of their money and belongings, the children were publicly beheaded in the center of a Saudi Arabian neighborhood.

“I killed no one. I didn’t have weapons while robbing the store, but the police tortured me, beat me up and threatened to assault my mother to extract confessions that I had a weapon with me while I was only 15,” one of the victims, Nasser al-Qahtani, told the Associated Press.

Though the UN repeatedly requested that the executions be called off, all seven were killed anyway.

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