19:00 GMT +320 August 2019
Listen Live
    Moroccan women carry photos of 28-year-old Norwegian Maren Ueland and 24-year-old Danish Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, during a candlelight vigil outside the Danish embassy in Rabat for the two Scandinavian university students who were killed in a terrorist attack in a remote area of the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, Saturday, Dec. 22, 2018

    Death Sentence for 'Bloodthirsty Monsters' Who Murdered Scandinavian Hikers in Morocco

    © AP Photo / Mosa'ab Elshamy
    Africa
    Get short URL
    5272

    The autopsy report found a total of 30 stab wounds on the bodies of two women, slain by Daesh* supporters in Morocco.

    To crown an 11-week trial, three suspected jihadists have been sentenced to death for the grisly murder of two female Scandinavian hikers on holiday in Morocco, they themselves had filmed.

    Suspected ringleader and underground imam Abdessamad Ejjoud and his two accomplices received the maximum penalty over the December killings of 24-year-old Danish tourist Louisa Vesterager Jespersen and her 28-year-old Norwegian partner Maren Ueland. A fourth man involved in the murders was sentenced by the Moroccan court to life in prison.

    The prosecution described the three killers “bloodthirsty monsters”, the prosecution said, citing an autopsy report that found 23 injuries on Jespersen's body and seven on that of Ueland.

    ​The beheadings were believed to have been inspired by extremist Islamic ideology and sworn allegiance to Daesh. A total of 19 others were sentenced to between five and 30 years in prison.

    While Scandinavian nations have long abandoned capital punishment as inhumane, the jihadi murderers' death sentences were well-received.

    “The most important thing in this case is that these men be held responsibile", Khalid El Fataoui, attorney for Jespersen’s family, told Norwegian broadcaster NRK. “They showed no regret and didn’t offer any apologies. We are glad the court ruled as it did, I am personally glad”.

    A letter from the Danish victim's mother, Helle Petersen, read out in court, said: “The most just thing would be to give these beasts the death penalty they deserve”.

    Maren Ueland's mother, Irene Ueland (49), referred to the double murder as “grotesque” and “madness”.

    Likewise, petitions on social media have also called for their execution.

    Despite having had a de facto freeze on executions since 1993, death penalty is still legal in Morocco.

    The defence team cited “mitigating circumstances on account of their precarious social conditions and psychological disequilibrium”, as the culprits admittedly had a “very low” level of education and lived in low-income areas of Marrakesh.

    28-year-old Maren Ueland of Norway and 24-year-old Louise Vesterager Jespersen of Denmark were slain while on a camping holiday in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, a popular tourist attaction that is home to the highest peak in the entire Maghreb and the Arab world. The women were stalked and attacked in their tent on 17 December 2018.

    Barely several months after the brutal killings, the UK newspaper The Independent, came under fire for praising Morocco as a safe tourist destination for women travelling solo.

    *Daesh (ISIS/ISIL/IS/the Islamic state) is a terrorist organisation banned in Russia

    Related:

    Moroccan National Security Forces Detain Daesh Terror Plotters - Statement
    Morocco Seeks Death Penalty for Three Suspects Accused of Beheading Scandinavian Hikers
    Tags:
    Denmark, Norway, North Africa, Morocco
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik