Morocco hikers: Three get death penalty for Scandinavian tourist murders

Three Islamic State group supporters who murdered two Scandinavian hikers in Morocco have been sentenced to death.

The verdicts for ringleader Abdessamad Ejjoud, Younes Ouaziyad and Rachid Afatti follow petitions on social media calling for their execution.

Louisa Vesterager Jespersen, 24, from Denmark, and Maren Ueland, 28, from Norway, were found beheaded in the High Atlas mountains in December.

If the executions go ahead, they will be the first in Morocco since 1993.

That year saw the country introduce a freeze on capital punishment.

During the trial, it emerged that Ejjoud, 25, and Ouaziyad, 27, beheaded the two women while Afatti, 33, filmed the murders on his mobile phone.

Image caption Maren Ueland, left, and Louisa Vesterager Jespersen were studying to be tour guides

“The most just thing would be to give these beasts the death penalty they deserve,” Helle Petersen, Ms Jespersen’s mother, said in a letter that was read out in court last week.

What happened in court?

The verdict follows an 11-week trial in Salé near the capital Rabat.

Ejjoud, an underground imam, admitted killing one of the two women in May. “I beheaded one of them… I…

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