Saudi Arabia Beheads Pakistani Heroin Smuggler

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Monday, January 19, 2015

Saudi Arabia beheaded a convicted Pakistani heroin smuggler on Monday, the third person from his country to be executed in the Wahhabi kingdom this year.

Yasser Arafat Munir Ahmed was executed in the holy city of Mecca, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

"Investigations led to his confession and after a trial he was sentenced to death," the ministry said.

This came after a week after a Myanmar woman was beheaded in a Saudi street for allegedly killing her husband's young daughter. A video of the execution was posted on the Internet on Saturday, showing the woman screaming her innocence.

Saudi authorities have arrested the person who filmed the incident, local newspaper websites wrote, including Okaz and Al-Riyadh, in reports accompanied by still shots from the recording.

Saudi authorities did not say what the arrest was for.

According to an Amnesty International report, more than 2,000 people were executed in the Gulf state between 1985 and 2013.

“People are tortured into confessing to crimes, convicted in shameful trials without adequate legal support and then executed is a sickening indictment of the Kingdom’s state-sanctioned brutality,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

In September, an independent expert working on behalf of the United Nations called for an immediate moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Saudi Arabia.

“Despite several calls by human rights bodies, Saudi Arabia continues to execute individuals with appalling regularity and in flagrant disregard of international law standards,” said Christof Heyns, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

Saudi Arabia bases its legal code on its strict Wahhabi interpretation of Sharia. Judges are trained as religious scholars and have a broad scope to base verdicts and sentences on their own interpretation of religious texts

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are punishable by death in Saudi Arabia which executed 11 people so far this year, 87 in 2014 and 78 in 2013, according to an AFP tally.

In addition to executions, Saudi Arabia implements a wide array of brutal punishments ranging from flogging to exaggerated fines and prison sentences for minor crimes.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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