Saudi Arabia Beheads Two, Marking 9th Execution of 2015

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded a convicted Pakistani drug trafficker and one of its own citizens who allegedly killed a soldier.

Their cases bring to nine the number of executions this year, according to an AFP tally.

Rakan bin Eid bin Bikheet al-Baqmi, a Saudi, was found guilty of chasing and firing on a security patrol, killing soldier Sultan bin Ibrahim bin Ghrahid al-Jaid, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Baqmi was executed in the Mecca region of western Saudi Arabia.

On the other side of the country, in Qatif near the Gulf coast, Mahmoud Massih Iqbal Massih from Pakistan was executed for heroin trafficking, the ministry said.

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

Saudi Arabia's legal code follows a medieval version 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.

Human rights organizations and activists have called on Saudi Arabia to end death sentences and other brutal punishments, accusing the Saudi regime of curbing freedom of speech and opinion.

In 2014, Saudi judges have passed death sentences down to five pro-democracy advocates, including prominent activist and cleric Nimr al-Nimr, for their part in protests.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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