Saudi Arabia carries out 77th execution of 2014

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Al-Akhbar Management

Published Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Saudi Arabia beheaded on Tuesday a convicted drug trafficker, the 77th state execution in the oil-rich kingdom this year despite international concerns.

Nasser bin Amiq Ali al-Inzi was convicted of trying to smuggle "a large amount" of amphetamines into the country, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

He was beheaded in the northern Jawf region.

Last Friday authorities carried out the death sentence on another Saudi, also found guilty of amphetamine smuggling.

The Saudi authorities often announce the seizure of drugs in a country where people convicted of smuggling narcotics are beheaded by the sword.

At the end of November, the interior ministry said that more than 41 million amphetamine pills had been seized over the previous 12 months.

The oil-rich Gulf state saw the third highest number of executions in the world last year, according to Amnesty International.

Non-lethal crimes including “adultery,” armed robbery, “apostasy,” drug-related offenses, rape, “witchcraft” and “sorcery” are all punishable by death under the kingdom's strict version of Islamic sharia law.

Political activism can also be penalized by death, as Riyadh has taken a zero tolerance approach to all attempts at protest or dissent in the kingdom, including by liberal rights activists, Islamists, and members of the Shia minority.

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

In September, two independent human rights experts working on behalf of the United Nations expressed concern about the judicial process in Saudi Arabia and called for an immediate moratorium on the death penalty.

“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.

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

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