Saudi Arabia displays beheaded Yemenis in public
Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded five Yemenis and displayed their bodies in public for killing a national and forming a gang that committed robberies across several towns in the kingdom, the interior ministry said.
The five were executed in the southwestern town of Jizan, bringing the number of people executed in the kingdom this year to 46, according to an AFP tally.
A witness in Jizan told AFP that the five men were displayed in public near a university.
In a picture on Twitter, five men are seen hanging from a rope tied to their waists on a horizontal bar between two cranes.
The ministry said that Khaled, Adel and Qassem Saraa as well as Saif Ali al-Sahari and Khaled Showie al-Sahari had formed a gang which committed "several crimes in various regions in the kingdom and robbed stores."
The five had killed Ahmed Haroubi, a Saudi, by beating him up and strangling him, it said.
In March, a Saudi firing squad executed in public seven men convicted of armed robbery despite last-minute appeals by rights groups at the time that their lives be spared.
In 2012, the kingdom executed 76 people, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. The US-based Human Rights Watch put the number at 69.
In March of this year, seven men convicted of armed robbery were executed in Saudi Arabia despite last-minute appeals by rights groups that their lives be spared.
The condemned men were similarly convicted of "forming a gang that carried out several armed robberies and thefts with the help of other people," the ministry said in a statement published by the official SPA news agency.
Saudi's authorities have frequently been criticized by rights groups for the rate of executions and for perceived lack of fair trials of those condemned.
Reports by Amnesty International document a policy of forced confessions by Saudi authorities through the use of torture, intimidation and coercion.
Haraba, a form of Islamic punishment used against thieves and charlatans, involves crucifixion.
Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery, drug trafficking, sorcery and witchcraft are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of sharia, or Islamic law.