Saudi Arabia executes two men accused of drug trafficking and murder

Published January 8th, 2015 - 07:04 GMT
Saudi law permits the death penalty for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking. (AFP/File)
Saudi law permits the death penalty for crimes such as murder and drug trafficking. (AFP/File)

Saudi Arabia has beheaded a Pakistani national and a Saudi man after sentencing them to death over drug trafficking and murder.

The Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency that the Pakistani man known as Mohammad Shahbal was beheaded on Thursday.

Saudi sources said the man was found guilty of smuggling an undisclosed amount of heroin into the country.

In a separate case, Awida Utaibi, the Saudi national, was executed after a court found him guilty of murdering a relative.

The beheadings bring to six the number of people executed across the kingdom so far this year. Last year, Saudi authorities executed 87 people, compared with 78 in 2013.

Concern is growing about the increasing number of executions in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi officials execute convicts by sword and then dangle their corpses from a helicopter to make sure the public could see the result of the execution.

In addition to the executions in Saudi Arabia, several employees of different nationalities, including Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines and Indonesia, have been killed in clashes with Saudi police in recent months.

Muslim clerics have slammed Riyadh for indicting and then executing some workers without giving them a chance to defend themselves, describing the Saudi authorities as uncivilized.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under the Saudi rule.

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