|Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)|
Riyadh, May 24: Saudi Arabia put to death a citizen convicted of murder today, bringing to 94 the number of executions in the kingdom this year.
Imad al-Assimi was found guilty of shooting dead a compatriot in a dispute, the interior ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.
Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword. Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions, although 47 people were put to death for “terrorism” on a single day in January.
According to human rights group Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia had the third-highest number of executions last year — at least 158.
That was far behind Pakistan which executed 326, and Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran, which executed at least 977, said Amnesty, whose figures exclude secretive China.
Rights activists have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in Saudi Arabia and have been particularly critical of the use of the death penalty for non-violent offences like drug trafficking.
The interior ministry has said it is “determined to fight drugs of all kinds due to the serious damage they do to individuals and society”.
Saudi Arabia has a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.
Source: Agence France-Presse, May 24, 2016
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- Saudi Arabia executes Burmese woman; secret filming reveals medieval, barbaric punishment, January 12, 2015