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Saudi Arabia beheads five foreigners over murder, robbery

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo shows Saudi officials carrying out an execution in public.

Five foreigners, convicted of murder and robbery, have been executed in Saudi Arabia as the rate of capital punishment surges in the kingdom.

Saudi Interior Ministry announced in a statement on Monday that the five foreign nationals, convicted of killing an Indian guard and stealing money from a safe, were beheaded in the Red Sea city of Jeddah earlier in the day.

The statement which was carried by the Saudi Press Agency, identified the executed as Khaled Fetini and Ibrahim Nasser from Yemen, Hassan Omar from Chad as well as Eritrean Salem Idriss and Abdel Wahhab Abdel Maeen from Sudan.

The beheadings put the number of executions carried out in the kingdom so far this year at 78, compared to a total of 87 in all of 2014, showing an dramatic rise in the government’s use of capital punishments.

The Amnesty International has repeatedly warned that the number of beheadings in the country is seeing a “macabre spike.” According to the London-based rights advocacy group, Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of executions in the world.

Saudi officials execute convicts by sword and then dangle their corpses from a helicopter for the public to see.

Saudi authorities say the executions reveal the kingdom’s commitment to “maintaining security and realizing justice.”

Muslim clerics have also slammed Riyadh for executing suspects without giving them a chance to defend themselves.

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


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