Saudi Arabia on Thursday beheaded a citizen convicted of murder, the ultra-conservative kingdom’s 13th execution since the start of the new year, state news reported.
The Saudi Press Agency said authorities beheaded Shabib al-Otaibi in the governorate of Quwayiyah after he was found guilty of shooting dead another citizen.
The execution comes as human rights groups renew criticisms of the US-backed kingdom’s medieval policy of beheading. Those convicted of charges that include murder, rape, drug trafficking, apostasy, sorcery and witchcraft could be brought to the block.
Amnesty International last week condemned the February 5 beheading of citizen Abdallah Fandi al-Shammari after a 30 year incarceration.
Shammari was convicted of manslaughter in 1988 and released after paying compensation to the victim’s family. But he was rearrested in 1990 and convicted of murder for the same act “in proceedings that did not meet fair trial standards,” according to the report.
Amnesty International has condemned what it describes as a policy of forced confessions by Saudi authorities through the use of torture, intimidation and coercion.
Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of executions by capital punishment in the world. The kingdom put down at least 82 people in 2011 according to Amnesty. Seventy-six people were beheaded in the kingdom last year according to an AFP tally, while Human Rights Watch has put the number at 69.
In January, Saudi Arabia drew fire after beheading a Sri Lankan maid convicted of murder who was 17-years-old at the time of her alleged crime. Sri Lanka recalled its ambassador to the country to protest the killing.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had also criticized the beheading, expressing “[concern] about reports of irregularities in her detention and trial, as well as the increase in the use of capital punishment in Saudi Arabia,” according to an official statement from his office.
On Tuesday the kingdom beheaded one national for murder and a Syrian man for drug smuggling.
Saudi authorities have remained adamant in defense of beheading as a form of capital punishment, based on its strict interpretation of Islamic law, despite international calls for the policy’s abolition…JA
– The above information were posted by real Syrian activists from Syria & around the world, not by western intelligent post offices duped activists.