Saudi authorities

Saudi executes Pakistani for drug trafficking

Saudi authorities executed a Pakistani man on Sunday for attempting to smuggle drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry said.
Up to 129 people have been executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, including the latest execution, compared with 87 for the whole of 2014, according to AFP tallies.
Mohammed Sharif was arrested while attempting to smuggle heroin into the country hidden in his stomach, the ministry said in a statement published on the SPA state news agency.
He was executed in the Quwaiya district, near Riyadh.
Most people sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded, but sometimes executions are carried out by firing squad.
Amnesty International on Tuesday appealed for a moratorium on executions in Saudi Arabia, criticising the kingdom’s “deeply flawed judicial system”.
Under Saudi Arabia’s strict Islamic legal code, drug trafficking, murder, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.
Amnesty says Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most prolific executioners, along with China, Iran, Iraq and the United States.
Source: Agence France-Presse, August 31, 2015



Saudis sentence five to death over 2003 Al Qaida attacks

April 21, 2014

Riyadh: A Saudi court has sentenced to death five people over deadly 2003 attacks that marked the start of a wave of Al Qaida violence, media reported on Monday.

Dozens of Saudis and expats were killed and wounded that year in car bombings that ripped through three residential compounds in Riyadh where foreigners lived.

Sabq news website did not say when the five suspects were sentenced to death, but reported that they were found guilty of rigging car bombs used in the 2003 attacks.

Thirty-seven other defendants were given jail terms ranging from three to 35 years, it said.

The suspects were also convicted of plotting and carrying out an attack on a military base near Riyadh and of providing financial and logistical support to their now-slain leader Turki Al Dandani.

Al Dandani was a top Al Qaida operative who was eventually killed in clashes with Saudi police.

Saudi authorities set up specialised terrorism courts in 2011 to try dozens of Saudis and foreigners accused of belonging to Al Qaida or of involvement in the wave of unrest unleashed in 2003.

The attacks prompted authorities to crack down on the jihadist network founded by Saudi-born Osama bin Laden, who was killed in a US commando operation in May 2011.

The Saudi crackdown prompted many home-grown jihadists to shift base to neighbouring Yemen, where they merged to form the formidable Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The US considers the group — which has been implicated in failed attacks on US soil — to be the most dangerous franchise of the Islamist network, and has waged a covert drone campaign against it.

Earlier this year Saudi Arabia added Al Qaida organisations fighting in Syria to its list of banned terror groups.

Saudis behead citizen for murder

Riyadh: Saudi authorities beheaded a citizen in the northeastern city of Arar on Sunday after he was convicted of murder, the interior ministry said.

Habib Al Shammari was accused of killing fellow tribesman Meshaal Al Shammari following a dispute, the ministry said in a statement published by the official SPA news agency.

The execution was the fourth carried out this year in Saudi Arabia, which beheaded 78 people in 2013, according to an AFP count.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery, homosexuality and drug trafficking are all punishable by death in the kingdom.

(Source: Agence France-Presse)

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