Another Saudi beheading adds to 'unprecedented' pace
Saudi Arabia beheaded one of its citizens for murder Thursday, adding to what Amnesty International has called an unprecedented pace of executions in the kingdom.
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia beheaded one of its citizens for murder Thursday, adding to what Amnesty International has called an unprecedented pace of executions in the kingdom.
Manie bin Ali bin Muhsin al-Gahtani was convicted of gunning down another man, the Interior Ministry said in a statement reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.
Authorities carried out the sentence in the southwestern city of Abha.
His beheading by the sword brings to 39 the number of Saudis and foreigners executed this year, according to an AFP tally.
That is more than three times the number during the first weeks of 2014.
From January 1 to February 26 last year Amnesty International recorded 11 executions, 17 for that period in 2013 and nine in 2012.
The current rate "has been truly unprecedented," said Sevag Kechichian, Saudi Arabia researcher for the London-based rights group.
There have been around 80 executions annually in the kingdom since 2011, with 87 last year by AFP`s tally.
The interior ministry says the death penalty for murderers aims "to maintain security and realise justice", but rights groups have expressed concern about the dangers of the innocent being sentenced to death.
Drug trafficking, rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are all punishable by death under the Gulf kingdom`s strict version of Islamic sharia law.