Saudi executes 7 men for crimes committed when juvenile

Fending off appeals by rights groups, Saudi has executed 7 for committing armed robbery when they were juveniles.

Updated: Mar 13, 2013, 15:04 PM IST

Zeenews Bureau

Riyadh: Fending off appeals by international rights groups, Saudi Arabia has executed seven men for committing armed robbery when they were juveniles, reports said Wednesday.

The seven mane namely Sarhan al-Mashaikh, Saeed al-Zahrani, Ali al-Shahri, Nasser al-Qahtani, Saeed al-Shahrani, Abdul Aziz al-Amri and Ali al-Qahtani were arrested in 2006 on the charge of armed robbery and were in Abha General Prison since then.

Saudi Arabia strictly implements Islamic Sharia law according to which crimes like murder, rape, armed robbery and human trafficking result in execution, usually beheading.

Saudi`s interior ministry issued a statement saying that the seven charged for armed robbery had been executed in southern city of Abha, the BBC reported.

The seven were sentenced to death in 2009 for breaking into jewellery shops as part of a criminal gang of 23 members, but one of the accused had claimed that they had been subjected to torture and threats and made to confess.

UN experts and rights groups like Amnesty International had urged Saudi not to execute saying that two of the men had been juveniles at the time of their alleged crimes.

They had expressed apprehensions over Saudi`s death sentence to the seven and allegations that they had been slapped with false charges and their trial was unfair.

Amnesty Interantional`s Philip Luther said, "It is a bloody day when a government executes seven people on the grounds of `confessions` obtained under torture, submitted at a trial where they had no legal representation or recourse to appeal."

The gulf country which is notorious for beheadings recorded 69 executions last year.