The latest beheadings bring to 44 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year
The General Court in Riyadh, shown in 2005. Saudi authorities beheaded four of its citizens on Tuesday after they were found guilty of murdering two men in separate cases, the interior ministry said. © null - AFP
The latest beheadings bring to 44 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year
AFP
Last updated: June 26, 2012

Saudi beheads four citizens over murders

Saudi authorities on Tuesday beheaded four of its citizens for murder and a Syrian national for drug smuggling, the interior ministry said.

Three Saudi nationals were executed in the kingdom's eastern Qatif region for stabbing and then shooting to death an Indian, Kohimo Ahmad, after robbing the shop where he worked, the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.

Hussein bin Ahmad Shweikhat, Abdel Aziz bin Hasan al-Maatouq and Hussein bin Ibrahim al-Maatouq were beheaded after the three were found guilty of having stabbed and then shot Ahmad with an automatic rifle.

In a separate case, Khaled bin Saeed al-Asmari, was executed in the town of Abhaa in the kingdom's southern region of Asir for stabbing to death fellow Saudi, Abdullah bin Saad al-Masmaa, after a dispute, the ministry said.

And William Hatoum, a Syrian, was executed in the northern region of Jawf after being found guilty of smuggling drugs into the ultra-conservative kingdom, it said.

Hatoum was the third Syrian national to be executed in Saudi Arabia for drug smuggling since January.

The latest beheadings bring to 45 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Under the AFP count, at least 76 people were beheaded in 2011, while rights group Amnesty International put the number of executions last year at 79.

The death penalty in Saudi Arabia applies to a wide range of offences including rape, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well as murder, as stipulated by Islamic sharia law

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