Saudi police stand guard north-east of Riyadh on January 16, 2006
Saudi police stand guard north-east of Riyadh on January 16, 2006. Saudi authorities beheaded a Syrian after he was convicted of smuggling drugs into the kingdom © Hassan Ammar - AFP/File
Saudi police stand guard north-east of Riyadh on January 16, 2006
AFP
Last updated: June 17, 2013

Saudi beheads Syrian for drug smuggling

Saudi authorities beheaded a Syrian on Monday after he was convicted of smuggling drugs into the kingdom, the interior ministry said.

Ali Derbalah was arrested as he was "smuggling a large amount of banned pills into the kingdom," the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency. It did not specify the type of pills he was accused of smuggling.

His beheading in the northern province of Jawf brings to 52 the number of people executed in Saudi Arabia this year.

In 2012, the Gulf country put 76 people to death, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. Human Rights Watch has put the number at 69.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking are all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia's strict version of sharia, or Islamic law.

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