Saudi Arabia has executed 46 people this year, according to an AFP tally
Nooses on display in a 'hall of executions' at a museum in Johannesburg, on December 3, 2001 at the newly inaugurated Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg in memory for 131 freedom fighters who were executed by the apartheid-era authorities. AFP PHOTO YOAV LEMMER © Yoav Lemmer - AFP/File
Saudi Arabia has executed 46 people this year, according to an AFP tally
Last updated: May 21, 2013

Saudi executes five Yemenis for murder

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed five Yemenis and displayed their bodies in public for killing a national and forming a gang that committed robberies across several towns in the kingdom, the interior ministry said.

The ministry later announced, in another statement carried by the official SPA news agency, that a Saudi was also beheaded in the southwestern Assir region for the murder of a fellow citizen.

The five were executed in the town of Jizan, also southwest Saudi Arabia.

The beheadings on Tuesday bring the number of people executed in the kingdom this year to 47, according to an AFP tally.

A witness in Jizan told AFP that the five men were "beheaded by the sword" and displayed in public near a university.

Their bodies were removed from the area a few hours later, according to witnesses.

In a picture on microblogging website Twitter, five men are seen hanging from a rope tied to their waists on a horizontal bar between two cranes, in a public display which Saudi authorities refer to as "crucifixion."

The ministry said that Khaled, Adel and Qassem Saraa, three brothers, as well as Saif Ali al-Sahari and Khaled Showie al-Sahari had formed a gang which committed "several crimes in various regions in the kingdom and robbed stores."

The five had killed Ahmed Haroubi, a Saudi, by beating him up and strangling him, it said.

In March, a Saudi firing squad executed in public seven men convicted of armed robbery despite last-minute appeals by rights groups at the time that their lives be spared.

In 2012, the kingdom executed 76 people, according to an AFP tally based on official figures. The US-based 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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