Saudi Arabia executes two for drug smuggling

2012-01-02 13:45

Riyadh – Saudi Arabia beheaded two of its citizens today in the eastern province of Al-Ahsa after convicting them of drug smuggling.

Mustafa bin Nuh al-Zain and Anas bin Malik al-Duheim were accused of establishing a drug-smuggling ring inside the kingdom and of trafficking in “large quantities” of drugs, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi news agency.

The beheadings were the first executions of 2012.

According to an AFP count, the kingdom carried out 76 executions last year.

Amnesty International had repeatedly called on the ultra-conservative Muslim kingdom to impose a moratorium on executions. According to the London-based watchdog, there were currently 140 people on death row in the kingdom.

Rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking were all punishable by death under Saudi Arabia’s strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

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