Saudi Arabia beheads 2 drug traffickers

2012-02-14 18:00

Riyadh - Saudi Arabia on Tuesday beheaded two men convicted of drug trafficking in the ultra-conservative kingdom, the interior ministry announced.

Mohammed Abdulmalik Ajaj, a Syrian, was arrested for smuggling "207 000 banned narcotic pills", the ministry said in a statement published on state news agency SPA.

He was beheaded in the northern province of Jawf.

Separately, the ministry said a Saudi, Hamad al-Yami, was beheaded in Jizan, in southwestern Saudi Arabia, for trafficking hashish.

The beheadings bring to eight the number of executions carried out in Saudi Arabia so far in 2012, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights voiced alarm in January at the almost threefold increase in executions in Saudi Arabia last year.

Amnesty International said the kingdom executed 79 people in 2011.

In 2010, 27 people were executed, according to the UN, citing a report by Human Rights Watch.

Saudi Arabia applies the death penalty for a wide range of offences, including rape, murder, apostasy, armed robbery and drug trafficking.


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