Syrian 75th person beheaded in Saudi

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia: no mercy on drug smugglers

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday executed a Syrian convicted of drug smuggling, bringing to 75 the number of locals and foreigners beheaded in the kingdom this year despite international concerns.

The sentence against Ridwan Awad Mohammed Awad was carried out in the city of Qurayyat near the border with Jordan, the interior ministry said.

He was caught trying to smuggle “a large amount” of amphetamine pills into the kingdom, added the statement on the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The interior ministry said this week that authorities had seized more than 41 million amphetamine tablets during the Islamic calendar year that ended in October.

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It also said nearly 1,600 Saudis and foreigners were arrested for drug-related crimes between February and September.

The oil-rich Gulf state saw the third highest number of executions in the world last year after Iran and Iraq, according to Amnesty International whose figures did not include China.

Rape, murder, apostasy and armed robbery are also punishable by death under the kingdom’s strict version of Islamic sharia law.

In September, an independent expert working on behalf of the United Nations expressed concern about the judicial process in Saudi Arabia and called for an immediate moratorium on the death penalty.

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