BEIRUT

Middle East

Saudi beheads convicted drug trafficker

Saudi Arabia March 16, 2013. (AFP Photo/Khaled Saad)

RIYADH: A Saudi convicted of drug trafficking was beheaded by the sword Friday in the northwestern city of Tabuk, the interior ministry announced.

The Ministry, in a statement carried by state news agency SPA, said Eid al-Umairi was found guilty of having dealt with "large quantities of amphetamines."

His beheading raised to 21 the number of executions so far this year in the conservative Muslim kingdom, according to an AFP count based on official reports.

Last year, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights denounced a "sharp increase in the use of capital punishment" in Saudi Arabia.

In 2013, there were 78 executions.

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

 

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