Saudi carries out 146th execution
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia yesterday executed a citizen convicted of killing a policeman, the Interior Ministry announced, bringing to 146 the number of death sentences carried out in the kingdom this year. Ayed Al-Jahdali was convicted of shooting dead a policeman who was trying to arrest him for drug trafficking, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official SPA news agency. He was executed in the western Mecca region, it said.
Saudi executions are usually carried out by beheading with a sword. According to AFP tallies, his case brings to 146 the number of locals and foreigners executed in the conservative Islamic kingdom this year, compared with 87 in 2014. Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom.
Meanwhile, Iran has summoned Saudi Arabia’s charge d’affaires in Tehran after the Gulf kingdom executed three Iranians convicted of drug trafficking, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported. The Islamic republic “strongly protested” the killings to the Saudi official, said a senior diplomat at Iran’s foreign ministry. The diplomat called on Saudi to abide by “international conventions” governing relationships between countries.
Riyadh on Sunday executed three Iranians convicted of drug trafficking after they attempted to “smuggle a large amount of hashish by sea” into the kingdom. They were executed in the eastern port city of Dammam, the interior ministry said. According to AFP tallies, their cases bring to 145 the number of locals and foreigners executed in the conservative Islamic kingdom this year, compared with 87 in 2014.
Under the kingdom’s strict Islamic legal code, murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape and apostasy are all punishable by death. Iran itself has one of the world’s highest execution rates, with only China carrying out more death sentences each year, according to rights group Amnesty International. Relations between Iran and Saudi are at their lowest for years due to disputes over several regional crises as well as the deaths of 464 Iranian pilgrims in a stampede at the annual hajj pilgrimage in Makkah in September.